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The Purloined Painting

It just occurred to me that if I didn’t know better, I’d think “The Purloined Letter” was the title of a Sesame Street segment.

Hopefully one with Alice Cooper.

Well… there I go starting off off subject again.

The subject is supposed to be that, yesterday, I learned that two of my art works were in a DHL van that was stolen.


Well… that’s the short of it.  Let me back up…

Monday, I received an invoice from DHL for the return of my artwork from an exhibition at a respectable university regionally known among half-wit teenagers for a funny, gutter-minded slang interpretation of its name, as this shipment was billed to my account.

Thing was that these art works had never been delivered.

Tuesday, I called DHL.  And…it took literally, and not figuratively, and I really mean more than one hour for them to tell me where my shipment is! OK, de-inflame typographic style…  My artwork was at the DHL center about 5 minutes from my apartment.


I went to get it.  Also good, sans drive.

Alas, however, they only had one of two items.  Bad.

Woman at DHL counter had no knowledge of the second box.  After I explained that it was about 2×3 ft., she searched for it in a letter bin.  Repeatedly.

Only the giant tube (large, unframed works on paper) was listed under my one and only tracking number.  Bad.

I went home with my tube and called DHL again…

Mind you now, I’m unemployed.  I had all day.

I provided the nice lady on the phone with my account number, much as I had provided it two the first two nice ladies I had spoken with earlier, and inquired whether or not a second box had been shipped and billed to my account along with the first.  Then, and only then, this third DHL phone lady, the fourth DHL lady of the day, informed me that the box containing my art works was in a DHL van when that van was stolen.


On the bright side, I the package was insured.

So, assuming that the claim submission process goes smoothly − ha ha, I assume it won’t − then, I will receive a check for the total retail value of two (2) of my art works.

For a washed-up out of work Assistant Professor, that’s a lot like selling my work, isn’t it?

I mean, actually, it’s better.  Because in this case I don’t have to give the gallery a cut (or a lion’s share, as it were).  Although, let’s just stay on earth here, my art is cheap and the real estate where I live is not.  So, the check I’ll get will be just a little more than a month’s rent.

And, honestly, one of those paintings has been shown in Chicago, Toledo, New York, and Kentucky.  If it hasn’t sold yet, uh, it wasn’t going to.  It was, on the other hand, a nice one; named after a Deerhoof song.

Many friends have offered much consolation and support.  It’s certainly true that a string things have gone not so right for me lately.  I guess this should bum me out.

But, well, every time I think about it I can’t help but chuckle at the thought of a bunch of car thieves trying to sell my art. I’ve been trying to do it for years…  Ha ha, I guess  crime really doesn’t pay…

It must have been so disappointing when they opened the box and discovered it wasn’t a DVD player.  Not a Red Rider BB gun or nuthin…

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