Art thief swipes work in progress |

Art thief swipes work in progress

Aspen Times Staff Report

A painting by traveling artist Illya Kagan so impressed a thief that the work in progress was stolen Monday night from Kagan’s car, according to Aspen police.

The 3- by 4-foot oil painting of the Independence Square Hotel and surrounding buildings was about one-third complete, according to Patrol Supervisor Loren Ryerson. He said a Kagan oil painting of that size typically sells for $3,600.

Kagan, who has been seen around town with easel, palette and brush recently, capturing various cityscapes on canvas, had bedded down at the Tyrolean Lodge on Main Street Monday night, after parking his car out front.

Tuesday morning, he discovered the Independence Square Hotel piece was missing from his car, which had not been locked, Ryerson said. Nothing else was taken.

The 29-year-old artist from Nantucket, Mass., paints wherever he goes and has ongoing commitments with a number of galleries, Ryerson said.

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