Vanishing Act

Finally, in April, Gallery Rodeo's "shipping department" in Beverly Hills claimed it shipped the 50 Renoir prints to Reverend Sky. But when Reverend Sky opened the package, he says he discovered only two prints, not 50.

When he complained to the gallery's "shipping department," he was told it was his tough luck.

Then, Reverend Sky got kidney stones, he says, because he was so upset. He was so sick he couldn't care for dying people anymore.

In September, Reverend Sky and his two dogs drove to Beverly Hills in his van. He discovered that Gallery Rodeo Beverly Hills was gone. Gallery Rodeo's shipping department turned out to be an auto-detailing shop. The auto detailer/shipper, Larry Colanzo, didn't know where Reverend Sky's art was, said it wasn't his responsibility to find it, and would Reverend Sky please leave his auto-detailing area. Colanzo referred Reverend Sky to Gallery Rodeo in Lake Arrowhead, California, which supposedly handled "resales."

Reverend Sky returned home with nothing.

That's when I called Gallery Rodeo, 10 months after Reverend Sky had started trying to get his art back. After the run-around I got, I can see how Reverend Sky got kidney stones.

Gallery Rodeo International, the parent company of the former Scottsdale gallery, is now a gaming-resort development company based in Colorado.

No one from the Colorado company returned my calls. Not that it matters. The Colorado company has washed its hands of art--its business announcements say the "art department" was "stagnant" and had been "spun out" to the previous management of Gallery Rodeo--the guys who originally sold the missing art to Reverend Sky.

The spun-out art dealers are based in Beverly Hills, but they don't have a gallery anymore. When I finally reached the owner, Steve Thompson, he told me Reverend Sky is a "nut case." He insisted Reverend Sky received his Renoir prints, insisted Reverend Sky's other art is waiting for him.

I'm not so sure.
I rang up Larry Colanzo, the Beverly Hills auto detailer/shipper, to ask whether he'd returned the prints. Colanzo said he shipped Reverend Sky the prints, and if they were missing, that's not his problem.

Then I called the Lake Arrowhead gallery. When I said I was a reporter, owner Ray Hayward said some of Reverend Sky's art had just arrived at his gallery from Beverly Hills--a stunning turn of events.

After I talked to Hayward, Reverend Sky called him. Hayward told the reverend that he'd already lost the newly found art. Last Friday, Hayward said he found it again.

Reverend Sky isn't very hopeful, not after investing his life savings in disappearing artwork.

At this writing, he hasn't gotten any art back.
In the meantime, Reverend Sky is packing his eagle feathers and whatnot in moving cartons.

The Gallery Rodeo experience has taken its toll. You might say Reverend Sky has reached the terminal stage of his investment plan. He's giving up, he's broke, can't afford to keep his house. So, he'll sell it, move to New Mexico, start his life over again. He doesn't want to stay in Phoenix anymore, not after what's happened. He's just too sick, physically and emotionally, to tend the terminally ill.

People dying from AIDS have one less hand to hold.

Contact Terry Greene Sterling at 229-8437, or online at tgreene@newtimes.com

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