Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Asian Drug Cartels Can't Be Wrong -- STOLEN (AND RECOVERED) - Anstead Original Painting





SIZE: 36X48


An Important Piece in My Body of Work and a Turning Point in My Career

I have had a career that spans nearly 15 years selling art. My work is in public and private collections throughout the world. It has been so fortunate for me to have found the type of work that I love that could also be a way to make a living.

This is one of the
early paintings I created with the intent to sell to a broad audience.

I painted it in my first studio … a classroom in the old Harrington School in town. It was just me, all
Harrington School - AF Utah. My studio was in upper left.
alone, in a 100-year-old schoolhouse of probably 100k square feet of ghostly excellence.

I entered this painting in the AF Steel Days art competition. It won best of show.

That helped me believe I could actually paint for profit and have enjoyed painting since. (I am also now a judge in the Steel Days art competition every year.)


In 2001, I started selling art on eBay and put this piece up for sale.
It had a bidder quickly and after the auction ended, I had a sale. (For me, it was a lot of money.)
They made the purchase via credit card (before the use of PayPal for protection).
It had a buyer in Indonesia and the money was received via merchant account.

It was boxed and shipped to Jakarta.

Then the red flags of credit card fraud were flying all over the place. The money came from stolen credit cards! Oh no! The money was pulled back by the credit card company and I had already shipped the painting!

The painting had really put on the miles. Tracking data showed that it had shipped from the ports in Los Angeles and had traveled as far as Hong Kong, but had not been delivered yet to the buyer. That was good news. I made some calls and arranged to have it shipped back.

I filed a police report, too. 

The police followed the trail and informed me that this fraud behavior was certainly due to drug traffickers. They "buy" art through stolen cards and then sell them for real currency to finance their nefarious deeds.

The painting was returned in perfect shape and it hangs proudly in my home. In essence, I paid to have
my painting take a trip to the orient that I could have just taken myself if I bought a ticket! I petitioned eBay to receive their percentage of sale returned and got that money back. In hindsight, it was a backhanded compliment that my work was deemed valuable enough to use this elaborate scheme to acquire it! 

(Note: This isn't the first time a painting of mine was stolen. A painting of mine was taken from an art display in broad daylight! I was really lucky to receive the painting back two years later! Here are images from the tv news report of that theft.)

Since then, I have visited Indonesia on three occasions for two weeks at a time and feel like it is my second home. There aren't any nicer people in the whole world than in Indonesia, and I look forward to being able to visit there again soon.

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