Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Art Thief Fesses Up!

Believe it or not, the great stolen art caper of 2009 has been solved. This weekend, I was working on the dannolan.com and took the opportunity to rename the stolen painting to "Stolen By Scum". Apparently, the thief had the good sense to take my card along with the painting off the wall, because he or she emailed me today with the subject line "Stolen By Scum". Here's the body of that email:


I am that scum. You may or may not want to hear the story of how I took your painting, but here it is anyway. It was my last night in Boston and I was out celebrating with some friends. We ended up at The Lower Depths and after drinking a little too much, I was egged on to take your painting. It was not out of maliciousness of any kind, but out of admiration for your work. We had spent time discussing which piece of the series that we liked the best. Your painting is still in the same condition, and is on my wall.

HOWEVER, I feel particularly bad about what I have done. (I wouldn't be writing if I didn't.) I completely understand that you are upset, as I would be myself. So here are three suggestions I have to amend the situation. The first is that I pay for the painting. The second is that I send it back to either you or The Lower Depths. And the third is that I create some original art and send it to you, within two weeks time.

I am sincerely sorry for this whole ordeal. I have learned my lesson and will not under any circumstances do it again.

What is this, Let's Make A Deal? Art Door Number 3? When I posted this on facebook, I got an avalanche of comments telling me to go for the money and to go big. I would have been inclined to do so, since ultimately a compensated stolen painting pays the bills as well as a sold one does, but the stolen painting was already sold and hanging in the show as a favor from the buyer. So, I chose the send-it-back amends option. And I was pretty polite, if curt. I thanked him/her for having the decency to contact me and make amends. I told him/her to send the painting to my home address and I said I'd spare him/her any further commentary since he/she already felt bad, had learned a lesson and wouldn't do it again. Conscience is the cruelest of bounty hunters.


Jeannette said...

This is why the internets is awesome.

But, yeah, I bet if there were prices next to the work he/she may not have stolen it. They probably thought the bar bought it from you or some druken thought like that.

It was a chick, right?

Dan said...

That's a good question. Everyone on facebook assumed it was a guy, but it's a non-gender-specific email. From my experience, dudes are more likely to be out, drunk, at last call and causing mischief, and less likely to realize the error of their ways and to try to make amends.

The internets is awesome. The person is no longer living in Boston, so I probably would not have gotten the painting back if they hadn't gone to my website to contact me.

I contacted the owner and mentioned that not having tags is potentially dangerous to artist's property. Still, I doubt she cares enough to change her asinine policy. It's not like the Lower Depths is a really classy joint and tags would have been crass. There was literally spackle on the wall where I was going to put one of the tags.

marshall said...

Dan, are you sure that your baseball allegiances weren't a factor here? Perhaps in your shading and shadowing of these baseball paintings, you are subconciously creating faint images of Jeter, Jackson, Rizzuto, Gehrig, Guidry, Dent... maybe even Fred Stanley.

Maybe that is what motivated the non-gender specified thief?

Dan said...

Well, they do have the leathery character of the visage of the Scooter... Holy Cow!