JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, Florida, and Fraud


Author: Ryan Lutz

"New" Basquiat works are coming to Orlando Museum of Art?!   We were there the opening week.  Meeting one of the higher ups with the Museum before we walked the exhibit, and it was as if a cloud was over hanging.  My enthusiasm was immediately dampened.  

I could not tell if the gentleman was extremely curmudgeon, he disliked me, or maybe he was having a bad day.  We all have bad days, so I tried not to take it personal.  

But the truth is, it was much more insidious.  In hindsight, I suspect the staff was on pins and needles. Given the fact that there were (yet to be proven) fraudulent Basquiat works being shown in their facility.  Not just one fake Basquiat, but a full show of questionable works.....

Ryan Lutz at ORLANDO MUSEUM OF ARTviewing a  JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT-1

How fake are they

Well, Im no Basquiat expert, and apparently the forgers were not either.   Because I dont think one needs to be a Basquiat expert to get a good impression.  

See below, these are all photos from the recent FBI raided exhibition.  I snapped these when we viewed the exhibit during the opening wee.  And what one can notice, immediately, is that these there seems to be inconsistency between the purported Mumford works.  The works seem to drawn by 2 different people.  The marks look inconsistent between some of the pieces.  And that is before we even begin to assess the consistency with autheticated Basquiat works.  

Furthermore, the work looks to be made of differing media than authentic Basquiat works.   Additionally, the colors palette looks not 100% consistent with Basquiat's body of works. The colors just dont appear consistent with other Basquiat works.  These just look to have much more heavy saturation, etc.

And all this is before we even get into the Fed ex box controversy.

Overall Impression

I was excited to see these works.  Prior to visiting the exhibit, I was suspicious.  And was mentally giving the benefit of the doubt.  Thinking perhaps Basquiat's drug use, and maybe using different drugs during this era were to blame.

Perhaps he had switched Media/paints as he was purportedly working in LA, and not NYC during this era.  Maybe there was a reasonable explanation.  

However, at the end of the day, Im going to have to guess that these works are fakes, mainly due to the contrived nature.  They just look as if someone were trying too damn hard. 

And I dont think that is consistent with Basquiat.  



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october, 2022



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