FBI investigates works by Basquiat exhibited in Orlando

The "New York Times" reveals the existence of an investigation of 25 works currently exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art, in Florida. According to the American newspaper, these paintings attributed to one of the most highly rated artists in contemporary art could be fakes. Aaron De Groft, director of the Orlando Museum of Art (Florida), examines one of the paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat visible until June 30 as part of the “Heroes & Monsters” exhibition. According to the “New York Times”, the FBI is currently conducting an investigation into 25 works by the artist found in a storage room in 2012. “The fascination for the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) shows no signs of abating. Evidenced by the T-shirts reproducing the painter's motifs which are snapped up for 29.99 dollars [approximately 28 euros] at Gap, the crowd which rushes as soon as an exhibition devoted to his work opens, when it is not a question of not a painting which, as happened last week , goes up for auction for 85 million dollars [78 million euros]”, remarks The New York Times , which reveals the existence of an investigation by the FBI on 25 works by the artist exhibited since February at the Orlando Museum of Art (Orlando Museum of Art, in Florida). The American newspaper had already published, at the time of the inauguration of the exhibition, an investigation which questioned the authenticity of the works in question: a set of paintings presented as having been “made on pieces of cardboard collected by Basquiat in bins in late 1982, when he lived and worked in Los Angeles, in a studio below the apartment of famous art dealer Larry Gagosian” . Loaded lockers According to the current owners of the works and the management of the Orlando museum, the paintings – whose size varies between 25 cm and 1 meter high – were sold by Basquiat for 5,000 dollars (just over 4,600 euros ) to a now deceased TV screenwriter. He then said they were “stored and forgotten in a storage room for thirty years” – until its contents were seized in 2012 for non-payment of rent for the storage space and sold at auction for 15,000 dollars. Asked by The New York Times, Larry Gagosian had qualified, in February, this version of “highly improbable” . As the newspaper explains, it is based “largely” on the account of the two purchasers at the time (William Force and Lee Mangin), whose records show that they “both served prison sentences for drug cases, under different names” . A font problem Is this criminal past enough to invalidate the thesis defended by the Orlando museum? No, retorts Mangin's lawyer, quoted by The New York Times. As the newspaper reports, "the fact that the owners [of a work] have one day had to deal with justice does not prejudge the authenticity or otherwise of it" . In its February article, the daily also quoted an independent expert according to whom the typeface found on the back of one of the boxes supposedly recovered by Basquiat had only been used on the packaging of the carrier Federal Express at from 1994, six years after the death of the artist. Works valued at $100 million An interpretation to which the management of the Orlando Art Museum opposes various expertise and research going in the direction of an attribution of the works to Jean-Michel Basquiat. The museum, which exhibits them until June 30, did not respond to questions from The New York Times about the ongoing investigation. Often referred to as a “meteorite” in the art world, Jean-Michel Basquiat died of an overdose at the age of 27. His avant-garde works are today among the most expensive in contemporary art. As The New York Times points out, if their authenticity is confirmed, the 25 paintings on cardboard exhibited in Orlando could be worth “approximately $100 million” . seen in COURRIER INTERNATIONAL

FBI investigates works by Basquiat exhibited in Orlando

The "New York Times" reveals the existence of an investigation of 25 works currently exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art, in Florida....