What if you paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for new, original paintings by a famous artist, only to be told that the artist hasn’t painted in years and the paintings were created by someone you’ve never heard of? According to a series of lawsuits, Adam Max, son of the famous painter, Peter Max, has allegedly been taking advantage of his father’s declining mental health in order to make a profit for himself and a few of his business partners by selling new paintings with his dad’s name on them. The problem is that Max is allegedly no longer painting.
Widely considered to be a countercultural icon in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Max was one of the few painters to become a household name and have his work displayed on the White House lawn, the cover of Time Magazine, and even postage stamps. Now he’s 81 years old and suffering from dementia, but new paintings with his name on them continue to sell for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whether he’s really painting them is up for debate.
According to one of the many lawsuits between Max’s friends and family members, his son, Adam, together with three business associates, allegedly took over Max’s studio in order to profit off what is already one of the most lucrative art franchises of the 20th century. They have allegedly filled the studio with 18 painters they recruited (many of them off the street) and are paying minimum wage in order to produce paintings in Max’s famous style. Max is then allegedly instructed to hold out his hand and sign his name to each painting so his son can sell them at auction. Continue reading ›