Last Friday the art collective THIS had a gallery opening during which a patron asked to use the restroom shortly before closing time. Turns out it wasn’t just to relieve themselves — the person brazenly snatched a one-of-a-kind Polaroid photograph of Dennis Hopper taken by Jason Lee off the wall and walked off with it. Now Lee is personally offering a $25,000 reward for the return of the photograph.
THIS posted a final plea on their blog yesterday asking for its safe return:
To the person who stole the image of Dennis Hopper from THIS:los angeles on Friday night,
We have a feeling you have no idea what you’ve taken.
You’ve taken the one single physical document of the photographer’s time with his subject.
This is not a print, as there is no negative. There is only this single image.
You’ve taken our trust.
You’ve taken others faith in us.
You’ve impacted the way our business, that we have worked so hard to build,
will be able to work with people we respect and love in the future.
A business we do not make a profit from.
There is no way that this Polaroid will ever have the same worth to you that it holds for Jason, everyone at THIS, and to our community in general. As long as you have it all you hold is the sadness and anger that has been created by your taking it.
We personally believe you made a very snap and not very wise decision. It happens to all of us and all we can do is try to make it right. Many of us have done this. Please make this right. We are not interested in prosecution, we are not interested in the monetary worth as ultimately in the case of this image there actually really isn’t one.
We just want it back.
The show is called These Friends. It is our hand reaching out to our community, our friends and their friends and inviting them into the space we have created and we assume you were one of those people. There is a very good chance that you are a friend of someone who is a friend of the people who were involved in this show. Please do not steal from your friends. Even if you aren’t friends with any of the people in the show or at the gallery, our door was open, no questions asked, to meet and enjoy some really amazing works of art, by some really exciting and talented artists.
THIS is open for all of us to make new friends and come together as a community. We feel like we have succeeded in that 10 fold, especially with this last show. Everyone who we talk to says about how amazing of a night it was. It’s impossible for us to remember it that way because of this theft.
We opened our doors in hopes to meet new friends and new people in a new neighborhood and we have, we’ve met so many amazing people and had so many amazing times. It might not be possible for us to continue the way we have because of this theft.
All we ask is that you please give it back. Please please return the photo.
If you have any tips that might help recover the photo, you can call THIS Los Angeles at (323) 747-5301 or e-mail them at email@example.com. Hopefully this photograph can be recovered soon.
(via Chase Jarvis)