October 24, 2010

Why Was The Andy Warhol Authentication & Antitrust Lawsuit Withdrawn?



Joe Simon with Andy Warhol Self-Portrait Stamped "Denied"


Joe Simon's long anticipated Federal lawsuit vs. the Andy Warhol Art Foundation and the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board has come to a screeching halt according to Jason Edward Kaufman, at artinfo.com.

Although the Joe Simon lawsuit concerns the Authenticity rejection for his purported Andy Warhol 1964 Warhol Self-Portrait, that has been stamped "Denied", the lawsuit took on a larger scope as Simon accused the Andy Warhol Art Foundation of maintaining an 'illegal conspiracy" by limiting the number of Authentic Andy Warhol Works of Art.

The stakes are extremely high as Andy Warhol prices continue to soar as Warhol's market appeal continues and is substantially stronger now, than when the Artist died in 1987.  The auction record for a Warhol is the $71.7 million paid for his 1963 Green Car Crash at Christie's in May 2007.

In November, 2009, the Andy Warhol, 200 Dollar Bill Painting achieved $43.7 million at Sotheby's, NY, making it the second highest price ever paid for an Andy Warhol Painting at Auction.

The Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board's rejection of the Mr. Simon's Andy Warhol 1964 Warhol Self-Portrait has significant financial consequences, stripping the value by millions, rendering the painting worthless. 

According to  Seth Redniss, Mr. Simon's attorney, the lawsuit will be withdrawn at the next hearing, scheduled for November 10 in federal court in the Southern District of Manhattan.

On 10/23/10, Mr. Simon stated to Kaufman "my attorney Seth Redniss has been trying to fight three major law firms, including Boies Schiller LLP on two continents. The Warhol Foundation has already spent several million dollars defending what they continue to describe as a `frivolous’ suit–without putting so much as a dent in our argument that Warhol’s series of Red Self Portraits is authentic."

"I firmly believe that my case is robust, and that I would prevail if it were to come to trial". Although I would like to continue, but as one attorney wrote “there is no law firm which could afford to go against this sort of legal team spending millions of dollars”. Since I lack the financial resources available to the ‘not for profit’, I can no longer continue with the case."

Mr. Redniss believes that the evidence "definitively establishes that Warhol knew about Joe Simon's painting and the series it was from and that he considered it an authentic work." But it now appears that the case will close without the court deciding the merits of the art-historical evidence.

The complete article from Jason Edward Kaufman is here.

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