nervousmotion artworks blog


This piece should be on its way to the mother of a longtime internet friend of mine. She purchased it even before my show officially opened this past month at AS220.  It’s a good thing that she did, it was a big hit at the show, the favorite piece of many of the people who were there. Had she not bought it, someone else undoubtedly would have.

This piece was in such high demand, that someone actually went to the lengths of stealing it off the gallery’s walls. Its rightful owner is getting her money refunded and I, as the artist, am having a small ulcer. I never imagined that someone would go so far as to just steal my work. I didn’t insure my work before the show because theft was the last of my worries. I have learned my lesson and will be purchasing insurance before putting up my next show, which will only be my third. Am I hot shit or what?

What sickens me more than the actual theft is the unknown motivations behind it. Does the thief simply want to display this piece in their home? Do they want to destroy it? Worst, do they intend to pass it off as their own? If they do display the piece, what will they say when people ask about it? Who will they say made it?

What meaning do I as the artist have when my work is stolen? On the one hand, it’s the ultimate fuck you – just taking something that I made without paying me for it, saying that it’s worth having but not worth paying for. On the other hand, as it was a piece that had already been sold, it’s sort of a bizarre form of flattery that someone would want it so badly that they would just take it.

Theft is a bizarre thing to me, an upstanding citizen who hasn’t ever stolen so much as a pack of gum.


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