“The beauty of art may be in the eye of the beholder, but the behavior we allege today is objectively ugly.”
Hip art darling Christian Rosa has been charged with counterfeiting and selling Raymond Pettibon’s “Wave” series.
According to the United States District Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Rosa stole at least four unfinished works from Pettibon’s studio, worked them through, and then sold the complete forgeries with Certificates of Authenticity through an intermediary. .
Regarding the case, FBI Deputy Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “The beauty of art may be in the eye of the beholder, but the behavior we allege today is objectively ugly.”
A real whip from the feds.
Rosa, 43, (whose real name is the less charming Christian Weinberger), was educated in Vienna and dazzled her way through the artistic scenes of Los Angeles and New York with her formalist, zombie-style paintings. (Roll eyes) Both Jay-Z and Leo DiCaprio own their works.
Until last year, Rosa typically sold for more than a hundred thousand dollars, but recently the value of an original was reduced to thirty at most. Rosa perhaps thought that forging the wave paintings would be easy money to maintain the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed.
Everyone loves surfing.
The counterfeits sold for more than six figures each.
Enough for a down payment on a wide variety of Riverside.
Pettibon, who originally rose to fame in the 1980s through his cover art for punk band Black Flag, was Rosa’s friend and mentor, painting portraits of others, sharing gallery space, and betting on races. dog’s.
His wave paintings, which began in 1985, generally sell for around 1.2 thousand. They stand out for their simplicity, making the familiar strange, as they say.
While Pettibon’s works stand out for their simplicity – little more than dreamy elaborate squiggles in a school notebook – the style makes a Pettibon wave easy to recognize.
New York-based art collector Michael Hort, owner of the Pettibon and Rosa works, says it’s not surprising that Pettibon’s wave paintings were faked.
“Pettibon is easy to remove. They are easy to replicate. They’re not that complicated, although you keep coming back and finding new things to look at. “
The experts certainly found things to look at. It wasn’t long before examiners spotted irregularities in the parts. Artnet described the counterfeit paintings as having “apparently strange yellow greens mixed with Pettibon’s normal cobalt blues”, poor text placement, and overly careful signing.
Basically Rosa was careless, the mortal sin of the criminal.
According to the official accusation:
From approximately 2017 to 2020, WEINBERGER, along with other acquaintances and strangers, participated in a scheme to defraud potential art buyers by selling counterfeit Pettibon paintings. Pettibon is a prominent contemporary artist based primarily in New York, New York, who has produced a series of paintings depicting ocean waves with surfers accompanied by handwritten text (the “Wave Series”). WEINBERGER is a contemporary visual artist living primarily in Los Angeles, California and Vienna, Austria. As part of the scheme to defraud, in or around 2018 and 2020, WEINBERGER sold the following artworks, which WEINBERGER falsely represented as authentic Pettibon “Wave Series” paintings, to two buyers (“Buyer-1″ and ” Buyer-2 “):
Untitled (“It was the moment …”), 2013, 100 cm by 155 cm:
Untitled (“Drop in …”), 2011, 80 cm by 60 cm:
Untitled (“Bail, or bail out …”), 2012, 115 cm by 163 cm:
Untitled (“If there is a line …”), 2016, 118.1 by 208.3 cm:
Rosa fled to Portugal in February, but has now been dragged back to the states to await trial.
He could face up to 20 years in the bullpen if convicted.