Renowned New York Art Dealer Found Dead in Apartment

Brazilian authorities are currently investigating the alleged murder of Brent Sikkema, a renowned New York art dealer. Sikkema, 75, was found dead in his Rio de Janeiro apartment on Monday night, as reported by the Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro State. The co-owner of the contemporary Chelsea art gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Sikkema’s death appeared to be the result of a stabbing.

An unidentified individual was reportedly seen exiting Sikkema’s residence with cash, having spent approximately 15 minutes inside, according to local newspaper O Globo. The police were alerted to the situation by Sikkema’s attorney, Simone Nunes. Nunes had decided to check on Sikkema after not receiving any communication from him over the weekend.

Nunes, who had a key to Sikkema’s apartment for house-sitting purposes, discovered Sikkema’s body upon entering the residence. Forensic experts are currently examining Sikkema’s body as part of the ongoing investigation. The police have stated that they will be interviewing witnesses, seeking additional information, and conducting further inquiries to clarify the circumstances surrounding the case.

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. confirmed Sikkema’s death via a statement on their website. The statement expressed profound sorrow over the loss of their beloved founder. Sikkema, an Illinois native, graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute and spent several years in the art industry before opening the contemporary New York City gallery Wooster Gardens in the early 1990s. This gallery would later become Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

At the time of his death, Sikkema’s gallery represented notable artists such as Sheila Hicks and Kara Walker. A photo posted on his alleged Instagram account in July 2016 showed him with then-first lady Michelle Obama, a moment he expressed immense pride over. The gallery’s statement concluded by expressing their grief over the loss and their commitment to continue in Sikkema’s spirit.

The US Consulate in Rio confirmed the death of a US citizen in the city but did not provide further details. A State Department spokesperson offered condolences to the family and assured that all appropriate assistance is being provided. However, due to privacy considerations, no further comments were made.