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DUMBO art attack

The Brooklyn Paper
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A thief with a taste for fine art walked into a DUMBO gallery and stole a painting on sale for $2,000 on July 10.

The two-by-three-inch painting, an untitled Christian Fagerlund oil (right), was swiped after the thief entered through the gallery’s unlocked front door shortly after 6 pm.

“I leave the door open because I trust people,” said the Raphael Fodde, owner of 5+5 Gallery at 111 Front St.

“I heard him come in, but I was on the phone. Before I could get out to see what he wanted, he had stolen the picture.”

Fodde said the thief “must know something about art” because Fagerlund’s painting “is a very attractive work.”

“I had two people interested in buying it, but, of course, now I can’t sell it,” said Fodde, who has put up a $500 reward for information leading to the recovery of the work.

Fodde also said the thief was “an idiot,” because the very painting he stole was the one that Fodde had posted on his Web site and emblazoned on postcards that he sent to more than 1,500 customers nationwide.

“Anyone he tries to sell this painting to will know it’s stolen,” Fodde said.

5+5 Gallery’s show of other Fagerlund works was going along swimmingly when the theft occurred. Four of 13 paintings had already been sold, Fodde said.

“He is a great artist, otherwise he would not be showing in my gallery,” Fodde said.

Fagerlund told The Brooklyn Papers that he’s “gotten over” his anger about the theft of the painting, which he made earlier this year in his Clinton Hill apartment.

But the 33-year-old artist is still sad.

“Even before this happened, I felt it was pretty much the best painting I’d ever done,” he said. “Losing the money isn’t a big deal because there’s insurance, but I’m upset that a painting I put so much into won’t go to someone deserving of it.”

Fagerlund is returning to his native Santa Barbara this week after a stint in graduate school in New York.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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