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Burglar takes art work

Published Oct. 6, 2005

No one admires Dee Hood's paintings more than the artist herself.

Still, she's a realist.

Who would want to steal 16 of her massive, moody and almost unmarketable abstract paintings?

"We're mystified, that's for sure," said David Audet, who shows Hood's distinctive work at his Still and Moving Gallery in Seminole Heights. "It's not pretty work, it's real gutsy. I sell her work occasionally, but it's very difficult work."

Sometime after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, someone broke into the N Nebraska Avenue home under renovation by Hood's boyfriend, Chris Peattie. They ignored the second-hand stereo and power tools, and never bothered looking inside the kitchen cabinets.

Instead, they went to the bedroom, where Hood had stored more than 20 canvasses. The next day, Peattie found a shattered window, a bloodied print on the bedroom door, and large tread marks outside.

Hood values the missing paintings at $11,750.

The paintings, primitive abstracts depicting themes of feminism and censorship, were not insured, and Peattie did not have homeowner's insurance.

But Hood suffered more than a dollar loss.

The paintings represent more than two years of work. Hood, who signs her paintings "Dee," exhibits around the state. Now there is hardly enough left to launch a show, she said.

"Everything I've done has disappeared," said Hood, who has filed a police report and put up a $500 reward for the return of the paintings.

Hood said whoever stole her works will find it difficult to sell them to a gallery in Florida, where owners have been alerted to the thefts. She can't imagine a private collector having enough wall space and the desire to hang the 4-by-5-foot canvasses.

Outside the area, her work isn't in demand.

"She has a hard enough time getting them into galleries herself," Peattie said. "It's possible whoever took them doesn't know all this."