Suspect Arrested in Brutal Killing of American Art Dealer in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – In a shocking turn of events, a suspect has been arrested in connection with the brutal killing of Brent Sikkema, an American art dealer and co-owner of a prominent gallery in Manhattan. The 75-year-old was found dead in his Rio de Janeiro apartment on Monday, with 18 stab wounds.
The Rio state police apprehended Alejandro Triana Trevez, a man of Cuban nationality, near the city of Uberaba in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais. Trevez, who had been on the run, was discovered resting at a gas station. It is alleged that he took US$3,000 from Sikkema’s home. The police believe that theft was the motive behind the homicide.
Detective Felipe Curi, who leads the state police homicide unit, revealed that initial findings indicate that Trevez specifically traveled from Sao Paulo to commit the crime. He then returned to Sao Paulo, leading investigators to suspect that he had access to privileged information.
To further their investigation, law enforcement obtained a 30-day prison warrant against Trevez. This will allow them to delve deeper into the case and determine whether there was any prior connection between the suspect and the victim.
Brent Sikkema was the co-owner of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., a renowned gallery that exhibits works by various artists in New York City. The gallery, located on 22nd Street near the Chelsea Piers, showcases the creations of talented individuals such as Jeffrey Gibson, Arturo Herrera, Sheila Hicks, Vik Muniz, and Kara Walker.
Sikkema had a long and distinguished career in the art world, starting in 1971 as the director of exhibitions at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. In 1976, he opened his first gallery in Boston.
In 2021, Sikkema described himself as a “chaos kind of guy” during a trip to Zurich, Switzerland. He expressed his fondness for Brazil and Cuba, considering them his preferred destinations.
Vik Muniz, a Brazilian artist whose work has been featured in Sikkema’s gallery, paid tribute to his friend’s remarkable humanity. Muniz, in an Instagram post, described Sikkema as fearless, kind, and sophisticated. He credited Sikkema for shaping him as an artist and expressed his sorrow over the loss.
The arrest of Alejandro Triana Trevez brings a glimmer of hope for justice in this tragic incident. As the investigation unfolds, authorities will continue their efforts to uncover the truth behind this heinous crime and provide closure to the family and friends of Brent Sikkema.