This piece was stolen from my spa sometime in 2021. I never realized it was missing until one of my employees discovered it was for sail on eBay. Of course I bought it….for $150. The low price was both disappointing and a relief because I was buying back a piece I never received any compensation for.
I decided to reach out to the seller once the transaction was complete. It turns out she is a dealer of sorts and sells work that she “finds” or purchases through various sources. She bought this piece off of a site where Goodwill sells things they deem “of value” on an online auction sight. It was at a Goodwill in Portland Oregon which is about 3 hours south of where I am based in Seattle.
So, apparently someone took the painting from my spa in Seattle and traveled to Portland. And at some point must have decided they didn’t want it and donated it to Goodwill. Goodwill does not buy what they sell. They only receive donations. So, in that sense, the piece was sold at a very high percentage gain.
It is said that revenge is cold comfort. Well, this isn’t quite revenge, but whatever it is, it’s a little better than cold. I suppose it could be said that it is a relief to have it back. And that is heart warming. So, perhaps, relief is warm comfort. Aaahhhhh.
In any case, it is nice to have it back in the collection. And for the small price of $150 plus shipping.
7’ x 5’
This piece was not stolen. It was commissioned and paid for by the man in the painting. He and his partner loved the painting. Paid for it. And went on their way.
Thirty years later I got an email from him. He wanted to know if I wanted the painting back. His partner in the painting had become his wife and together they had 3 children. They are all grown up and he and his wife divorced years ago. The painting was taken off its stretcher and rolled up at that time.
Now, he has a new bride to be and she is understandably not wild about the painting. And so…he mailed it back to me.
It is slightly damaged from having been rolled up without the support of a cardboard tube. But is in remarkably good shape. And can be repaired. Apparently a child scrawled on it with a ball point pen in the lower corner but I will leave that since you can not see it unless you are very close and it adds some interesting history to the piece.
This painting was done at the peak of my realistic phase in the late 90’s and into the early 2000’s. (That kind of work is back again these last few years of 2020-2023 as I write this.). And it is a large piece. It also shows my lifelong respect for but avoidance of the more severe work of Phillip Pearlstein. I have included a small image of one of his paintings from the mid 1960’s.
Pearlstein was one of a very few people doing figurative work of any kind during the period just before I became an adult. And so, even though I hated his acerbic post modern vision of the figure, I loved that somebody was being taken seriously as a figure painter when pop and abstract expressionism where still reigning and critics were declaring painting was dead.
On a more personal note, I own a couples spa. And this piece is a sweet painting of an attractive couple. Additionally, although I am not squeamish in much of my oeuvre, this piece is discrete. And perhaps just as importantly, it doesn’t have the raw carnality of much of the nude paintings I did in the years following this piece: works that are powerful but not ideal for my spa.
So, glad to have it back in the collection. It’s a beautiful piece. It can serve an important decorative function and for anyone really interested in how my work developed over the years, it’s an important link in that story.
Thank you Brant for offering it back to me.
“Mother and Son”
48″ x 20”
24” x 24”
“Marni’s Back with Red Square”
36” x 26” Approximate
If anyone has any information about the whereabouts of this painting please let me know.
“The Devil Card” Detail
8′ x 4’
“Anna and Arnold”
Oil on panels
8’ x 4’ each