All those pop-up ads you see when you exit Match.com and that self-help book your unmarried uncle gave you the first time he got you drunk on Old Milwaukee are right: confidence is everything. Whether you're working up the courage to talk to that special someone at the end of the bar, or brazenly loading someone else's 18 fiberglass tigers worth $635,000 from a Gramercy Park penthouse onto a rented flatbed truck, you have to act like you own it. "It's very sad that someone would steal art made for such a special cause as saving the tigers," the tigers' owner Paolo Zampolli told the Post, completely ignoring the HUGE personal victory it was for the thief to finally make that big score and get out from under the shadow of their father, Thomas Crown, Sr.
The tigers were stolen from Zampolli's $22 million Gramercy Park "palace" last Thursday, but luckily a "suspicious neighbor" took photos of the robbery (calling 911 to report a crime is so gauche).
Zampolli, being a wealthy real-estate mogul, knew that rich people would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for tigers painted by
that airbrush t-shirt guy at the county fair who makes shirts of you and your girlfriend being kissed by some copyright violation of a Looney Tunes character "the biggest names in the art world," so he arranged for artists like Peter Tunney and Bob Marley's son to decorate the tigers to be sold off to benefit the Global Tiger Fund. “When [Zampolli] asked if I could paint two of the tigers for charity, I agreed—as long as every penny of the sale went to the charity. I put a lot of work into them," Tunney told the tabloid.
Former Giants player Jeremy Shockey has already paid $200K for two of the 75 tigers, some of which Zampolli hoped to auction off at a United Nations event. Zampolli was attending Art Basel in Miami while the tigers were stolen. The FBI and the "NYPD's art-theft unit" believe they have a person of interest who wanted to skirt the auction and buy the tigers outright. The NYPD's art-theft unit, who are usually made fun of for leaving their dogeared copies of Juxtapoz in the breakroom, will hopefully catch the thief before Denis Leary does.