Art of Love: Why Did Güney Become an Art Thief?

‘Art of Love’ is a Turkish romance film that equips a thrilling narrative revolving around a series of art heists that bring the two protagonists— an Interpol officer and an art thief— into each other’s orbits. A few years ago, Alin and Güney Arat split up after an awful break-up, ending their otherwise pleasant relationship. For the same reason, Alin, now working in the Art Crimes Unit, finds herself stopped in her tracks when she realizes the art thief she has been tracking for a while now is really her ex-boyfriend. Consequently, the woman finds herself falling back in with Güney, only this time with the intention to arrest him for his crimes.

As the film progresses, viewers witness Alin oscillating between her anger toward Güney while desperately trying to stifle her persisting feelings for the man. Yet, as their love story unfolds, parallel to the criminal plotline, one can’t help but wonder about the motives behind Billionaire Güney’s thieving ways. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Güney and Alin’s Shared Past

Throughout the film, Güney’s motivation remains one of the most elusive secrets within the narrative. The man is a billionaire, with other characters constantly affirming his financial status through their awe over the man. In fact, after Alin initially suspects Güney of the art thefts, her boss dismisses the idea on the basis that Güney could easily buy every art piece that the thief stole without even making a dent in his finances.

Nevertheless, having seen Güney escape the crime scene with her own eyes, Alin remains certain about the man’s involvement in the robberies. Despite hitting some of the most prestigious and well-secured exhibitions in town, the art thief only ever takes the least valued painting from the bunch, leaving a small stone as his calling card. For the same reason, Alin already believes the thief’s motives are unrelated to monetary gain, allowing Güney to remain a suspect.

Yet, Alin is far too caught up in the bitter feelings she still harbors for the man to care about his motives. Instead, Alin is only interested in manipulating Güney and catching him red-handed. Still, an explanation arrives to the police officer all the same. As it would turn out, the woman has more to do with it than she thought.

Güney began his art heist side hobby shortly after meeting Alin. Both individuals shared a love and fascination for the art world. As such, during one visit to an art gallery, Alin discussed the volatile nature of critical acclaim in the industry, citing how the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci never gained significant prominence until someone stole it for a short period of time.

Consequently, Güney realized that he could bring certain pieces— that were skillfully crafted but never gained fame— to significance if he stole them and created sensationalized news around them. The same, paired with the billionaire’s disposition as an “adrenaline junkie,” confirmed a future in art thievery as Güney’s calling.

Furthermore, after Güney and Alin’s initial break up— a result of a misunderstanding— Güney realized that the latter was working as an Interpol officer specializing in Art Crimes. Therefore, he also began using his thieving reputation to bring Alin back into his life by orchestrating the circumstances that led the officer to investigate his case in the first place.

Güney And His Artist Grandfather

While Alin’s introduction into Güney’s life jumpstarted his interest in pursuing his art heist hobbies, a deeper explanation also remains behind the billionaire’s actions. Growing up, Güney was very close to his maternal grandfather, an artist who often painted while Güney watched from nearby. However, despite his great talent, Güney’s grandfather never achieved appropriate recognition for his art and died creatively unfulfilled without the art world assigning any notability to his work.

For the same reason, Güney developed a soft spot for fine art that remained undermined due to its sober origins. Thus, by stealing such artwork and leaving behind a recognizable M.O. at each crime scene, the man was able to create a controversy around the pieces, driving up their social currency.

As such, Güney was willing to spend an absurd amount of money to perfect his heisting skills and technology to carry out the string of robberies. The hobby introduced a thrill into his life while also bringing a sense of fulfillment by highlighting the work of people who would have otherwise gone unnoticed by society.

Read More: Art of Love: Is the Netflix Movie Inspired by a Real Art Thief?