Watch: Los Angeles’ Giant Robot Store falls victim to art theft

Watch: Los Angeles’ Giant Robot Store falls victim to art theftWatch: Los Angeles’ Giant Robot Store falls victim to art theft
via @giantrobotstore
Carl Samson
April 16, 2024
A Los Angeles retail store dedicated to Asian pop culture products has exposed three individuals who allegedly stole an art piece from its gallery over the weekend.
Key points:
  • Giant Robot Store, located at 2015 Sawtelle Blvd., posted a surveillance video on Instagram showing the “thieving trio” in action.
  • The incident has sparked outrage among fans of the store and gallery, which are known for helping AAPI artists launch their careers.
  • The store said it reported the incident to police.
The details:
  • The incident occurred at the GR2 Gallery, the store’s neighboring art gallery at 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., at around 3:45 p.m. on Friday, April 12.
  • According to the store, the trio — a woman and two men — entered the gallery, looked around and took a selfie “to play off the huddle” before stealing an art piece by wooden figure-maker Knocks on Wood.
  • In the video, the woman can be seen picking up something from the display and placing it in her bag. She and her alleged accomplices then walk away in the same direction, presumably to exit.
  • In its Instagram post, Giant Robot Store stressed that running a small business is “more difficult than ever…and although we adjust as much as we can, we don’t plan for art theft.” The store said it filed a police report.
  • Giant Robot, which began as a zine in 1994, is founded by Eric Nakamura. Its recurring exhibit “Giant Robot Biennale” is currently on display at the Japanese American National Museum until Sept. 1.
  • The incident has infuriated fans, who have been sharing the news to help raise awareness.
  • “I have empathy for people who steal things like food or tampons, but ART?!?! So crass and uncool,” one commenter wrote. “Sorry for GR, Eric and the artist!”
  • The artist behind Knocks on Wood has asked anyone with information to reach them or Giant Robot.
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