Andy Warhol’s Pop Riot

“The sophisticated audience that had turned out to put down the art that was not on display provided a chilling touch of surrealism worthy of Buñuel or Fellini”
JUNE 16, 2020
The latest Arthurian exploit of the legendary Andy Warhol occurred last Friday at the public opening of his first comprehensive exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art on the University of Pennsylvania campus. (The show closes on November 21.) At the preview opening the night before, attended by 1600, a tuna fish painting was impaled by a television light stand and Institute Director Samuel Adams Green was himself pushed to the wall against a painting. Realizing he was up against something big, Green took the unprecedented step of removing the paintings for the public opening. Left up in three spacious rooms were a few dozen flower paintings on one wall and about seven grocery carton sculptures in a corner.
Confronted by vistas of stark white walls, the milling crowd, mostly students, debated the merits of the absent art. TV reporters with mobile cameras interviewed earnest co-eds who pointed at nail-studded walls and made pronouncements like: “I always thought art was supposed to be creative,” “pop art is just comedy in art,” “all of his art is trash, you know it, it’s got to be a fad.” The sophisticated audience that had turned out to put down the art that was not on display provided a chilling touch of surrealism worthy of Buñuel or Fellini.
By 10 p.m., one hour after opening, 1000 people had crammed into the galleries and refused to budge. On the wall opposite the flowers, a single crutch hung on a nail where a painting had been, presumably left behind by someone now borne along by the crowd.
Andy and the Satellites were recognized by their golden and silvered locks and engulfed in a sickening crush. Forming a human chain, they sought refuge in the back room. Nearly trampled in the melee was the entire pop art brain trust — Rosalind Constable, Henry Geldzahler, and G. R. Swenson, all of them old hands at non-violent museum openings.
The crush to get into the back room was so great that three people were forced out a window on the opposite side and landed in a hospital. The unruliness of her fans prompted Edie Sedgewick — incredibly gorgeous in a floor-length, shocking pink Rudi Gernreich sheath — to shriek. Escorted by campus police, the Warhol party swept back to the front room where they scrambled up a corner stairway. “We want Andy,” the crowd chanted. ”Well, now I’ve seen Andy Warhol,” one boy crooned, while another screamed, “Get his clothing!” At the first turn in the stairs, Warhol wheeled around to look back horror-stricken through his yellow sunglasses. Like the star-crossed heroines with whom he identifies (Marilyn, Liz, and Jackie), he was menaced by the disrespectful idolatry of his fans.
The stairway, alas, did not lead to the second floor, having been boarded up years ago. ”We were trapped like rats,” Green said, but also protected by four policemen posted at the base of the stairs. From their perch, Warhol’s party stared at the crowd and the crowd stared back; both sides seemed to be getting satisfaction. “I wish he would leave so I could leave,” a boy said. Co-eds pushed forward bearing tins of Campbell’s pork and beans and Campbell’s tomato soup that were relayed up the stairs for autographing. An attractive housewife had her book of S & H Green Stamps autographed; she said she would never redeem them.
Warhol and the Satellites were rescued by a group of students who cut a hole in the floor above, through which they made a Beatlesque escape.
Although the show received unfavorable reviews, Warhol was credited with sparking tremendous in art in Philadelphia. “All the people thanked me for doing something in Philadelphia ,” he said.

Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004),

Massive James Rosenquist Mural Unveiled In Lobby Of 3 World Trade Center The Financial District


A James Rosenquist mural titled Joystick is now on display in the lobby of 3 World Trade Center in the Financial District. The mural spans 46 feet of the office building’s ground-floor entryway.
James Rosenquist was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota and rose to become a seminal figure in the Pop Art movement of the 1960s. He is most known for his large-scale, collage-style paintings and major exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and many other institutions both domestic and abroad. Rosenquist died at his home in New York City on March 31, 2017 at the age of 83.
As described by James Rosenquist Studio, Joystick, which was originally painted in 2002, is an ode to Rosenquist’s love of flying. The abstracted visualization is based on reflections of various forms from within a central mirrored cylinder moving at a great speed.
Lily Rosenquist, artist and daughter of James Rosenquist, oversaw installation of the mural.

Girl with Tear I by Roy Lichtenstein, 1977

Edited from Wikipedia
Roy Fox Lichtenstein (October 27, 1923 – September 29, 1997) was a pop artist. During the 1960s, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist among others, he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the premise of pop art through parody.
 Inspired by the comic strip, Lichtenstein produced precise compositions that documented while they parodied, often in a tongue-in-cheek manner. His work was influenced by popular advertising and the comic book style. He described pop art as "not 'American' painting but actually industrial painting".
Whaam! and Drowning Girl are generally regarded as Lichtenstein's most famous works, with Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... arguably third.
His most expensive piece is Masterpiece, which was sold for $165 million in January 2017
Lichtenstein was born in New York, into an upper-middle-class Jewish family. He  attended New York's Dwight School, graduating from there in 1940. Lichtenstein first became interested in art and design as a hobby, through school. He was an avid jazz fan, often attending concerts at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He frequently drew portraits of the musicians playing their instruments.
Lichtenstein then left New York to study at Ohio State University, which offered studio courses and a degree in fine arts. His studies were interrupted by a three-year stint in the Army during and after World War II between 1943 and 1946.
 He returned to studies in Ohio under the supervision of one of his teachers, Hoyt L. Sherman, who is widely regarded to have had a significant impact on his future work
Lichtenstein entered the graduate program at Ohio State and was hired as an art instructor, a post he held on and off for the next ten years. In 1949 Lichtenstein received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio State University.
In 1951, Lichtenstein had his first solo exhibition at the Carlebach Gallery in New York.
He moved to Cleveland in the same year, where he remained for six years, although he frequently traveled back to New York. During this time he undertook jobs as varied as a draftsman to a window decorator in between periods of painting. His work at this time fluctuated between Cubism and Expressionism.
In 1957, he moved back to upstate New York and began teaching again. It was at this time that he adopted the Abstract Expressionism style, being a late convert to this style of painting.
 Lichtenstein began teaching in upstate New York at the State University of New York at Oswego in 1958. About this time, he began to incorporate hidden images of cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny into his abstract works.
In 1960, he started teaching at Rutgers University where he was heavily influenced by Allan Kaprow, who was also a teacher at the university. This environment helped reignite his interest in Proto-pop imagery.
In 1961, Lichtenstein began his first pop paintings using cartoon images and techniques derived from the appearance of commercial printing. This phase would continue to 1965 and included the use of advertising imagery suggesting consumerism and homemaking.
In 1961, Leo Castelli started displaying Lichtenstein's work at his gallery in New York. Lichtenstein had his first one-man show at the Castelli gallery in 1962; the entire collection was bought by influential collectors before the show even opened.
A group of paintings produced between 1961 and 1962 focused on solitary household objects such as sneakers, hot dogs, and golf balls. In September 1963 he took a leave of absence from his teaching position at Douglass College at Rutgers.
His works were inspired by comics featuring war and romantic stories “At that time,” Lichtenstein later recounted, “I was interested in anything I could use as a subject that was emotionally strong – usually love, war, or something that was highly charged and emotional subject matter to be opposite to the removed and deliberate painting techniques".

It was at this time that Lichtenstein began to find fame not just in America but worldwide. He moved back to New York to be at the center of the art scene and resigned from Rutgers University in 1964 to concentrate on his painting.[26] Lichtenstein used oil and Magna (early acrylic) paint in his best known works, such as Drowning Girl (1963), which was appropriated from the lead story in DC Comics' Secret Hearts No. 83. (Drowning Girl now hangs in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.)
 Drowning Girl also features thick outlines, bold colors and Ben-Day dots, as if created by photographic reproduction. Of his own work Lichtenstein would say that the Abstract Expressionists "put things down on the canvas and responded to what they had done, to the color positions and sizes. My style looks completely different, but the nature of putting down lines pretty much is the same; mine just don't come out looking calligraphic, like Pollock's or Kline's."
Rather than attempt to reproduce his subjects, Lichtenstein's work tackled the way in which the mass media portrays them. He would never take himself too seriously, however, saying: "I think my work is different from comic strips – but I wouldn't call it transformation; I don't think that whatever is meant by it is important to art."
 When Lichtenstein's work was first exhibited, many art critics of the time challenged its originality. His work was harshly criticized as vulgar and empty. The title of a Life magazine article in 1964 asked, "Is He the Worst Artist in the U.S.?"
Lichtenstein responded to such claims by offering responses such as the following: "The closer my work is to the original, the more threatening and critical the content. However, my work is entirely transformed in that my purpose and perception are entirely different. I think my paintings are critically transformed, but it would be difficult to prove it by any rational line of argument."
He discussed experiencing this heavy criticism in an interview with April Bernard and Mimi Thompson in 1986. Suggesting that it was at times difficult to be criticized, Lichtenstein said, "I don't doubt when I'm actually painting, it's the criticism that makes you wonder, it does."

Lichtenstein began experimenting with sculpture around 1964, demonstrating a knack for the form that was at odds with the insistent flatness of his paintings. For Head of Girl (1964), and Head with Red Shadow (1965), he collaborated with a ceramicist who sculpted the form of the head out of clay. Lichtenstein then applied a glaze to create the same sort of graphic motifs that he used in his paintings; the application of black lines and Ben-Day dots to three-dimensional objects resulted in a flattening of the form
Most of Lichtenstein's best-known works are relatively close, but not exact, copies of comic book panels, a subject he largely abandoned in 1965, though he would occasionally incorporate comics into his work in different ways in later decades.
Lichtenstein's works based on enlarged panels from comic books engendered a widespread debate about their merits as art. Lichtenstein himself admitted, "I am nominally copying, but I am really restating the copied thing in other terms. In doing that, the original acquires a totally different texture. It isn't thick or thin brushstrokes, it's dots and flat colors and unyielding lines."
Although Lichtenstein's comic-based work gained some acceptance, concerns are still expressed by critics who say Lichtenstein did not credit, pay any royalties to, or seek permission from the original artists or copyright holders.
In an interview for a BBC Four documentary in 2013, Alastair Sooke asked the comic book artist Dave Gibbons if he considered Lichtenstein a plagiarist. Gibbons replied: "I would say 'copycat'. In music for instance, you can't just whistle somebody else's tune or perform somebody else's tune, no matter how badly, without somehow crediting and giving payment to the original artist. That's to say, this is 'WHAAM! by Roy Lichtenstein, after Irv Novick'."
In the early 1960s, Lichtenstein reproduced masterpieces by Cézanne, Mondrian and Picasso before embarking on the Brushstrokes series in 1965. Lichtenstein continued to revisit this theme later in his career with works such as Bedroom at Arles that derived from Vincent van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles.

In 1970, Lichtenstein was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (within its Art and Technology program developed between 1967 and 1971) to make a film. With the help of Universal Film Studios, the artist conceived of, and produced, Three Landscapes, a film of marine landscapes, directly related to a series of collages with landscape themes he created between 1964 and 1966.[53] Although Lichtenstein had planned on producing 15 short films, the three-screen installation – made with New York-based independent filmmaker Joel Freedman – turned out to be the artist's only venture into the medium.
Also in 1970, Lichtenstein purchased a former carriage house in Southampton, Long Island, built a studio on the property, and spent the rest of the 1970s in relative seclusion.
In the 1970s and 1980s, his style began to loosen and he expanded on what he had done before. Lichtenstein began a series of Mirrors paintings in 1969. By 1970, while continuing on the Mirrors series, he started work on the subject of entablatures. The Entablatures consisted of a first series of paintings from 1971 to 1972, followed by a second series in 1974–76, and the publication of a series of relief prints in 1976.[56] He produced a series of  "Artists’ Studios" which incorporated elements of his previous work. A notable example being Artist's Studio, Look Mickey (1973, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis) which incorporates five other previous works, fitted into the scene.
During a trip to Los Angeles in 1978, Lichtenstein was fascinated by lawyer Robert Rifkind's collection of German Expressionist prints and illustrated books. He began to produce works that borrowed stylistic elements found in Expressionist paintings. The White Tree (1980) evokes lyric Der Blaue Reiter landscapes, while Dr. Waldmann (1980) recalls Otto Dix's Dr. Mayer-Hermann (1926). Small colored-pencil drawings were used as templates for woodcuts, a medium favored by Emil Nolde and Max Pechstein, as well as Dix and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
Also in the late 1970s, Lichtenstein's style was replaced with more surreal works such as Pow Wow (1979, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen).
Lichtenstein died of pneumonia in 1997 at New York University Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized for several weeks
Roy Lichtenstein sales records
Work  Date    Price   Source
Big Painting No. 6    November 1970        $75,000        
Torpedo...Los!          7 November 1989     $5.5M
Kiss II 1990   $6.0M
Happy Tears November 2002       $7.1M
In the Car      2005   $16.2M
Ohhh...Alright...       November 2010        $42.6M         
I Can See the Whole Room...and There's Nobody in It!            November 2011         $43.0M
Sleeping Girl 9 May 2012    $44.8M         
Woman with Flowered Hat 15 May 2013  $56.1M          
Nurse 9 November 2015     $95.4M         
Masterpiece  January 2017 $165M

A collector's dream: Artwork gifted to OSU Museum of Art on display to help enhance art education

Artwork gifted to OSU Museum of Art on display to help enhance art education
By Tanner Holubar CNHI News Oklahoma
George R. Kravis II was a lifelong fan of art and began collecting at a young age. When he passed away in 2018, he donated more than 700 works of art from his collection to the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art.
Kravis grew up in an art loving family, with as much art adorning the home as possible. The family even gave each other works of art as gifts, which helped spurn a lifelong love of art and all different types of artwork.
The OSU Museum of Art opened its latest exhibition this week, titled “In the Mind of the Collector,” which features a selection of 82 works of art from the collection of Kravis. He was a strong proponent of art education, which is a main feature of this exhibit.
“A lot of what she’s chosen for these exhibitions, there’s so many opportunities for our education to do programming,” said Kristen Duncan, marketing and communications specialist for the OSU Museum of Art. “For programming with the community, with families, and for anyone and everyone to come and do activities. The great thing is, this exhibition will be open through July, but there’s going to be different things that happen throughout the spring. So we’re hoping we can really engage with the community with the different events that will be going on.”
One part of the exhibit delves into how Kravis became an avid art collector, and one piece on display is a record changer, which he purchased when he was about 10 years old. Kravis became involved in radio broadcasting, beginning at a station with the call sign KRAV, and later began collecting radios from the 1930s to the 1950s, with a number of radios on display as part of the exhibit.
Kravis also developed an interest in art that referenced pop culture. A couch is on display at the OSU Museum of Art that is made to represent Marilyn Monroe’s lips. Other pieces were influenced by comic book artwork, as well as works of art developed by working architects.
Arlette Klaric, associate chief curator and curator of collections for the museum, said the OSU Museum of Art is the only museum in Oklahoma that is focusing on modern and contemporary art. She said a focus of this exhibit is to showcase objects that are not only practical use objects, but ones that also serve as artwork.
“This is the first time we’ve had a design collection,” Klaric said. “One of the goals of the show and the project, is just to make people more aware of these objects, not only for their purpose, but for the way they look and for the associations they can have.”
Klaric said with Kravis having been such a backer of art education, the ability for the OSU Museum of Art to try to help educate people about art through his collection has helped create a legacy for the museum.
“It’s amazing. We as a university art museum, our primary purpose is to teach,” Klaric said. “Our audiences also teach in their own way and learn. So he’s given us some really important examples of artwork to share with the community. We got more than 700 objects … and it’s huge. Collections like this don’t come along every day, and especially because we’re only five years old, it’s really helping us create an identity.
“And he’s really created a legacy for the museum with this work. Because it’s a permanent collection, people can come in and make friends with works of art. It’s just an enormous gift to have gotten, and I’m in awe of people who do things like this, because this was a lifetime pursuit for him.”
The goal of this current exhibit is to help educate people in the community about art through multiple different events, which will take place during the 2nd Saturdays with a variety of activities. The first will take place Feb. 8, where people who attend will be able to take part in the 3D Chair Design Challenge.
Patrons will be able to use the museum’s 3D printing pens to try and design and build a miniature chair. The challenge is to see whose chairs will actually be able to stand. The chairs that will actually stand will be put on display in the museum. The pens used are non-heating, which makes them safe and fun to use for kids, as well as anyone who wishes to try the challenge.
Another community activity that is planned is what the museum dubbed “Cherished Possessions.” People can bring cherished objects to be photographed, and the object can be special to the person for a variety of reasons. It could be an object of tremendous sentimental value, or can be an object that people are proud to own. The project will be a Polaroid photo taken of the person holding the item, and the collection of Polaroids will be put on display in the museum’s mini-vault.
It is a project that will evolve over the course of the exhibit being open, as more and more people’s photos will be on display, it will grow to be more impactful, as the stories of people’s objects will create an interesting collage of personal objects from the community. People who attend the opening reception for the exhibit on Jan. 31 can bring an object and be a part of this artistic endeavor.
Other 2nd Saturday events that are planned are “Radio Days” on April 11, where people can come for a day of music and art inspired by pop culture. On May 9 for “Pop Art Day,” people can come and create art inspired by commodities and pop culture.
Klaric said a special thing about the OSU Museum of Art is that it provides the people of Stillwater with a chance to visit an art museum without having to drive into the city to do so.
“For Stillwater, we certainly have the art department gallery, and now we have this,” Klaric said. “For people who are interested or who get interested in art, they don’t have to go 60-something miles to Oklahoma City or Tulsa … they can find it right here. It’s really an important source for the university. It’s one thing to read about the exhibition, but when you come in and see the objects, it’s a different experience.”
The OSU Museum of Art is located at 720 S. Husband St., and is free and open to the public. For more information on the museum or this exhibit, visit

At 87, This Icelandic Pop Artist Is Still Making Eye-Popping Work

Alina Cohen
Jan 10, 2020 

For over six decades, the Icelandic artist Erró  has made paintings that forgo gentle aesthetics in favor of riotous visual assaults. His canvases feature overlapping, appropriated, painted images from everyday sources including comic books, advertisements, and the media. A representative work, Baby Rockefeller (1962–63), is a triptych brimming with pictures: grapes, flowers, a butterfly, Santa Claus, a stork carrying a child in its beak, a Native American warrior, a dog with a sign that says “Happy Birthday,” a revolver, and a covered wagon. And that’s just a fraction of it.
Years before the internet saturated our lives with more information than we could possibly absorb, Erró was bombarding his viewers with such amalgamations of kitschy figures, cartoons, and political references. Working in Paris, he espoused the mid-20th century
 movement that swept across Britain and the United States. He befriended major figures of the New York art world and helped break down the barrier between high and low culture.
“Erró represents the nomadic spirit of how Pop images related to consumption and consumerism were collected and transposed across the globe,” says Erica Battle, associate curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). In 2016, the PMA mounted “International Pop,” a survey of Pop Art (organized by the Walker Art Center, where it was shown the year prior), that included Erró’s Foodscape (1964). The canvas is an overcrowded visual feast made up of cheese plates, cakes, canned goods, and candy wrappers.
Over the past few years, Galerie Perrotin has helped raise the artist’s profile among Manhattanites. A new show opening on January 14th gathers the artist’s collages on paper, spanning the 1950s through 2019. They’re relatively tame works, which offer a quieter—perhaps more salable—side of the artist’s exuberant practice. Martin Bremond, associate director at Perrotin, believes the collages make Erró an “approachable artist, easy to understand and discover.”
Erró was born Gudmundur Gudmundsson in Iceland, in 1932, to a single mother; he enjoyed a happy, if unconventional childhood for the time. He once recalled growing up in the bucolic countryside, “on a farm where you could ride a whole day on a horse and still be on the same farm.” Early creative skills and dedication led to his admittance at the Oslo Academy of Fine Art in 1952. He worked in a figurative mode, painting blocky nudes and Inuits with kayaks.
Marc Chagall
 visited and praised one of Erró’s anatomy studies.
Throughout the early and mid-1950s, Erró further defined himself as a unique, leading artist. He entered a brief apprenticeship at Ravenna Mosaic School in 1955, where he made a mark for himself. He changed his name to the more easily pronounceable “Ferró,” after staying in the Spanish village Castel del Ferro. He eventually dropped the “F.”
Throughout the late 1950s, Erró painted battling, cartoonish skeletons and received an illustrating commission from Spartacus publishing house. He married an Israeli artist, Myriam Bat-Yousef, and settled in Paris. Erró was a master networker. His friend, poet and painter Jean-Jacques Lebel, introduced him to the Parisian Surrealists. Painter Roberto Matta
 visited Erró’s studio, and Erró vacationed at Irish painter Philip Martin’s Formentera home. All the while, he pushed his own practice into ghostly new realms, creating haunting, apocalyptic scenes of monsters merging with machines. Despite this dark material, European and New York galleries began showing the work. In 1961, Manhattan’s March Gallery exhibited Erró’s pieces alongside those of Yayoi Kusama and
Allan Kaprow.

Yet Erró didn’t visit New York until two years later. The extended trip proved pivotal. He met American art luminaries including
Jim Dine, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, Andy Warhol,
Claes Oldenburg, Carolee Schneemann (with whom he had an affair), Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist
. Inspired by the country’s conspicuous consumerism, Erró began scavenging supermarket aisles and city streets, gathering products, magazines, and postcards. His new paintings, which reveled in excess, quickly followed. In 1964, New York’s tastemaking Gertrude Stein Gallery gave the artist his first one-man show in the U.S.
Over the decades, perhaps the most conspicuous shifts in Erró’s practice regard his source materials. Bremond notes that throughout the 1970s, Erró incorporated ideas about the Cold War into his work. Eastern and Western figures appear together, in strange juxtapositions. The New York Office (1976), for example, depicts former Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong sitting in a New York skyscraper, while other works feature a poster of former Chilean president Salvador Allende, a swastika, or a likeness of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara. The Soviet satirical publication, Krokodil, eventually became one of his favorite sources. Throughout the 1980s, more pop culture icons appeared. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman reside amid machines and political figures.

Since the 1990s, Erró has continued to fill his canvases with icons of culture and advertising, such as cars, Disney figures, and crop tops. In a recent paper collage, the recycling sign—three arrows curving towards each other into a triangular shape—appears. Environmental concerns surface, if only at a superficial level.
Erró’s work, according to Bremond, doesn’t explicitly suggest a political agenda. Instead, he says, “Erró just wants people to question politics.”
The artist himself, however, had a different view. “Political paintings and speaking about politics was not welcome in New York,” he recently explained over the phone, from his Paris studio. He notes that he no longer solely relies on his own devices for source material. While he buys American and Japanese comics from a local bookstore, people also send him images to use.
At 87 years old, Erró is still looking forward. “The future of art is street art,” he said. It’s easy to see the vibrant hues, pop culture references, and rejection of formal aesthetic principles that unite the artist’s work with what one might find along the walls of Bushwick, Wynwood, or Saint-Denis. Erró is friendly with Parisian street artist
Speedy Graphito
, whose own cartoon-inflected designs suggest the elder painter’s influence.
Whether Erró’s work is any “good” is beside the point. “His Pop-style work is shamelessly derivative, technically facile, illustrative in the most obvious and superficial ways and completely without sensuous physical appeal,” Ken Johnson wrote in a New York Times review of Erró’s 2004 Grey Art Gallery retrospective. And yet, he countered, “despite your better judgment,” you may find yourself engaged in the artist’s “manic graphic activity, antic humor, and promiscuous sampling.” So it goes with the fever dream that is our 24-hour news cycle. It’s difficult to look; it’s even harder to look away.

MY WRITERS SITE: Are we looking at the actual Mona Lisa?

MY WRITERS SITE: Are we looking at the actual Mona Lisa?: On August 21, 1911, an Italian citizen named Vincenzo Peruggia (October 8,1881 – October 8, 1925) a professional thief, stole the Mon...

Mike Stanko's On Butterfly Island

Man with Vespa, 1963

Takashi Murakami.

Wanda Pimentel, Untitled, from the series “Envolvimento,” 1968.

Warhol’s Silver Factory, 1960s

Warhole (I think, I forgot to write it down)

Richard Hamilton, Interior II, 1964

Richard Hamilton, Interior 1964, published 1965

I Love Liberty, Roy Lichtenstein, 1982

Evelyne Axell, Ice Cream, 1964

Artist Peter Max allegedly siphoned over $4M from elderly relative

By Kathianne Boniello

Famed pop artist Peter Max and his wife Mary — who committed suicide in June — allegedly siphoned $4.6 million in cash from their dementia-riddled relative, “Cousin Lou,” according to court papers.
They used much of the cash to splurge on bling, including a Cartier bracelet, earrings and a ring collectively worth $1.485 million; $1.3 million in jewelry from Bhagat; a Verdura ring costing $58,500; and $47,000 Van Cleef & Arpels earrings, among dozens of other pricey purchases, according to Lou’s daughter, who is seeking to recoup the cash.
Ricki Reisner said her dad, Louis Gottlieb, was so ill in the years before his January 2015 death at age 90 he didn’t realize the Maxes were taking advantage of him — sometimes writing more than one hefty check to them a day, she says in a Manhattan Supreme Court claim.
Gottlieb ran a successful construction business before moving into money management, carefully investing the bulk of his cash in bonds for years.
More than 70 pieces of Mary Max’s jewelry went up for auction Dec. 13, bringing in nearly $1 million, claims Reisner, who wants a judge to stop Mary Max’s executor, her brother Daniel Balkin, and Doyle Galleries, which ran the auction, from distributing the proceeds.
Max was long accused of mistreating the now 82-year-old Peter, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Peter Max previously promised to return the funds in a recorded phone call, according to court papers.
Peter Max rose to fame during the “pop art” era of the 1950s and 1960s, using bright colors and a psychedelic flair before going on to paint for commercial enterprises like the Super Bowl, cereal boxes and the US Open.
Years before her tragic end, Peter and Mary Max were allegedly taking trips to see Peter’s “Cousin Lou” on Long Island — a successful businessman who established a trust worth more than $11 million for his daughter.
The Maxes got Gottlieb to write them more than 30 checks in less than two years, Reisner charges.
Mary Max appeared to regard Gottlieb as nothing more than a piggy bank, salivating over a $250,000 Cartier ring in an email to a friend and noting the hefty price tag “would be one trip to Lou if only he weren’t in such a decline,” and leaving “detailed instructions” for Peter “on how to ask Louis for the money,” according to Manhattan Supreme Court papers.
Balkin declined comment. Reisner wants a judge to freeze the auction proceeds.