Art Crime

Art Crime

Jasper Johns Studio Assistant Charged With Selling 22 Unfinished Works Valued at $6.5 M

Johns in 2003. (Courtesy Getty Images)

The United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York announced today that it has charged James Meyer, a former studio assistant to Jasper Johns, with interstate transportation of stolen property and wire fraud after he allegedly consigned 22 unfinished works from Mr. Johns’s Connecticut studio to a Manhattan gallery without the artist’s knowledge. The sales of the works allegedly brought in $6.5 million for the gallery, of which $3.4 million went to Mr. Meyer. Read More

Art Crime

Light Artist, Internet Activist ‘Deface’ U.S. Embassy in Berlin

The projection. (Courtesy @KimDotcom)

Berlin police are currently investigating German artist Oliver Bienkowski, who projected an image of hacker Kim Schmitz, a k a Kim Dotcom, and the phrase “United Stasi of America” on the facade of the U.S. Embassy in the city last Sunday. Mr. Bienkowski, who spent $6,500 on the guerilla stunt, told Der Spiegel that the piece was a critique of the NSA’s mass web surveillance. Mr. Schmitz appears to have been involved; on July 8, @KimDotcom tweeted, “I defaced the U.S. embassy in Berlin with a truth-projection last night. 0wned!” along with a picture (at left). Police will question Mr. Bienkowski on the grounds that he broke a law that forbids “insulting organs and representatives of foreign countries.” Read More

Art Crime

Glafira Rosales, Dealer Tied to Allegedly Fake Knoedler Paintings, Charged With Tax Fraud, Concealing $12.5 M. in Proceeds


Glafira Rosales, the Long Island-based art dealer who has been under investigation for allegedly selling counterfeit artworks by 20th-century masters including Pollock, de Kooning and Rothko through the now-defunct Knoedler & Company and other galleries, was arrested today and charged with filing false tax returns for the years 2006 through 2008 and deliberately failing to Read More

Art Crime

Stolen Rembrandt Found in Serbia, Four Arrested

A detail of the work. (Courtesy Novi Sad City Museum)

This is shaping up to be a pretty great workweek: day two delivers a second Rembrandt story. (Yesterday the Brooklyn Museum announced it was opening a small Dutch painting display with two Rembrandts.) The news today is that Serbian police have recovered the artist’s Portrait of the Father (circa 1630), which was stolen from a museum in Novi Sad, Serbia, in 2006. Four suspects were apprehended in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia. Three other works plucked from the museum—a Rubens, a Francesco Mola and a piece by an unknown artist—have not yet been recovered. Read More

Art Crime

Pastor Indicted For Attempting to Sell Fake Damien Hirst Painting at Sotheby’s


Kevin Sutherland, the Florida pastor who was arrested last month for allegedly attempting to sell counterfeit work by artist Damien Hirst, has been indicted, according to an announcement today from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. The defendant was charged with attempted grand larceny in the second degree after bringing a piece he claimed was a spin painting by Mr. Hirst to Sotheby’s. The auction house determined that the signature on the back of the work, which would have been worth thousands of dollars if authentic, did not match that of the artist.  Read More