UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Have you seen artist Charlie Megna's colorful painting depicting a studio with knick knacks and plants?
The painting, which was hanging for weeks on the wall of beloved music venue Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., went missing after a sold-out Meat Wave show Saturday night.
Megna, who also works part-time for the Empty Bottle, said someone at the show must have stolen it.
"I hope that whoever took it, it was something they actually wanted and not just a drunken move because they thought it was funny or something," said Megna, who helped curate the art show, which will end Sunday.
Megna, 31, noticed that his 12-inch-by-16-inch painting — made with guache paint on wood — was missing at the end of the night when he was walking through the venue to make sure "drunk people didn't touch anything," as he often does.
The stolen painting is based on Megna's Logan Square studio. [Courtesy/Facebook]
Megna said the venue's security footage didn't capture the theft because the painting had been hanging in a spot that wasn't visible to the surveillance cameras. And he decided against filing a police report because he didn't think anything would come of it.
The stolen painting is just one of Megna's many creations that he's crafted in his Logan Square studio, where he spends the majority of his time outside of work painting. He also helped run a gallery in Humboldt Park for five years.
Megna said Empty Bottle staff determined another piece of art was missing by morning: A free-form sculpture by a local artist and employee at Bite Cafe, 1039 N. Western Ave., the restaurant next door.
He said these thefts were especially disheartening because the Empty Bottle generally attracts people who appreciate art and music and have respect for other peoples' work. In fact, Megna knew a lot of the people at the packed show.
"To see a lot of people that I know [there] and to have someone do something like this ... it's kind of a bummer," he said, adding that the thief could've worked out a trade with him if he or she couldn't afford to buy his piece.
So Megna has a message to those who might happen to end up in someone's living room for a friend of a friend's Christmas party in the coming weeks.
He would like the thief to either return it anonymously, or "if anyone knows of it or sees it in someone's apartment, let them know that was not a good move," he said.
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