Suspect Arrested in Brutal Killing of American Art Dealer in Brazil
A shocking and tragic incident unfolded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as police announced the arrest of a suspect in the brutal killing of Brent Sikkema, a renowned American art dealer and co-owner of a prominent gallery in Manhattan. The 75-year-old Sikkema was found dead in his Rio de Janeiro apartment on Monday, with 18 stab wounds.
Rio state police apprehended the suspect, identified as Alejandro Triana Trevez, near the city of Uberaba in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais. Local media reports suggest that Trevez, a Cuban national, was on the run and was discovered taking a rest at a gas station.
Authorities have revealed that Trevez allegedly stole $3,000 from Sikkema’s home. Detective Felipe Curi, who leads the state police homicide unit, stated that the primary line of investigation is theft leading to homicide. Curi also mentioned that initial findings indicate that Trevez traveled from Sao Paulo specifically to commit this heinous crime. He then returned to Sao Paulo, leading investigators to believe that he possessed some kind of privileged information.
Law enforcement obtained a 30-day prison warrant against Trevez, which will allow them to explore other leads and determine whether the two men had any prior connection.
Sikkema was a highly respected figure in the art world. Originally founded in 1991 as Wooster Gardens, his gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., showcases the works of renowned artists such as Jeffrey Gibson, Arturo Herrera, Sheila Hicks, Vik Muniz, and Kara Walker. Located on 22nd Street in New York near the Chelsea Piers, the gallery confirmed the tragic news of Sikkema’s death in a statement on its website.
In addition to his contributions to the art community, Sikkema had an adventurous spirit. During a trip to Zurich in 2021, he described himself as a “chaos kind of guy” and expressed his fondness for Brazil and Cuba.
The news of Sikkema’s untimely death has left his friends and colleagues in shock. Yancey Richardson, a longtime friend and owner of a nearby art gallery, praised Sikkema’s unique perspective and creative approach.
Sikkema’s love for Brazil was evident in his Instagram posts, where he referred to his Rio de Janeiro apartment as an urban “oasis.” Despite spending most of the year in New York, he cherished his time in Brazil and Cuba.
As the investigation into this tragic incident continues, the art world mourns the loss of a visionary and celebrates the enduring legacy of Brent Sikkema.