HARLEM — After showing his work at the Hudson River Cafe on West 133rd Street last week, painter Renelio Marin decided to transport dozens of his paintings back to his Upper East Side studio by cab.
But when he returned to his apartment on East 75th Street, the Cuban-born artist realized that he'd left two of his most important pieces inside the yellow cab.
"When I realized the pieces were missing, the taxi driver [had] left," Marin said.
Now he's working with the Taxi and Limousine Commission to try to track down the gouache-on-paper paintings, valued at between $2,000 and $2,500 apiece, Marin said.
A TLC spokesman said the agency checked with the cab's owner and the driver of the vehicle — who Marin was able to track down thanks to his cab receipt — to no avail.
"At this time we don't have any leads, but we are continuing to check," said TLC spokesperson Allan Fromberg.
The paintings are part of Marin's 2005 "NYC Street Series," which he considers some of his most important works, depicting breakdancers near Grand Central Station. They were supposed to be featured as the headline pieces of a show in Connecticut next year.
"It is based on minorities in New York City, because when you go to shows and galleries you don't see many pieces representing real people," Marin said of the works. "Of so many pieces, why did it have to be these pieces?"
Marin has fanned out around the city to post fliers offering a $100 reward for the return of the paintings.
"They mean a lot because they are the first ones I made in the series," he added.
Anyone with information about the paintings can contact the TLC at at (212) 227-6324.