Sun, 18 June 2006
This story is so damn weird I don't know what to think...why do this...what would you do with them....people actually paid money to see that movie....what next?!?!
From the Chicago Tribune
Employee charged in theft at gallery
Artist, suspect know vastly different fame
By Charles Sheehan
Tribune staff reporter
Published June 18, 2006
An artist whose work has become a hot commodity after it was featured prominently in the movie "The Break-Up" was the victim of a break-in at her Chicago gallery.
Investigators now say it was an inside job. On Saturday a Cook County Criminal Court judge ordered an intern from Francine Turk Gallerie held on $50,000 bail.
Michael Gutweiler, 23, a graphic arts student at Columbia College, said nothing during his hearing before Judge Thomas Hennelly. Gutweiler has been charged with felony burglary.
Turk said that since her work appeared in the condominium at the heart of the Chicago-based film starring Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn, collectors have been snapping up everything she creates.
"It's just been such a frenzy with people grabbing my work left and right that I can't make it fast enough," she said. "I think he saw the frenzy, and one thing led to another."
Witnesses said two men in black ski masks smashed through a glass front door at 7 a.m. Tuesday in the South Loop gallery, grabbed 10 paintings and sped off in a maroon van, Officer Kristina Schuler said.
The paintings have not been found, and nobody else has been charged, police said.
Gutweiler, who grew up in St. Louis, was the subject of a 2004 profile in the Tribune.
On Oct. 19, 1998, St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little ran a stoplight in a sport-utility vehicle and smashed into the car driven by Susan Gutweiler, Michael Gutweiler's mother.
She died 12 hours later. Michael Gutweiler was 15 at the time.
Little pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 4 years' probation and 1,000 hours' community service.
In an interview with Tribune sports columnist Rick Morrissey, Gutweiler said that his mother's death had ruined his life.
He told Morrissey that after the accident, he quit playing ice hockey and soccer. He withdrew from friends and stopped taking medication for Tourette's syndrome, he said.
Turk said she posted a job for a summer intern on the Columbia College Web site seeking help in the wake of her newfound fame.
Gutweiler was hired in May, she said.
Detectives told her almost immediately that the theft was an inside job and asked Turk for a list of employees.
Court documents say Gutweiler had a pellet gun tucked in his waistband. The gun may have been used to shoot out the glass front door, police said.
Gutweiler is scheduled to appear in court again June 23.
Calls to Gutweiler's father's home in St. Louis were not returned Saturday.
Category:Art Events! -- posted at: 10:48am EST