The San Francisco Bay Guardian has this curious story of a series of gallery thefts. As one dealer points out, none of the painters are famous enough to have a viable underground market in their work: “As an art project, you could take someone’s work and see what you can get for it on the street.” In this case, the art project was aimed at the Michael Rosenthal gallery and the artist Terry Hoff. The good news is that the paintings in this theft have been recovered:
Arriving at the site, he was surprised to discover that while a pair of computers, an expensive printer and scanner, and a bag of Nikon cameras were still there, four paintings from the current show by Hoff were amiss. “The first two cops [to arrive] were totally uninterested,” Rosenthal says, adding that when he gave the missing works an estimated value of $40,000, the answer he received was blunt: “They said, ‘Too bad — if the paintings were valued at $50,000, everyone would be here'”
The theft of the Hoff paintings marks the third time in the past six months that a street-level San Francisco gallery was the target of a robbery. On Oct. 15 last year, two paintings by the late Margaret Kilgallen were stolen from the SoMa space Gallery 16, which was putting on a 15-year retrospective. (Unlike the majority of the exhibition, neither Kilgallen piece was for sale.) Less than a month later, someone walked into the Mission District gallery Triple Base and took a painting by Jay Nelson from the wall.
Off the Wall (SF Bay Guardian)