Saturday, August 20, 2016

ART BIZ | Alec Baldwin Claims Art Sale Switch (Updated Aug. 20, 2016)

Alec Baldwin, Mary Boone
The New York Times has a detailed story by Graham Bowley on what seems to have been a bait-and-switch transaction that serves as a warning to purchasers of art.

Alec Baldwin believes that a gallery owner, Mary Boone, misled him when he purchased what he believed to be Ross Bleckner’s Sea and Mirror (1996). Baldwin first encountered the piece as a picture on an invitation to an exhibition mailed to him by Boone about ten years ago.

Baldwin didn’t buy the work at the time, but carried the picture of it around with him. It sold at Sotheby’s in 2007 for $121,000. In 2010, Baldwin asked Boone to convince the buyer to sell and, according to Baldwin, she provided the piece to him at a premium, $190,000. But in fact he did not get the painting he expected to get. “Ms. Boone sent him another version of the painting."

Boone has repeatedly offered to return his money, but Baldwin is too angry at her for the moment to accept the offer. He feels betrayed by Bleckner, whom he met in East Hampton and considered a friend, as well as Boone. He looked into criminal laws and was told that the art market is so weakly regulated that the alleged fraud would be hard to prove was a criminal act. (To be continued!)

Other ART BIZ posts: Hot Dots and Collage Credit . 100 Priciest Art Sales . Eternal Springs Hope