web site hit counter Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art

Availability: Ready to download

Hot Art traces Knelman's five-year immersion in the shadowy world of art theft, where he uncovers a devious game that takes him from Egypt to Los Angeles, New York to London, and back again, through a web of deceit, violence, and corruption. With a cool, knowing eye, Knelman delves into the lives of professionals such as Paul, a brilliant working-class kid who charmed his Hot Art traces Knelman's five-year immersion in the shadowy world of art theft, where he uncovers a devious game that takes him from Egypt to Los Angeles, New York to London, and back again, through a web of deceit, violence, and corruption. With a cool, knowing eye, Knelman delves into the lives of professionals such as Paul, a brilliant working-class kid who charmed his way into a thriving career organizing art thefts and running loot across the United Kingdom and beyond, and LAPD detective Donald Hrycyk, one of the few special investigators worldwide who struggle to keep pace with the evolving industry of stolen art. As he becomes more and more immersed in the world, Knelman learns that art theft is no fringe activity--it has evolved into one of the largest black markets in the world, which even Interpol and the FBI cannot contain. Sweeping and fast-paced, Hot Art is a major work of investigative journalism and a thrilling joyride into a mysterious criminal world.


Compare

Hot Art traces Knelman's five-year immersion in the shadowy world of art theft, where he uncovers a devious game that takes him from Egypt to Los Angeles, New York to London, and back again, through a web of deceit, violence, and corruption. With a cool, knowing eye, Knelman delves into the lives of professionals such as Paul, a brilliant working-class kid who charmed his Hot Art traces Knelman's five-year immersion in the shadowy world of art theft, where he uncovers a devious game that takes him from Egypt to Los Angeles, New York to London, and back again, through a web of deceit, violence, and corruption. With a cool, knowing eye, Knelman delves into the lives of professionals such as Paul, a brilliant working-class kid who charmed his way into a thriving career organizing art thefts and running loot across the United Kingdom and beyond, and LAPD detective Donald Hrycyk, one of the few special investigators worldwide who struggle to keep pace with the evolving industry of stolen art. As he becomes more and more immersed in the world, Knelman learns that art theft is no fringe activity--it has evolved into one of the largest black markets in the world, which even Interpol and the FBI cannot contain. Sweeping and fast-paced, Hot Art is a major work of investigative journalism and a thrilling joyride into a mysterious criminal world.

30 review for Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lance Charnes

    One of the main problems with nonfiction is that it can read like…well, like nonfiction. Given that the real world is stranger and more random than anything we can think up in a novel, there’s no good reason for this. Hot Art doesn’t have this problem. The opening chapter – with the author riding along with LAPD detectives en route to an antique-store burglary in West Hollywood – reads like the start of a detective novel, and I fully expected Harry Bosch or Elvis Cole to be waiting at the scene. One of the main problems with nonfiction is that it can read like…well, like nonfiction. Given that the real world is stranger and more random than anything we can think up in a novel, there’s no good reason for this. Hot Art doesn’t have this problem. The opening chapter – with the author riding along with LAPD detectives en route to an antique-store burglary in West Hollywood – reads like the start of a detective novel, and I fully expected Harry Bosch or Elvis Cole to be waiting at the scene. If later on the book settles into some talking-head action, the colorful characterizations of those heads keeps things from lapsing into textbookism. Canadian journalist Joshua Knelman spent several years putting this book together, traveling as far afield as Los Angeles and Cairo to see the various gears of the art-crime machine grind away. While he stops in some of the expected places – both Dick Ellis and Robert Wittman make appearances – Knelman does something not very many other art-crime writers do: he also talks to the thieves themselves. Some of the liveliest chapters are those we spend in the company of Paul, a one-time Brighton “knocker” (door-to-door recon for art thieves) who became a central figure in the British art black market before retiring to more genteel pastimes, such as benefits fraud. Another refreshing change is that Knelman doesn’t spend a lot of time on the marquee art thefts, the ones that get big headlines worldwide. His interviewees emphasize that the $6 billion annual illicit art market revolves around lesser-known artworks stolen from living rooms or offices, not the multimillion-dollar masterpieces that Paul calls “headache art.” So if you’re fed up with reading about the Gardner heist or Martin Cahill, you won’t have to lose much time on them here. This is a solid 4.5 stars, but I’ve rounded down for a few minor reasons. For one, there tends to be general agreement about the outlines of the art-crime world among both the cops and the crooks Knelman interviews; this means some of the same points get repeated, over and over. Auction houses and galleries take a drubbing from most every talking head here, but there’s little time devoted to their side of the story. Knelman uses space implying there’s more information rather than just giving it to us; for instance, more than once I wished he’d just give Paul the mike and let the man talk, or at least share more of the info from those interviews. Also, while he emphasizes the role played by growing Internet-accessible stolen-art databases, he doesn’t close the loop by demonstrating that all that data-gathering is actually helping recovery or closure rates. Finally, Knelman falls into the common trap of constantly name-checking The Thomas Crown Affair, which has become the standard whipping boy among art-crime specialists for what art crime isn’t. Point taken, but does nearly every interview need to say this? Despite these petty cavils, Hot Art is a good way to catch up with current doings in the art-crime arena, particularly if you’re not a specialist. Knelman’s prose goes down easy, and his characters are vivid and make good company. Like Chasing Aphrodite, it takes a large and complicated subject and makes it sound like pulp fiction. If you’d like to know more about art theft than just Rene Russo’s transparent dress, check this out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    This is an interesting topic that made me want to know more about world of art theft. The book is long on interviews and short on the individual theft information. The subject is worth reading but I didn't enjoy this author's writing. Pictures of the art mentioned would have been nice. We read this for book club and had a good discussion. There was lots of google searches; Paul still has his blog and Detective Lazarus is worth searching. This is an interesting topic that made me want to know more about world of art theft. The book is long on interviews and short on the individual theft information. The subject is worth reading but I didn't enjoy this author's writing. Pictures of the art mentioned would have been nice. We read this for book club and had a good discussion. There was lots of google searches; Paul still has his blog and Detective Lazarus is worth searching.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    As the value of art continues to rise, so, too, does the theft of art. Stealing art is made all the more appealing to the criminal element when one realizes how easy it is, and just how unregulated the art trade is. And when that information is combined with the knowledge of how few specialists are actually tasked with investigating these cases, the reader begins to get a glimpse into the overwhelming challenge facing cultural preservation advocates and law enforcement agencies around the world. As the value of art continues to rise, so, too, does the theft of art. Stealing art is made all the more appealing to the criminal element when one realizes how easy it is, and just how unregulated the art trade is. And when that information is combined with the knowledge of how few specialists are actually tasked with investigating these cases, the reader begins to get a glimpse into the overwhelming challenge facing cultural preservation advocates and law enforcement agencies around the world. This is an informative and thought-provoking look at the disparity in the world of stolen art and antiquities. The author patiently researched this book over several years, traveling the globe in the process, in order to interview experts in the field—both criminals and law enforcement personnel alike. I was troubled to learn just how unfettered the art market is, and further surprised to learn there are merely a handful of art recovery specialists that exist worldwide. Not surprising, though, this lack of oversight has made the industry all the more enticing, not only to small-time criminals, but to drug cartels and organized crime syndicates, who see this as an opportunity for them to easily launder money with very little risk of ever being caught—and even if they are, the penalties are negligible. Each chapter highlights a particular anecdote and/or an individual that the author interviewed, with a faint thread linking the overall narrative together. Some chapters are certainly more interesting than others, with a few simply showing the development of the relationship between the interviewee and the author, while others suggest a history for stealing art from residences (as opposed to institutions). Overall, this is a decent examination of those involved in art theft—on both sides of the law—although I would have liked to see a few chapters devoted to interviews with reputable art dealers and auction house representatives. And while the interviewees often say the same thing regarding the black market, which can get a bit tiresome at times, the repetition also served to reinforce the enormity of the problem, and the lack of awareness and resources needed to truly make an impact, and this is what I found to be the most compelling takeaway. 3.5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I really enjoyed this more or less straight ahead journalism of the world of art theft. It's a story well-told, and Knelman talks to some pretty interesting people, thieves (or at least one thief) as well as police, and it's a fascinating story. I don't think it's incredibly mind-blowing or anything-- it's no Orchid Thief, let alone a book by D'Agata, but that's not what I wanted. I was mostly curious about what thieves do with art once they've got it, and how they are caught, and this book answ I really enjoyed this more or less straight ahead journalism of the world of art theft. It's a story well-told, and Knelman talks to some pretty interesting people, thieves (or at least one thief) as well as police, and it's a fascinating story. I don't think it's incredibly mind-blowing or anything-- it's no Orchid Thief, let alone a book by D'Agata, but that's not what I wanted. I was mostly curious about what thieves do with art once they've got it, and how they are caught, and this book answered those questions well, with some style and panache. A good, well-researched and interesting book, even if its one without a strong sense of argument (for all its repeated claims about the corruption of the art world, for example, that felt like a throwaway notion instead of a significant one to the story. Likewise, I found it kind of disappointing when art became just a chit in the underworld, a downpayment for a drug debt, for example. Maybe this status, where the art itself is worth less than what it stands for, troubled Knelman, too, but he doesn't quite go there). Still, a rich and detailed work of literary journalism. It makes me think I should have been reading The Walrus these last years.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steven Buechler

    A well-researched and fascinating read. Page 14: It was just after midnight when the phone rang. A stranger's voice said, "It's -, You've been looking for me." The name he'd given me clicked. Yes. I'd been looking for him. "I thought you were in jail," I said. "I was," he replied. "Now I'm out." Then the art thief lised off a few details about my education and professional life. He told me he knew where I lived, and proved it by reciting my address. "I've done my research," he said. He agreed to a meeti A well-researched and fascinating read. Page 14: It was just after midnight when the phone rang. A stranger's voice said, "It's -, You've been looking for me." The name he'd given me clicked. Yes. I'd been looking for him. "I thought you were in jail," I said. "I was," he replied. "Now I'm out." Then the art thief lised off a few details about my education and professional life. He told me he knew where I lived, and proved it by reciting my address. "I've done my research," he said. He agreed to a meeting. I was twenty-six in 2003 and working as a researcher for The Walrus, a Canadian magazine, earning enough to save some money while living with my parents. I was comfortable doing research, not being researched. I was also working on an article about a burglary at a small art gallery. It was supposed to be fun. Now the story was taking a turn I hadn't expected. After the conversation I was apprehensive, but I still wanted to meet the midnight caller.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anca

    I just never trusted antique stores because there was no history for those art objects. Many artists get no credit for antique art objects as it's easy for names to be forgotten in the midst of history so I'll buy art from the artist directly and I prefer digital art because I'm a minimalist when it comes to dwelling. I started reading this book as research for a mystery series set in the art world and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My intuition was right: art objects are the firs I just never trusted antique stores because there was no history for those art objects. Many artists get no credit for antique art objects as it's easy for names to be forgotten in the midst of history so I'll buy art from the artist directly and I prefer digital art because I'm a minimalist when it comes to dwelling. I started reading this book as research for a mystery series set in the art world and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My intuition was right: art objects are the first to be looted in times of war and antique stores will buy them without any provenance paperwork. I was so clueless about the whole art and antique stores being used to launder money and how limited police departments are to tackle this global black market. The book was very well written. I read it in two nights.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    During the first 50 or so pages, I had high hopes for this book. It was a fascinating insight into the underground world of stolen art. However, the rest of the book was incredibly repetitive. None of the people he interviewed for the remainder of the book brought any new information to the table, leaving me bored. I couldn't even finish this one, despite my best attempts, and that's saying something for me. During the first 50 or so pages, I had high hopes for this book. It was a fascinating insight into the underground world of stolen art. However, the rest of the book was incredibly repetitive. None of the people he interviewed for the remainder of the book brought any new information to the table, leaving me bored. I couldn't even finish this one, despite my best attempts, and that's saying something for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    This was really interesting, but also really... repetitive. The author did a good job of walking through the problem of art theft and had some really cool stories, but, I felt like we kept getting hit over the head with the same walkthrough of the problems over and over (the legitimate art market is involved, we get it!). I also felt like it would take a left turn really quickly. Still, it's interesting and the author obviously did his research. This was really interesting, but also really... repetitive. The author did a good job of walking through the problem of art theft and had some really cool stories, but, I felt like we kept getting hit over the head with the same walkthrough of the problems over and over (the legitimate art market is involved, we get it!). I also felt like it would take a left turn really quickly. Still, it's interesting and the author obviously did his research.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Geri Hoekzema

    I always suspected that you have to be really smart to be an effective art thief, but I never knew just how smart until I read this book. The stories of how some of the less smart crooks have been caught are funny.

  10. 5 out of 5

    John McDonald

    The writer must have refused to listen to his editor, or he had an editor who wouldn't stand up to his client, or simply was not up to the task of editing. The book is a fine example of the writer and editor not collaborating effectively on organizing matters and defining precise thoughts the author wants to communicate. Early in my career as a lawyer, I conducted investigations for a regulatory agency that licensed broadcast stations in the U.S. and enforced laws and regulations designed to enha The writer must have refused to listen to his editor, or he had an editor who wouldn't stand up to his client, or simply was not up to the task of editing. The book is a fine example of the writer and editor not collaborating effectively on organizing matters and defining precise thoughts the author wants to communicate. Early in my career as a lawyer, I conducted investigations for a regulatory agency that licensed broadcast stations in the U.S. and enforced laws and regulations designed to enhance "the public interest, convenience, and necessity. I became so enamored of investigations and what made for a successful one that I considered, at one time, forming a company that conducted internal corporate investigations emphasizing corporate financial matters. That company was never formed, but my interest in how successful investigations are conducted and the competencies required to complete them never wavered. Some years after leaving my employment as an investigator with the government, I became interested in art history and, particularly, art fraud--forgeries, thefts, sharp dealing and practices. I don't think I ever passed up reading a book or article on that subject, and that is the reason I read "Hot Art", a way to improve my knowledge and, partly, to confirm what I already knew. My favorite library for this was Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon close to my home where many Sunday mornings found me exploring art and the forgeries of art. The book does contain some important and interesting information, but it happened to be the second book in succession I've read that lacked careful and intense editing. Like the book I had read just before it, the author had conducted interviews with a half dozen or more individuals involved in the private or public detection of art theft and art fraud. Half or more of the book simply was repeating those interviews, with a side of narrative, explanation, or unnecessary comment. Every minute detail of meeting or having tea with an interviewee found its way into this book. Consider this passage near the end of the book: "Ellis was his usual self: quiet, observant, level headed. He greeted me warmly and asked me who else I was interviewing while in London. I mentioned Julian Radcliff and Paul [the art thief]. "You're seeing Paul. . . . So, he's out of prison, is he? "Ellis mulled it over. 'I didn't realize that. . . Please tell Paul hello for me. Tell him let bygones be bygones." On that same page, "Midway through our conversation we left the Wallace and walked a few blocks to a small pub, where Ellis bought me a pint of Tribute, a beer made by a brewery his family started almost two hundred years ago." Who cares, really, that you had a pint? Who cares even less what the name of the beer was? Does it matter to your story that the old Bill says to say hello to a thief he helped send down. Besides leaving out commas where they belong (see, above) can you imagine working your way through 342 pages of this? If their editors won't do it, then writers must learn to be ruthless with their words and sparing in their use. I kept reading because there were some things I wanted to learn, and there were a few items hidden in the morass of unneeded prose. His brief review of "market overt", a 13th century English principle of the common law, was enlightening and I almost felt badly that the House of Lords had repealed it. It happens to be a more important concept than the treatment given it--it allowed the market place in stolen goods to thrive because sales taking place at specified markets in London "between sunrise and sunset" (Bermondsey being one) were protected from prosecution, but also permitted legal title to ownership to pass. More of this, and less about the beer he drank would have made for a better book as would better sense of organizing material identify what it was he really wanted to the readers. Reading a book not well edited is tedious, and any messages there can easily be lost.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Currie

    I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanx! This book starts out introducing us to a few keys players in the art theft world, on both sides of the law. It does an excellent job of taking us into the world of the thief and the detective s well as buyers and sellers. It paints a very good picture of exactly what is stolen, why, and what happens to it. But... after about 100 pages or so, we have the idea. There aren't that many ways to steal and get rid of stolen art. They are covered very well in th I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanx! This book starts out introducing us to a few keys players in the art theft world, on both sides of the law. It does an excellent job of taking us into the world of the thief and the detective s well as buyers and sellers. It paints a very good picture of exactly what is stolen, why, and what happens to it. But... after about 100 pages or so, we have the idea. There aren't that many ways to steal and get rid of stolen art. They are covered very well in that part of the book and it becomes pretty repetitive after that. The author even acknowledges the pattern later in the book. So interesting, but once you got it, you got it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I really enjoyed Knelman's sweeping look at the shockingly dirty world of art and antiquities dealing. His research spanned several continents and years, calling upon the expertise of law enforcement agents, thieves, and collectors alike. As one of his more colorful sources says, "Once you start thinking about this subject, you will never be able to stop thinking about this subject." Knelman proves that to be true in under 350 pages. I really enjoyed Knelman's sweeping look at the shockingly dirty world of art and antiquities dealing. His research spanned several continents and years, calling upon the expertise of law enforcement agents, thieves, and collectors alike. As one of his more colorful sources says, "Once you start thinking about this subject, you will never be able to stop thinking about this subject." Knelman proves that to be true in under 350 pages.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kim Behnke

    Hot Art offers a very thorough examination of the fastinating world of stolen art and antiquities. The scope of the black market for art truly shocked me and I will now think twice when visiting galleries and art shows. The book reads like a true crime novel and many of the bizarre anecdotes Knelman shared will stay with me for a long time. If you're interest in art or in true life detective stories you will definitely enjoy this book. Hot Art offers a very thorough examination of the fastinating world of stolen art and antiquities. The scope of the black market for art truly shocked me and I will now think twice when visiting galleries and art shows. The book reads like a true crime novel and many of the bizarre anecdotes Knelman shared will stay with me for a long time. If you're interest in art or in true life detective stories you will definitely enjoy this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tylor

    Less of a review, more of a catalogue of my experience reading it. Had to return this to the library before I could finish it, but that was due to my schedule, not the quality of the book. I really enjoyed this book. I'm fascinated by all things thieving and had no idea what art theft actually entailed. I look at art, especially sought after art, in a whole different way. The author made a non-fiction work read like a story, which I really enjoyed. It didn't feel like a dry subject to me, had a Less of a review, more of a catalogue of my experience reading it. Had to return this to the library before I could finish it, but that was due to my schedule, not the quality of the book. I really enjoyed this book. I'm fascinated by all things thieving and had no idea what art theft actually entailed. I look at art, especially sought after art, in a whole different way. The author made a non-fiction work read like a story, which I really enjoyed. It didn't feel like a dry subject to me, had a few elements of action, crime, noir, and history weaving throughout. I got the book primarily as research/creativity generator and it more than did its job.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    Disjointed, rough, and a bit flat; this book reads more like a first draft than a published work. It had brief moments of interest here and there, but overall was hard to finish. Like a lot of authors who are (I suspect) trying to stretch a word count when they don’t have much to say, there’s plenty of extra descriptions and adjectives that are unnecessary. It’s an interesting subject, and a better writer would’ve made it really compelling. He interviews real characters, but instead of making th Disjointed, rough, and a bit flat; this book reads more like a first draft than a published work. It had brief moments of interest here and there, but overall was hard to finish. Like a lot of authors who are (I suspect) trying to stretch a word count when they don’t have much to say, there’s plenty of extra descriptions and adjectives that are unnecessary. It’s an interesting subject, and a better writer would’ve made it really compelling. He interviews real characters, but instead of making them fascinating he makes them annoying. And maybe they really are annoying, but at least they could be made compelling? If there isn’t a better book on the subject, someone should write one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    sac

    I found this book interesting, but ultimately not very engaging. There was something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. It might be that there wasn't really an overarching narrative and the result felt disjointed. I found this book interesting, but ultimately not very engaging. There was something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. It might be that there wasn't really an overarching narrative and the result felt disjointed.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Both a fantastic story and insightful piece on the art world. Warning: any and all naivity you may have about the art world, artists, galleries, etc is about to go down the toilet once you've read Knelman's incredible piece of investigative journalism. Both a fantastic story and insightful piece on the art world. Warning: any and all naivity you may have about the art world, artists, galleries, etc is about to go down the toilet once you've read Knelman's incredible piece of investigative journalism.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    Great read on art theft, from the perspective of law enforcement across varying countries and jurisdictions. But fairly depressing at the limited amount of resources and coordination that is the norm for this specialty area.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Another book to add to your collection if you own 'The Museum of the Missing'. An examination of the thieves, the dealers of stolen goods, and the men and women who try to find stolen art. Sad and good at the same time. All to say if you find it for sale on line and it's by a somebody, chances are good it came off of an unsuspecting somebody else's wall... and it's being sold for cheap because that's still more than the original stolen piece is to a thief. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Another book to add to your collection if you own 'The Museum of the Missing'. An examination of the thieves, the dealers of stolen goods, and the men and women who try to find stolen art. Sad and good at the same time. All to say if you find it for sale on line and it's by a somebody, chances are good it came off of an unsuspecting somebody else's wall... and it's being sold for cheap because that's still more than the original stolen piece is to a thief.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Edmund

    Hot Art started with the promised heat of the title. Everyone likes non-fiction that challenges common misconceptions about a subject and art theft is no different. Knelman dances between cops and robbers in his personal interviews and stories about the global blackish market for art. The first problems began when information started repeating itself - OK typically it was from different sources, but it didn't make the book an enthralling read. If you pick up this book these are a few things you'l Hot Art started with the promised heat of the title. Everyone likes non-fiction that challenges common misconceptions about a subject and art theft is no different. Knelman dances between cops and robbers in his personal interviews and stories about the global blackish market for art. The first problems began when information started repeating itself - OK typically it was from different sources, but it didn't make the book an enthralling read. If you pick up this book these are a few things you'll be hearing about: - Art theft isn't like product theft - no serial numbers - Auction houses and art dealers are either as criminal or at least enablers of art theft - There isn't much money or interest in funding crime fighting units for art theft, although this is changing. The most interesting parts of the book involve a gentleman named Paul turbo-charged ______ a bit of spider in the underworld who can't seem to stay out of trouble. Overall however this book was too long and too conclusionless to really enjoy. I respected the amount of research and hard work behind the piece, but ultimately the final product was a let-down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    C

    Excellent content and an extremely interesting look into the work of art and art theft. Art is being treated as a commodity and people are stealing it to pay for drugs or other debts, while organized crime is using it to launder (EXTREMELY successfully) drug money/illicit funds. Knelman delves into the world of art theft and speaks with people on both sides of the law and around the world. They are all saying the same thing: art theft is on the rise, values are increasing, but the amount of time/ Excellent content and an extremely interesting look into the work of art and art theft. Art is being treated as a commodity and people are stealing it to pay for drugs or other debts, while organized crime is using it to launder (EXTREMELY successfully) drug money/illicit funds. Knelman delves into the world of art theft and speaks with people on both sides of the law and around the world. They are all saying the same thing: art theft is on the rise, values are increasing, but the amount of time/resources put into investigating these crimes is extremely minimal. Content was certainly an eye-opener and Knelman makes a good case for investing in art. At least you'd get to enjoy looking at it while it appreciates instead of watching your mutual funds and GICs constantly go down in value.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Panphila

    Art crime reality in one lengthy, but interesting read. Although Joshua Knelman can get a bit repetitive in his writing, I am aware it is to drive his point home. In a culture consumed by glamourized media and fancy Hollywood portrayals, the real world of art crime becomes buried under the romanticized fluff that we all have become accustomed to. It is no wonder that he wants to get the message clear- reality is far from The Thomas Crowne Affair yet none of us are aware. The art crime scene is m Art crime reality in one lengthy, but interesting read. Although Joshua Knelman can get a bit repetitive in his writing, I am aware it is to drive his point home. In a culture consumed by glamourized media and fancy Hollywood portrayals, the real world of art crime becomes buried under the romanticized fluff that we all have become accustomed to. It is no wonder that he wants to get the message clear- reality is far from The Thomas Crowne Affair yet none of us are aware. The art crime scene is much more low key, secretive, and even gritty. It feeds off the lack of awareness and information. This is definitely a fascinating read, and very informational to the average consumer. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about art but does not know where to start!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Writerlibrarian

    A good investigating piece of journalism on the very grey and mucky waters of the Art World. Knelman went on the hunt and interviewed most of the important players in the cat and mouse chase between the law and the criminals. The art world is one of the last area where a hand shake and cash are the normal currency. The games played between the thieves, the art dealers, the auction houses and the clients are grey at best. This is an informative and well written book, easy to access for the neophy A good investigating piece of journalism on the very grey and mucky waters of the Art World. Knelman went on the hunt and interviewed most of the important players in the cat and mouse chase between the law and the criminals. The art world is one of the last area where a hand shake and cash are the normal currency. The games played between the thieves, the art dealers, the auction houses and the clients are grey at best. This is an informative and well written book, easy to access for the neophyte of the subject and it goes into the details enough to keep the attention of the more knowing readers

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I love reading about art crimes. I find them fascinating, but I'm not sure why. I think this quote from the book says it perfectly: "Once you start thinking about this subject, you will never be able to stop thinking about it. Every time a painting is stolen somewhere in the world and you read about it in the news, you will feel compelled to think about it, and to know where that painting went. It grabs you and never lets you go." - p. 321 Overall, a very enjoyable and informative read about the a I love reading about art crimes. I find them fascinating, but I'm not sure why. I think this quote from the book says it perfectly: "Once you start thinking about this subject, you will never be able to stop thinking about it. Every time a painting is stolen somewhere in the world and you read about it in the news, you will feel compelled to think about it, and to know where that painting went. It grabs you and never lets you go." - p. 321 Overall, a very enjoyable and informative read about the art world, why thieves steal art, and what the detectives are trying to do to recover those stolen artifacts of great historical and cultural value. I would totally be an art cop.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Very interesting stuff, and part of the reason I never wanted to show art in a gallery (assuming they would even want my things ha!). The whole system of art as a business is so flawed as to be disgusting, but, imperfect people will never create a perfect world. Knelman does a great job of taking a step back and letting the stories tell themselves, almost as if the book had written itself. Obviously that is not true, credit is due to him for making sense of the chaos and threads of each crime's Very interesting stuff, and part of the reason I never wanted to show art in a gallery (assuming they would even want my things ha!). The whole system of art as a business is so flawed as to be disgusting, but, imperfect people will never create a perfect world. Knelman does a great job of taking a step back and letting the stories tell themselves, almost as if the book had written itself. Obviously that is not true, credit is due to him for making sense of the chaos and threads of each crime's story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jen Fumarolo

    This was an interesting look at the world of stolen and smuggled art and antiques. The author really loved to mention The Thomas Crowne Affair at least once per chapter, mostly to stress how the reality of this underworld is nothing like the fantasy of that film. That being said, I liked the bizarre characters that he encountered and the information he uncovers. It does amaze me that there are so few members of law enforcement that actually police this kind of crime around the world. I suppose y This was an interesting look at the world of stolen and smuggled art and antiques. The author really loved to mention The Thomas Crowne Affair at least once per chapter, mostly to stress how the reality of this underworld is nothing like the fantasy of that film. That being said, I liked the bizarre characters that he encountered and the information he uncovers. It does amaze me that there are so few members of law enforcement that actually police this kind of crime around the world. I suppose you can see why art theft is so enticing to these criminals.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Scott Harris

    This is a really fascinating and surprising read, documenting the rather recently flourishing international stolen art network and the rather small clutch of criminal investigators specialized at routing it out. Knelman's somewhat cynical yet open approach to those he interviews provides a sense of legitimacy to the stories he's told, even noting the fact that every one of the people he interviews seems to planning a book of their own. Easy to see why he took home an Arthur Ellis for this piece This is a really fascinating and surprising read, documenting the rather recently flourishing international stolen art network and the rather small clutch of criminal investigators specialized at routing it out. Knelman's somewhat cynical yet open approach to those he interviews provides a sense of legitimacy to the stories he's told, even noting the fact that every one of the people he interviews seems to planning a book of their own. Easy to see why he took home an Arthur Ellis for this piece of work.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary Rose

    A really excellent book. Knelman takes you from the FBI to the house of a notorious art thief, following how stolen art enters the market and where it goes next. He doesn't focus much on anything earlier than the 1960's, which is fine by me, and he's much more current than other books I've read on the topic. He's plenty critical of the unregulated art market, so don't expect an entirely fair treatment or much testimony from the dealers, curators, and auction houses that end up buying the stolen A really excellent book. Knelman takes you from the FBI to the house of a notorious art thief, following how stolen art enters the market and where it goes next. He doesn't focus much on anything earlier than the 1960's, which is fine by me, and he's much more current than other books I've read on the topic. He's plenty critical of the unregulated art market, so don't expect an entirely fair treatment or much testimony from the dealers, curators, and auction houses that end up buying the stolen art, but if you want to know about the underbelly of the art trade this is a great place to look.

  29. 4 out of 5

    pianogal

    This one was a pretty good. It got a little repetitious towards the end and what's up with the twist with Detective Lazarus? Was she convicted of murder? I know it wasn't central to the story, but you can't throw that in right at the end and then not at least give some resolution. It is amazing how easy it is to steal art. Ironically, it is usually more difficult to resell the art. I guess it serves the bad guys right. This one was a pretty good. It got a little repetitious towards the end and what's up with the twist with Detective Lazarus? Was she convicted of murder? I know it wasn't central to the story, but you can't throw that in right at the end and then not at least give some resolution. It is amazing how easy it is to steal art. Ironically, it is usually more difficult to resell the art. I guess it serves the bad guys right.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

    Missing from several of the art heist books on the book shelves is the sense of community and connections in the world of stolen art. usually the stories are about one case (Isabella Stewart Gradner, for example) or one group (The Italian police trying to stop grave robbers), but Hot Art connects the dots and shows how illegal/ stolen art makes the rounds. An interesting read for anyone interested in the art world.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.