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11 February 2011

Art as Crime

Nothing massive today in terms of painting (albeit there is one at the bottom of the post. What kind of painting blog would this be if it was devoid of painting? Oh, sorry going all existential.)

I want to address a related interest in art of mine and that is art crime. I became fascinated by these nefarious activities when I saw The Thomas Crown Affair. The remake with Pierce Brosnan not the original from the 60's with Steve McQueen. I'm not that old. I thought the movie was intriguing as a kid, upon seeing it recently, I would certainly change my mind. It has its moments but overall less impressed.

However, it planted the seed that people would steal paintings from collectors and museums alike for their own uses, beyond being in love with a painting. I could understand this as it could be a crime of passion. Now, many years after seeing the Thomas Crown Affair, I have read a number of books and seen quite a few documentaries focusing on modern and historic accounts of art crime. Although its been going on for ages perhaps the Nazis looting and caching large quantities of masterpieces during WWII brought it to a world wide audience. Art crime has gone through fluctuations of notoriety since then with The Gardner Museum heist in 1990 and Edvard Munch's The Scream stolen during the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway.

There are loads of others cases that seem to get neglected by the mainstream media for a whole host off reasons. The neglect of the media to generate mass public disapproval may play a role in why now it has become the third highest crime business in the world behind guns and drugs. Multiple billions of dollars of stolen art are often used in the business transactions of for weapons and narcotics. I'm sure many of you didn't realize that. I know! It blew my mind too. This whole semi long winded stroll down art crime lane was a preamble to me linking a few articles on this very subject. I'm posting these two as they are two I most recently bookmarked. I've deleted a number of these articles in the last year and it struck me that other artists may like to know. Or, at least get in a good short read reminding us of the invaluable nature of art, where some will do whatever they can to acquire it, by whatever means.

A Russian Masterpiece Goes Missing

What Lucien Freud thinks about his stolen portrait

I will post more links as I come across them. . .do with them what you will. Later in the month I'll put up a couple books on art crime and a few notable links.

Also outdoor still-life action. Another small painting 7"x5":

Visible History

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the light and energy in this apple remind me of what the garden of eden must have can anyone blame eve for reaching?