‘The Painter and the Thief’ Review: A Tender Psychosexual Tale of Art and Ownership

‘The Painter and the Thief’ Review: A Tender Psychosexual Tale of Art and Ownership
On April 20, 2015, two large oil paintings were stolen from Oslo’s Galleri Nobel. The story didn’t quite rise to the level of international news — the work was only valued at €20,000 — but it was nevertheless a life-fracturing moment for Barbora Kysilkova, a gifted yet struggling young Czech artist who poured her trauma into those photoreal canvases for safekeeping. Both of the culprits were apprehended just a few days later, but Kysilkova only cared that neither of the paintings were found; something invaluable had been taken from her, and returning two random junkies to an Etsy-crafted Norwegian jail wasn’t going to make up the difference. She needed those men to provide another painting. And so Kysilkova, professing “a sort of obligation to continue the story,” walked up to one of the suspects during his trial and asked an unexpected question: “I wonder if I could paint you?”

So begins The
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