Fake Roy Lichtenstein Prints dupe Christie's, Phillips & Sotheby's

by  & Robert Grunder

Why were 5 FAKE Roy Lichtenstein prints from non-existent Printers Proof edition accepted by London specialists at Christie's, Phillips & Sotheby's?

Why did specialists at Phillips, Christie's & Sotheby's London accept 5 FAKE Roy Lichtenstein prints for auctions, each erroneously cataloged as Printer's Proofs? 

Starting in October 2016, counterfeit Roy Lichtenstein Finger Pointing prints from a non-existent edition of 10 Printer's Proofs have repeatedly fooled London auction specialists at Christie's, Phillips & Sotheby's. So far, all 5 of the Fake Finger Pointing Printer's Proof impressions have been confined to Europe.

Was Auctionata ever ethical?

by Joseph K. Levene and Robert Grunder

Auctionata closes after burning $95.6 million in venture capital

Auctionata closes after burning $95.6 million in venture capital

Why did online auction start-up Auctionata close after burning $95.6 million in venture capital if it purportedly was online global leader in art and luxury collectibles?

Truth be told, neither Auctionata nor Paddle8 was ever global leader of anything. Auctionata's problems stem from a massive scam of fraud, lies, exaggeration, hyperbole and insider trading orchestrated with precision by former CEO Alexander Zacke and his wife Susanne Zacke, which according to the recently released KPMG audit of Auctionata, extend into Zacke's family, including his mother Irene and his son Maximilian Zacke.

An objective financial accounting will show Auctionata's astonishing sales and purported record growth vs. prior years was pure fiction.

The fact is none of Auctionata's so called record online sale achievements were ever supported by actual sales. Unlike Sotheby's and Christie's, Auctionata never released any detailed data. Most alarming, actual auction results published on Live Auctioneers don't corroborate the erroneous record sales cited in Auctionata press releases which were in turn picked up by the international press, which failed to confirm via any due diligence.

Auctionata & Paddle8 merge despite serious trade violations by CEO

by  & Robert Grunder

KPMG LLP audit confirms Alexander Zacke guilty serious trade violations

KPMG LLP audit confirms Alexander Zacke guilty serious trade violations, including insider trading & shill bidding using his name and false identities.

It is irrational to condone the extensive trade violations committed by Auctionata CEO Alexander Zacke and make him CEO Paddle8|Auctionata global management team. Although Alexander Zacke dismisses the severity of the violations by stating they are mistakes; United States law considers the trade violations as civil and federal offenses, which can result in serious fines and criminal prosecution.

When will Sotheby's stop spending money and start making money?

by  & Robert Grunder
Amy Cappellazzo and Allan Schwartzman of Art Agency, Partners

Sotheby's buys Art Agency Partners for $50 million in cash

Sotheby's agreed to purchase Art Agency Partners, a two year old boutique firm with 15 employees owned and founded by Amy Cappellazzo, former deputy chairman Christie’s; Allan Schwartzman, art adviser and Adam Chinn, formerly co-founder of Centerview Partners LLC and partner at the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. These three principals signed a five year contract with Sotheby's, although no mention was made of the additional employees, including Ed Tang, recently recruited Christie's specialist and head of First Open.

March 4, 2014 interview with Dodie Kazanjian in Vogue 

“Auction houses can never fully represent a collector’s interests” - stated Amy Cappellazzo

Amy Cappellazzo's return to an Auction house represents a sharp u-turn, contradicting her statements in a March 7, 2014 Vogue interview:
“Auction houses can never fully represent a collector’s interests,” she continues, “and I feel there’s much more opportunity outside the auction house than inside. What I want to do is build the best possible full-service business—not just one that makes the most money but one that can look after you the way Bessemer Trust or Guaranty Trust looked after your family. There’s an incredible need for expert, long-term advice, about the works of art themselves and also about managing this immense new asset class.”

How will Art Agency, Partners, founded just two years ago, improve Sotheby’s revenue

Tad Smith stated “It’s going to bring significant new profit and revenue streams to us, and it will deepen our bench considerably in terms of the high end of the fine-art market, private sales and overall deal making,” but provided no specificity regarding the actual revenue streams. While Ms. Cappellazzo, Mr. Schwartzman and Mr. Chinn are clearly talented, what about the existing staff at Sotheby's?  Mr. Smith has intimated this acquisition will bolster private sales capability and new opportunities for growth in advisory services, isn't Mr. Smith aware Sotheby's has already had this capability for years. We question if Tad Smith ever talked to any of his employees; if he had, he might know that Sotheby's already had the capable staff needed to improve private sales and revenue.

Auctionata Guarantee is a Guaranteed Risk

by  & Robert Grunder

Hyperbole, documentation errors, mistakes, accepted norm at Auctionata.

Analysis of statements, interviews, press releases by Auctionata CEO Alexander Zacke and international managing director Ben Hartley, coupled with review of Terms & Conditions exclusions that void 25-year-Auctionata guarantee demonstrate hyperbole, exaggeration, errors and omissions are routine at Auctionata. It appears the majority of Auctionata communication is simply regurgitated, becoming in essence, journalistic propaganda, accepted without equivocation by the American Press, including: Forbes, Skates, The New York Times, Luxury Daily, e-commerce bytes.

Skate's Online Art Market Analysis Narrow, Lacks Substantiation

by  & Robert Grunder
Actual 2014 Online Art Market Estimate by Joseph K. Levene, The Fine Art Blog
Actual 2014 Online Art Market Estimate by Joseph K. Levene, The Fine Art Blog

Skates overlooks at least $1 billion Online Art volume at eBay and Christie's

Based on recent data regarding 2014 sales released by Christie's and Auctionata, Skate's February 2015 analysis erroneously proclaims Auctionata leader of 2014 Online Art trading volume and overlooks $178 million generated by Christie's LIVE online bidders. Skate's overlooks estimates for Online Art sales volume generated by eBay and Sotheby's, yet provides estimates for artnet and Paddle8 even though published results won't be available until March.

Richard Pettibone Auction Prices Go Up Dramatically


Richard Pettibone Roy Lichtenstein, The Artist's Studio: The Dance, 1975
+70% vs last time at auction
Richard Pettibone Roy Lichtenstein, The Artist's Studio: The Dance, 1975
Sold $56,250. Christie's 11/13/2014

An appropriation pioneer, Richard Pettibone laid the groundwork for many appropriation artists including Sherrie Levine, Louise Lawler, Vik Muniz, Eric Doeringer, Richard Prince and Elaine Sturtevant. Ken Johnson, The New York Times observes: Richard Pettibone has devoted his career to making small reproductions of works by Brancusi, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Stella and other artists whose fame far exceeded his.

The recent Museum of Modern Art exhibition of Elaine Sturtevant, an appropriation artist who was a contemporary of Richard Pettibone, caused a spike in auction prices. Sturtevant's Appropriation of Roy Lichtenstein Crying Girl fetched $3.4 million at Christie's, 11/12/14; the same painting sold for $710.K at Phillips three years earlier.

4 Lithographs Not Created by Calder You Should Never Buy

by  & Robert Grunder

4 Lithographs Calder Did Not Create and are Counterfeit
The Alexander Calder Foundation presents color lithographs misattributed to Alexander Calder often sold by auction houses and art sellers. Put another way, these four misappropriated works are counterfeit and have no value. Because the works are overt counterfeits, we would encourage any buyer who has been duped to demand a refund if the counterfeit work was purchased within the last four years from a United States seller.

Color Lithographs Deceptively Sold as Works by Alexander Calder
Violations of the Intellectual Property Rights of Alexander Calder

Auctionata erroneously documents €120K Flower Painting

by  & Robert Grunder

Auctionata deceptively attributes 1977 painting with flowers to Andy Warhol in June 20, 2014 Post-War & Contemporary Art online auction.

The auctionata description for lot 101 erroneously states the work is an Andy Warhol even though Andy Warhol did not create nor authorize the painting offered with a staggering 120K estimate. 
There is no reference to any 1977 painting resembling the auctionata lot in Volume Two of Andy Warhol catalogue raisonné, none with red & blue flowers. In addition, the purported lot not only claims a creation date of 1977, it measures a scant 13.78 x 13.78 inches (35 x 35 cm)

Why You Shouldn't Buy Art from Amazon

by  & Robert Grunder
Amazon Art is shockingly sloppy, dated, lacks professionalism & financially risky
Amazon.com/art is shockingly sloppy, dated, lacks professionalism and financially risky
Amazon Art is Shockingly Sloppy, Dated, Lacks Professionalism & Vastly Overpriced
Amazon, the experienced online e-commerce site well known for selling books, dvd's, pots & pans, and recently, even wine, launched a beta art site in August 2013. The site features art at a broad spectrum of price points, from $10. for an Untitled dollar bill by Ryan Humphrey to a Norman Rockwell Painting offered for $4.85 million. 

Why Has Counterfeit Calder Sculpture Sold 75 Times At Auction?

by  & Robert Grunder

Art fraud affects art collectors at all levels, from buyers who spend a few thousand dollars to art collectors and investors who buy multi-million dollar art. Unfortunately, many art buyers find out the truth long after they were duped by a dishonest seller, and rarely receive a refund.
To con artists, counterfeit art is an appealing business with a low cost of goods.  The New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen, stated "between 1996 and 2008, Knoedler earned approximately $60 million on fraudulent artworks and cleared $40 million in profits".
Tweet This Counterfeit Alexander Calder sculpture has more aliases than Al Capone2 Sculptures Misattributed to Alexander Calder sold over 75 times at auction

Metropolitan Museum buys $840 Jacques-Louis David Masterpiece

$840 Jacques-Louis David purchased by The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Jacques-Louis David purchased for $840.
Lot 228 As Described in Swann Galleries Auction Catalogue January 29, 2013 
A post in the Swann Galleries blog stated the highest priced lot in the Old Master Drawings auction was $42,000, fetched for a watercolor attributed to Turner. Not surprisingly, Swann Galleries did not mention the $840, with buyer's premium, fetched for lot 228, incorrectly documented as a "French School" Work "After the painting by J-L David", created "Early Ninetieth Century".

Will George W. Bush Presidential Museum Exhibit Self Portraits by 43rd President?

by  & Robert Grunder

George W. Bush Self Portrait Painting
George W. Bush Self-Portrait Portrait Painting
Recently discovered Self Portrait paintings by George W. Bush, the 43rd President, have won praise from Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith, husband and wife Art Critics, for Vulture/New York Magazine and The New York Times, respectively. Given the positive reception of the Self-Portraits, will the $200 million George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, scheduled to open May 1, 2013, Exhibit these Works?  

Billions Don't Impress Artnet!

artnet AG (ART:GR) 30 Day stock price
On August 8, 2012, artnet convened its annual shareholder meeting which lasted 13 hours, delayed from July 11, 2012. 
Hans Neuendorf, former CEO and now consultant, along with Jacob Pabst, the new artnet CEO and Mr. Neuendorf's son, successfully implemented limits to shareholders rights, meaning in the future, changes to the company statute will require the backing of stock-owners representing three-quarters of the company’s capital. This plan thwarted Redline Capital's takeover attempt of arnet AG.

Artnet Takeover Tug Of War


Recently, artnet has been the subject of numerous news articles, including:
  • Hans Neuendorf, artnet CEO resigns and is replaced by Jacob Pabst, Mr. Neurendorf's son.