Archive for the ‘’ Category

Art Lawsuits ?!

In on February 6, 2009 at 2:11 am

Since it’s possible to sue people for ANYTHING these days, I was not surprised to come across an article about an art gallery being sued by clients claiming to have been sold non-authentic art that they believed to be real.  According to the article, “The art ‘was later found by experts to either be fake or have forged signatures, or to be heavily overpriced and misrepresented as bargains and investments.'” — WOW, making a fake signature, then marketing the work for an inflated price as the real thing, is A LOT of trouble to be going through…  I’m one of those people that’s constantly amazed by the amount of effort criminals invest into their craft.

Daumier, Les Gens de Justice


I have always wondered about things like this.  I wonder how often lawsuits around “fake art” arise.  I’m sure that art vendors take strides to make sure that what they’re selling is accurate (it seems like part of the job … as advocates of the arts it seems as though they would also advocate the purity of sales) but at the same time, I can imagine the business of selling fake art (that passes as real art) could be quite lucrative.  A friend of mine is taking an Art Law class at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art and told me that they discuss this issue a lot in class.  She mentioned that auction houses, especially, are concerned with ensuring an accurate and complete provenance for their works because of how public their sales are.  The odds of hearing about fake-art scandal at Sotheby’s (because of the sheer size of the institution) is more likely to make the front page of a newspapers than a scandal at an art gallery.  

Anyways, food for thought; as an arts advocate I’ll try to resist posting dark articles and happenings like this, but sometimes you gotta throw in the ugly with the good – the lesson in all of this is:  buyer’s beware!

Oh, also, I came across a great blog all about Art Law and it’s worth looking up if you’re interested in more information about this.  The URL is:

Yves Saint Laurent Art Auction

In on January 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm

What: An auction (by Christie’s) of the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge art collection which contains over 700 pieces and is said to be valued at nearly $300 million euros and is expected to fetch up to half a billion euros

When: 3 days at the end of February at the Grand Palais in Paris

Who: EVERYONE and ANYONE will be there… except me, of course! 


This auction is incredible.  I’ve read about 10 articles posted online and in newspapers and am constantly astonished to read “half a billion euros” as the projected amount to be fetched from this auction.  It makes you realize the value that beautiful yet inanimate objects have the potential to hold.  I hope that this auction isn’t a disappointment for the sake of the consignors and for the beautiful things being offered.  It’s always a shame when pieces are “burned” (a fancy word for non-sold and therefore decreased in value because the art world think that since no one wanted to pay for it at auction, maybe it ISN’T worth the high amount that it was being offered for) and “bought in” at auction.  Stay tuned for my post towards the end of February – I’ll dedicate my post for the day to the auction results!