Museum Security Network

Brooklyn Vigilantes Nab Art Thief by Taco Truck

Picasso (or T.S. Eliot, one of those guys) famously said that good artists imitate and great artists steal. Perhaps the sticky-fingered thief at the opening of “Rules of Engagement,” a group show atAllan Nederpelt Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, took that slogan to heart when he suddenly felt compelled to lift a $1,200 drawing, by Leo Koenig artist Ridley Howard — right off the wall, in front of everybody. The would-be art criminal then carried the framed piece into a car waiting on slush-covered Freeman Street, near a taco truck that was doing a brisk business during the opening.

The drawing itself — an untitled, 2009 study for a painting— was positioned on a wall quite close to the exit of the 5,000 square foot space. “It was near the end of the opening; the beer was running out,” says David Coggins, who curated the group show. “All of a sudden I hear Martin Nederpelt, who owns the building and runs the space, yell ‘Stop!’ He sprints toward the front — he can move very well for a 50-year old. All I could think was that somebody stole a work. But then I thought ‘nobody would do that.’ It’s basically the worst thing that can happen at an opening.”


Brooklyn Vigilantes Nab Art Thief by Taco Truck | In the Air: Art Auction’s Gossip Column |

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