Charles Vincent Sabba

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Artist Statement

My name is Charles Vincent Sabba Jr., the Consulting Art Loss Director for Unitelligenza in New York. I am a professional artist, a sergeant of police, and an aesthetician. As an aesthete, I believe that Art is the highest expression of humankind and that Art is the greatest product that the human mind produces. Art is a product of superior thought and it is through Art that mankind will redeem itself in the face of modern age's states of vulgarity and conformity. Modern society's creativity and originality are submerged in a dark sea of conformity and massification. True human artistic creativity is dependant on beauty to thrive and it is only through Art that we can discover our true essences as beings of a higher intellect (and the ability to create IS what separates man from the ape). This dedication to Art and beauty is the motivation that propels me to express my grief about stolen works of art and art crimes in my work. Modern society is artificial, sultifying and boring and, although it is very capable of creating large quantities of consumer goods and high technologies, it is unable to connect to its own natural sources of creativity. Humankind's market place values, greed and superficiality have not only weakened its creative force, but it has doomed art markets to soar to outrageous prices, creating the atmosphere in which art thieves thrive. Only a spiritual renaissance born out of Art and aesthetics can save humankind's wretched soul and crimes against Art and patrimony must once and for all be declared just as detrimental to humankind as is human trafficking, terrorism and drugs/arms smuggling.

I recreate stolen art works and illicitly smuggled antiquities, as well as art criminals' faces, in fingerprint ink on police fingerprint cards in my own fingerprints. As a veteran police sergeant, it was quite natural for me to utilize a common everyday police material such as fingerprint ink as a new artistic medium. My ardent desire is to conduct “visual investigations” into the art theft world. I want to approach these portrait subjects, not as a police officer, but as an artist who is a trained, professional observer. I like to know very interesting people in the art scene and art theft investigators and art criminals have proven to be very, very fascinating to talk to. I, as a navigator in this perpetual odyssey of human creation, want to be known as the explorer who actually charted those waters visually. My work emphasizes that the art world is not always an innocent, pristine place where the world's most honest and esteemed elite operate, but can be a dangerous arena of treachery, crime and fraud.



Charles Vincent Sabba Jr.


5/2006 - BFA School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

1/2004 - Art & Antiques Crime Course, given by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Art and Antiques Crime Unit, New Scotland Yard, London, UK;

9/87-5/90 - DuCret School of Art, Plainfield, NJ.

Forensic Art Training

2/05-3/05 - Federal Bureau of Investigations Forensic Facial Imaging Course, F.B.I. Academy, Quantico, Va;

11/04 - Comprehensive Composite Drawing, Karen T. Taylor, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okl

Art Exhibitions

July 2010 - Lush Life; Colette Blanchard Gallery, New York
June 2010 - Volta, Basel, Switzerland
March 2010 - Solo show, Y Gallery, New York
January 2010 - Brucennial, Miseducation, New York
Oct 2008 - Solo Show, Galerie Fof, Rahway. NJ
Aug 2008 -Group Show, Rahway Arts Guild, Rahway, NJ
Sept 2007 - The Last Supper (group Show), Hope Lounge, Williamsburg,Brooklyn
April 2007 -Group Show, Furman Finck Gallery, Plainfield, NJ
April 2006 - SVA Multimedia, New York
February 2006 - SVA Multimedia, New York
Dec 2005 - SVA Multimedia, New York
Oct 2005- SVA Multimedia, New York
April 2004 - SVA Multimedia, New York
Oct 2002 - Casa Colombo, Jersey City, NJ
May 2002 - Art Forms, Red Bank, NJ;

Language Skills

English and Italian - Madrelingue
Spanish - Independent user (B2)
French and German - Basic User (A1)

Speeches and lectures

On August 23, 2005, I gave a speech to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. in defense of the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the U.S.A. and Italy. This MOU heavily regulated the antiquities market and subsequently helped slow the flow of illicitly acquired and smuggled Italian antiquities from being sold in the U.S.


2006 - Art of the Heist, Sky Television, Brighton, UK. A documentary on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist.

Media Coverage

The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser; published by Harper Collins. One of my fingerprint ink drawings, a reproduction of Manet’s Chet Tortoni that was stolen on march 18, 1990 and my role as a mediary and an investigator is described in Chapter ____.

Tra manette e pennelli di Chiara Zamin, America Oggi-Oggi7, 5/13/2007, New York.

El policia-pintor de Alejandro Roman, Observador News, 5/17/2007.

L’Arpia in the Art of the Cop di Michela Gelati, America Oggi, New York.

Visual Investigations Into the Global Art market’s

Underworld by Jenny Doole, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research News, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

L’Arte Sotto la Divisa, Mondo Basilicata

Other lifetime honors and experiences

I am a member of New York City’s oldest artist club, the Salmagundi Club, and subsequently have visited several clubs with which we have reciprocal membership, including: Artis et Amicia in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the Savage Club in London, United Kingdom, the Players Club and the National Arts Society, both in New York, to name a few.