Look Out For This Giant $6,000 Mural Stolen Before Basel

Categories: News

philfungmug.png
via Facebook
Phil Fung spent his birthday painting in Wynwood, which is exactly how he wanted it. The well-known Miami artist gleefully sweated over a 6 x 12 foot canvas just north of Panther Coffee from about noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. He was more than 90 percent complete with the mural when he went home that night, he says, and planned to finish the neutral toned portrait of his friend the following day.

He never got the chance. Around 10 p.m., this text rolled in from Fung's graffiti artist friend: "Yo man, somebody pinched your painting."

Fung's work was the only one to go missing from the series, which was commissioned by the owners of the mixed-use development project Wynwood Central. Sometime after dusk, a thief (or thieves) apparently used power tools to remove the 34 bolts that secured the painting onto the wall. The piece -- which Fung has retroactively titled "Hijack" -- is worth about 6 grand, he says, and was to be sold in his Pinecrest gallery post-Basel.

None of the canvasses was protected by plexiglass or anything, which made them an easy target for bandits. "It would have taken about a minute," Fung says. "I didn't think anyone would steal it, but that's Miami."

The American-Chinese-Jamaican pop painter is scrambling to start from scratch so that he can capitalize on his primo display spot in between NE 24th and 25th Streets on 2nd Avenue. Understandably, though, he'd like the first incarnation of "Hijack" to be returned.

"If it was some random guy from Europe who got drunk and just had to have it, I'll never see it again," he says. "But if it was some local, it'll pop up on Instagram sooner or later."

philfungmural.jpg
courtesy of Phil Fung
If you see this mural around town -- shoot us an e-mail. It belongs to artist Phil Fung, who runs a studio in South Miami.
Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

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31 comments
Miguel Alfaro
Miguel Alfaro

De madre! Y seguro que ni estaba asegurada, porque comprarle un seguro a Art Basel debe costar mucho dinero. Lo siento mucho por el artista!

Gomez Christian
Gomez Christian

dude i saw this mural all fucked up by the rickenbacker LMFAO!!!!

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

Hmmm, hate to be a skeptic, but I ain't believing it. Just a tad too convenient for me.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................................do the math - he works from noon to 6PM okay that's six hours to complete 90 % of the piece so it would be done in about 6 and a half hours

let's round it to 7 hours in labor and add materials costs of another $300 (just guessing)

so that comes to a return of over $800 per hour worked - no ? so who robbed whom ?

Raul Diego
Raul Diego

6K? Someone got robbed, fo sho...

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

............................well it was only a matter of WHEN someone would want to stand out from the crowd and take matters into their own hands and "create" buzz

no one steals ART to alert the media, they purposely want it to be annonymous

OR ELSE they may even destroy it or ruin it where it is as exhibited

the only robbery is this scam robbing media coverage it otherwise would not have gotten

Courtney KickPush Mitchell
Courtney KickPush Mitchell

All of Miami is a ghetto, don't fool yourselves with your my hood is better than your good. It's about the art and the artist. Damn you uncultured fools. Stay behind your gates and hide.

MiamiBeachCrack
MiamiBeachCrack

Homeless person probably cut the mural up and is using it as toilet paper.  Wynwood is a slum. 

Chris Anthony
Chris Anthony

Sadly Wynwood is still the hood, with chop shops and other shady businesses, it will not make the final change till the last dealing elements are pushed out... many of them are residence there!!!

Ed Ochoa
Ed Ochoa

I keep saying it, they are trying to make Wynwood, Coral Gables and it is not. so there you have it

mrhadoken
mrhadoken

being legendary has no pricetag.  GREAT WORK!!!  your next one will be even more amazing and just take pride that they only wanted to steal your piece.

Alexander Wreckognize Villarreal
Alexander Wreckognize Villarreal

Sad thing is graffit writers turned wynwood into what it is now.. now all the property owners are upping the rent 4x what it used to be forcing all the galleries and bars and small businesses that made wynwood so popular leave to what build more little trendy condos and malls sorry its still wynwood once the art I'd gone ur gonba have a bunch of high priced condos surrounded by the hood... don't complain that u get robbed raped whatever .. right now the artists know the risk they got robbed out there all the time its a known risk they accept it it'd part of the game but now you have wealthy people around everywhere all the time ... bad idea you csn only jump in the lions den so many times before he decides to pounce on you

Wayne Burgess
Wayne Burgess

I thought murals were painted on the sides of buildings....does mural mean something else?

Christine Marie Phillips
Christine Marie Phillips

Whether it was $6,000 or $6, the point is someone took something that didn't belong to them. He worked hard on that piece, (on his birthday, no less!) and it wasn't even 24 hours before some low life stole it. The artist is my friend, Phil Fung, and he is a wonderful person with amazing talent! I hope that, with all this attention, it is found and returned to him, safe and sound!

Joe LaDuca
Joe LaDuca

great mural.. Hope it shows up...

Rebecca Chancy
Rebecca Chancy

That's what he gets for trying to make a portable mural...

Santiago E. Perez
Santiago E. Perez

NOT Kewl at all especially if it was a fellow artist. Will have eyes open for it.

Gina Garcia
Gina Garcia

Of course it would be stolen in that neighborhood! They have tried so hard to make it decent there but it is impossible... Sort of like the Grove, once you step out of the main streets it's a hell hole... Poor artist, hope he finds his nice painting and will know better for next time.

Wes Ayers
Wes Ayers

Charged, but not purchased. And now may never be.

Joey Waves
Joey Waves

he charged 6,000 for that! I need to get my cans and start painting again!!!

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