Hot Los Angeles painter of the moment Alex Schaefer’s bank on fire work heats up art world

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LOS ANGELES, CA. (AP).- Alex Schaefer is the hot Los Angeles artist of the moment, thanks to a couple of oil-on-canvas works showing banks burning down. Although his work has been displayed at several galleries over the years, Schaefer was mostly an obscure figure in the art world whose pieces rarely fetched more than $1,000. That was until he painted a picture of a nondescript bank on a run-of-the-mill San Fernando Valley street. With flames leaping through the bank’s roof, the work began to take on a look similar to Ed Ruscha’s acclaimed 1966 “Burning Gas Station.” Schaefer says several passers-by stopped to give him a thumb’s up. Some, however, called police after their suspicions were aroused. Offers for the painting began pouring in after the Los Angeles