Warhol Foundation Accused of Art Market Conspiracy!!!
The media has recently been filled with reports of the Andy Warhol Foundation being involved in extremely dodgy practices aimed at monopolising the market for, and increasing the value of Warhol’s work which has resulted in an American man suing the foundation. Apparently the Andy Warhol Foundation has been labeling works inauthentic that are in fact authentic in order to create more demand for Warhol’s work.
The law suit has been filed by a film producer by the name of Joe Simon-Whelan who claims that an Andy Warhol work (a silkscreen portrait of Andy Warhol) that he owns has been authenticated on many separate occasions by not only the same people who are now denying its authenticity but also by major auction houses. Not only has the foundation denied authenticity of the work but it has also stamped the back of the silk screen with a red denied stamp which has bled through the canvas and is now visible through the actual image.
Having been dead since 1997, Warhol still earns an estimated 19 million US dollars a year from the use of his images on everything from billboards to boxer shorts so I doubt that the Warhol foundation is desperately in need of money but greed can cause people to do pretty terrible things. I am not suggesting that these rumors are true but with the current level of competitiveness in the art market it would not surprise me that these sort of dishonest tactics are being used to increase the demand for an artists work.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.