Police return stolen painting worth $100K to Toronto artist

by AryanArtnews
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Peter Triantos is a Toronto-based abstract artist whose work has been exhibited around the world, but nevertheless I didn’t expect anyone to steal one of his paintings.

So when police called on him to let him know that he had regained one of his works, Triantos said he was shocked.

“We immediately went to the police headquarters [and I was] I’m very happy, “said Triantos. But look, the crime is not rewarded, I guess. “

It all started when someone pretending to be an art collector visited the Triantos gallery to buy one of his $ 100,000 worth of his work.

After appearing to be paying for the work in the gallery, the so-called collector met Triantos in his studio and got the painting.

However, shortly thereafter, Triantos was informed that the painting was paid for with the stolen credit card.

His insurance did not cover the loss, and he says there was no way to get the picture back.

The painting by artist Peter Triantos was inspired by an album cover designed by Jean-Michel Basquiat and was exhibited in Seoul, South Korea before it was stolen from the Toronto artist’s studio. (Paul Balkwood / CBC)

The stolen painting was one of three originals created by Triantos for a show celebrating artist Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Thompson Hotel in Toronto in April 2019.

In particular, this painting was inspired by an album cover designed by Basquiat for a friend’s punk band and was exhibited in Seoul, South Korea before returning to the Triantos studio in Toronto, which was scheduled to be purchased in July 2021. ..

The artist had a “strange little sensation”

According to Triantos, the deal initially seemed relatively standard.

“He did his work,” Triantos said of the supposed art collector. “He knew the painting was in South Korea. He knew the work, so I was happy when I first met him.”

But Triantos said he had a “strange little feeling” after one of his employees took his video signing a picture for a buyer. In a video shared with CBC News, you can see a man looking away from the camera.

Triantos said it was strange because clients usually enjoy celebrating their purchases.

Sure enough, he was informed about a bad deal a few days later.

Toronto police said in an email statement to CBC News that the painting was recovered on December 7 during an investigation warrant as part of an ongoing fraud investigation.

Police said the painting was returned to the owner, but no further details could be confirmed while the investigation was underway.

Triantos believes that this painting may now be more valuable than it was before it was stolen. He said many clients have been interested in this painting since returning home.

For now, police have demanded that Triantos keep the work for storage until their investigation is complete.

Eventually, he says he may donate it to a charity.

“It’s gone, so I think we’re trying to use it.”

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