The Enduring Challenges of Authenticating Art

When the Allentown Art Museum sent their oil-on-oak painting Portrait of a Young Woman to specialists at New York University to be cleaned, they expected to get it back without the layers of overpainting and thick varnish which had obscured the portrait’s delicate brushwork. Since they weren’t immediately looking for any proof of authentication, they […]

California man pleads guilty to art and tax fraud, faces up to 25 years in prison

After pleading guilty to selling millions in fake artworks, Philip Righter (43), a man living in California, could face up to 25 years in prison. Righter was charged with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax fraud in a Los Angeles court Tuesday but also faces similar charges in Florida. Righter, a self-proclaimed Emmy, Grammy, […]

Sotheby’s nears $1 billion in private sales during 2019

For the second year running, Sotheby’s has hovered around the $1 billion mark in private sales. While the auction house isn’t a stranger to making billions, it’s usually for their major auctions that can bring in millions in a given night. As reported this week, Sotheby’s private sales weren’t quite as high as they were […]

Former gallery partner James Oliver sues defunct Mary Boone over unpaid wages $15m in art

A former employee and gallery partner of Mary Boone has brought on a lawsuit against the defunct gallerist. James Oliver, a long-time associate who once came to her defence, is suing Boone for $44,325 in unpaid wages and his share of art purportedly taken by Boone from her gallery. ‘Mr. Oliver attempted on numerous occasions […]

The emperor has no clothes: the scams and swindles driving up art prices

For many, the headline-making stunt Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan pulled at Art Basel Miami this year—Cattelan duct taped a banana to a blank white wall, called it “Comedian”, and sold it for $120,000—crystallized the problems with how art is valued. After Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog shattered records in 2013 to sell over Christie’s auction block […]

Gulbenkian case highlights authorities’ failure to pursue art fraud

International art fraud is once again under the spotlight with the news that London Metropolitan Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Angela Gulbenkian, a former high-society art heiress who failed to show up in court to answer accusations over the fraudulent sale of a Yayoi Kusama sculpture. Hong Kong-based art consultant Mathieu […]

A €100 raffle ticket could win you a painting by Picasso

In 2015, Pablo Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) set the artist’s auction record when it sold for a whopping $179.3 million at Christie’s. But, what if you could snag a Picasso for €100 ($110 or £85)? A French nonprofit called Aider les Autres is giving ticket holders that exact opportunity through a raffle. The […]