Pei-Shen Qian, a Chinese national living in the United States, had been a street artists among many street artists, until one day a man offered him $200 to do an imitation of a modern art masterpiece. Qian, along with this man are now at the center of a scandal that has rocked the New York art scene.
Last september it was revealed that an art dealer pleaded guilty to selling more than 60 fake paintings, most of them through the Knoedler & Co. gallery. It turned our that every single one these paintings were made by Qian. The FBI said they were done by the hands of a genius.
Lawyers for Knoedler say the gallery committed no fraud: “There is nothing, I mean nothing, that shows that anyone at Knoedler knew or should have known that these works were not authentic”. The gallery provided expert opinions on the artworks’ authenticity to buyers “so they could make their own inquiries. Buyers that have been buying fakes are saying this doesn’t matter. If you walk into a Chanel store, it’s Chanel. In other words: the gallery is to be held responsible and should repair damages.
And Qian? He claims he was also duped. He had no idea – he says – that someone was selling of “his” art work, making millions.
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