Lower East Side Gallery Owner Chases Thief, Recovers Paintings

Kristen Dodge.

Kristen Dodge is a Lower East Side gallery owner and now she’s also a crime fighter!  Art in America Magazine is telling the story of her ordeal this past weekend, after four paintings were lifted from the gallery, at 15 Rivington Street.

On Saturday afternoon, she was in an office on the lower level, talking with artist Ellen Harvey, whose exhibition, “The Nudist Museum Gift Shop,” had opened two days earlier.  Dodge went upstairs and discovered that a series of knife paintings, worth $21,000,  were missing. She went outside and began running down Rivington towards Chrystie in pursuit of the thief. 

Here’s the rest of Dodge’s account from Art in America’s web site:

At the intersection of Rivington and Chrystie, Dodge, stumbling in her heels, saw a tall man in camo pants and a ski hat with four paintings tucked under his arm. By the time she kicked off her shoes, he had disappeared. Dodge guessed that the suspect may have gone into the lumber yard across the street, and sure enough, he was at the check-out counter pretending to place an order. “I started yelling and cursing. I was really dressed up that day, but barefoot. The guys in there thought I was crazy. But I explained what was going on, that the guy was a thief, and told them to call the police.” At this point, one of the employees saw the paintings stashed behind a stack of wood inside the shop. Dodge grabbed them and ran back to the gallery. “It was one of the most satisfying moments of my life,” Dodge said of returning the artwork unscathed to Harvey.

Police arrived and helped search for the suspect but so far they have had no luck tracking him down.