MAK­ING MIL­LIONS ON COUN­TER­FEIT ART

Plaza Magazine US & International - - TAILORING -

When the gallery owner Glar­ifa Ros­ales' ad­mit­ted to have sold coun­ter­feit art for two decades in Septem­ber last year, New York's art scene was left shocked and ap­palled. Cash­ing in an as­tound­ing 80 mil­lion dol­lars, Ros­ales sold pro­fes­sional im­i­ta­tions of Amer­i­can mod­ernist artists such as Mark Rothko, Willem de Koon­ing and Jack­son Pol­lock. Buy­ers were told the paint­ings were pre­vi­ously un­known work in­her­ited by an anony­mous seller. The real pain­ter was in fact Pei-shen Qian, a 73-year-old Chi­nese im­mi­grant who made the paint­ings in his garage in Queens. It has been ques­tioned how so many in­flu­en­tial and knowl­edge­able buy­ers weren't able to spot the in­au­then­tic na­ture of the work, but it seems the value of the pieces meant many turned a blind eye. Per­haps Pei-shen Quian's abil­ity to im­i­tate so many dif­fer­ent artists should be cel­e­brated. It cer­tainly can't be any easy feat.

Long Is­land gallery owner Glafira Ros­ales with her lawyers.

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