Ron English Tells Thieves To Return Stolen Deer Sculptures: "You've Got To Bring Them Home"
Last month, three young men stole English's last remaining deer sculpture. Now the street artist is asking for them to return it.
"It's fine to borrow them but you can't keep them forever," he says. "You've got to bring them home."
On March 2, video cameras at Wynwood Walls captured images of three young, well dressed men scaling a seven-foot partition on 26th Street.
As a security guard paced the front of the graffiti mecca, the men grabbed English's 75-pound metal deer sculpture and hoisted it over the fence.
English says it wasn't the first time the deer were stolen. In fact, there was originally a family of four on display. Developer and Wynwood Walls owner Tony Goldman paid English $20,000 for the sculptures -- about a fifth of their market value -- and asked him to paint a mural to accompany them.
All four of the spray-painted animals were stolen some time last year. But police spotted one of the deer in someone's front yard and were able to "agree to some kind of deal" for its safe return, English says.
English is pissed, not only that "a stupid prank" has undone years of his work but that the thieves broke the most basic unwritten rules of street art.
"Even though I got paid for the pieces, with artists it's never about the money," he says. "We worked really hard to get those deer to Miami. They were part of my popup show on West Broadway [in New York City] and my local town desperately wanted the deer for our visitor's center."
English says he was proud to put his art on display in Wynwood, where thousands of people could see it.
"That's considered the epicenter of street art and I'm a street artist," he says. "Wynwood Walls is like a museum. It's not a private thing. The Goldmans have always kept it open. It's not like they've taken a piece of art and hidden it away from the public."