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stolen art before it was stolen.JPG
this is stolen art 2018.jpeg


the story

2015 was the year when I started painting in Miami, the canvas you see here is the first canvas I bought,

I got a great deal for it coz it was 30% off due to a bend somewhere in there and my young artistic spirit considered it to be something worth writing about.


The first place it was hung, without a frame, at the time, was the Wynwood main offices of Dr Smood, the vegan organic coffee shop that was the rage of the town and where all the coolest people went to get their $8 lattes, it almost got sold to the accountant there for $700 but his wife didn't let him buy it and I guess this painting had a long way to go before someone would own it.

The first name of this painting was Dancing Rain.

I framed it in the same place I bought it, the biggest art store in Miami called Easel Art & Supply in North Miami. The owner, Mark Glicksman was a lonely and awkward individual but he always believed in me since the first day we met, for no apparent reason at all, maybe he hoped that one day I would become a well known artist, he framed this painting for me for free because at the time I couldn't afford the frame or the framing job. Then I installed it at the HGAB studios where I had my first official Art Studio my dream come true!! and eventually I wrote on top of it, as you can see in the video, the name of the piece: This is Stolen ART.

The reason behind the name was simple, I was reading a book by the author Austin Kleon, called steal like an artist, and then it came to me that this is what I shall write on the artwork, off course I had no idea that eventually this piece would  actually be stolen a year later..... 

the stolen artwork painted over.jpeg

Eventually, I decided by the end of 2018 that I had to move on and create new challenges for myself and my career and I terminated my month to month contract for my art studio, so had to figure out where I was going to leave all my paintings and creations, I was living with Do What You Love artist coz we where together but there was not enough space in our studio for all my stuff so I asked my friends to hold some of the paintings for me and the last painting which was the stolen art one, I left at a Gallery in Wynwood, run by a very weird individual called Ori, The same person who gave this painting to another artist who painted over it, a blue hair no face naked woman, the way I found out about it was because DWYL artist messaged me while I was in Colombia, telling me that someone had painted over my art and that Ori told him not to tell me....

I was livid, how was it possible that ''This is Stolen Art'' was actually stolen and painted over!!! why did it happen?

Well it happened because of a reason, it created a story, it gave my painting a life of its own, it gave another artist the opportunity of expression.... and it gave me the power to Steal it Back and to tell the story of how I did it.

A few months back from my trip to Colombia visiting my mom I was driving to the apartment in downtown and I was 2 blocks away from the gallery where my painting got stolen, I had this weird feeling inside my heart that told me to stop by the gallery and recover my painting, I was scared but determined to get it back so I drove over, parked the car and took a deep breath before going inside the gallery. I saw an old man moping the floor and I asked if the owner, Ori, was there, the man told me that he had gone out not too long ago and if I wanted I could wait for him, I decided to stay silent and walk around to the back part of the building where he had his office, I wanted to see if my painting was there...

I have this thing with doors, like actual physical door that whenever I see one and touch it, it always opens. I walked into the office and I see my painting, painted over, behind a glass door, my spirit comes out of my body like in the cartoons and I feel my heart pounding, its there so close to me but what if the door is locked? I don't waist any time, Ori can be back any minute so I walk forward and put my hand in the knob and turn it, dear heavens it opens so easily, it wasn't locked!!

I grab the painting and carry it back to the car, then I come back and take the Do What You Love paintings that he was holding hostage as well, It takes me about 6 minutes to do this, I turn the car on and leave with the biggest smile on my face and feeling like I just won the lottery and got away with my unplanned plan.

I go to DWYL art studio to show him what I just did and he was so happy and couldn't believe I was so brevet have done that, right away I sit on the floor and start painting what is now my absolutely favorite piece, it has many names and many meanings. The first one will always be This is Stolen ART, the second one is Clouds, and the third name is, A window to my soul.

a window to my soul by Maria Tokareva painting.JPG
Clouds by Maria Tokareva.JPG
this is stolen art by Maria Tokareva painting.jpeg

2020 was the first time this painting was exhibited in a very special place in Miami Design District

during the lockdown this was one of the very few art exhibits during Art Basel Week in Miami.

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