Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Make It Happen: The Art Of The Perfect Heist

One day when ArtNerdLA was donating to a colleague’s Kickstarter, we came across a project that bore the description: “The design proposal, that sets out a plot to rob 5 banks located in downtown Los Angeles.” What?!??

Under Black Carpets, kickstart a bank heist is the spawn of Ilona Gaynor, an artist and designer from the UK whose practice is founded on the seeing the processes of research and development through an aesthetic lens. With her desire to construct complex and precise plots, schemes and traps through a rich image-based method of storytelling, she (naturally) decided to carry out her curiosities about the logistics of pulling off a bank heist in cinematically-inclined downtown Los Angeles.


Though the artist insists that the heist is purely conceptual and won’t actually happen, it is painstakingly planned out and researched from every angle so that, had she not received publicity out of the project, she could probably rob a bank any old time she felt like it. From interviews with forensic scientists and criminal attorneys to spending a period of the time with the LA Police Academy over by Elysian Park, she has documented in essays, sketchbooks, photographs, films, and scale models the necessary processes to conduct a flawless bank heist, as well as the most effective way that the authorities could respond.


The resulting collection of work, already shown in process mode at Art Center in Pasadena last summer, will debut as a whole at the Lisbon Triennial in September. Gaynor has set up a Kickstarter to help her accrue funds to put on her Triennial exhibition, so go donate! We all know how broke Portugal is, and wouldn’t it be kind of crazy to say that you donated to a bank heist? You’ve got through June 20th to donate.

After the proposed success of the Lisbon Trienniale, the show wil come to an undisclosed location in Los Angeles…the bank at One Wilshire, perhaps? Crossing our fingers!

Images courtesy of Ilona Gaynor on Kickstarter.

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