Culture News

Bassim Al-Shaker's Phoenix Studio Robbed; 10 Paintings Stolen

Bassim Al-Shaker's Phoenix art studio was robbed on the morning of Monday, August 18.

Ten paintings were stolen from Al-Shaker's space at Fourth and McKinley streets in the former location of Nancy Hill's Hazel & Violet. He's been painting there since July. The studio is a quick walk from his residence at Combine Studios, where the Iraqi-born creative formerly worked as an international artist in residence through ASU Art Museum.

Al-Shaker is reportedly devastated.

See also: Mary Stephens Leaves Phoenix Hostel and Cultural Center

Greg Esser, who works with Combine and ASU, has been helping Al-Shaker transition out of his Combine residency and into a full-time Phoenix resident. He says the total retail value of the stolen paintings is $40,000.

Pictures of some of the paintings that were stolen have been posted on the Facebook page of the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency at Combine Studios (www.facebook.com/ASUAM.Combine). Some of the paintings were completed recently and hadn't been photographed yet.

Along with the photos, a post encourages anyone who sees the stolen paintings or has any information that could lead to their recovery to call Crime Stop at 602-262-6151.

"He's really become part of our family," Esser says of Al-Shaker, adding that community fundraising efforts might follow.

In the meantime, the artist will start looking for a new studio space.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski