Photographer Peter Beard has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in New York seeking to remove forgeries of his works from the market, which have been appearing in recent months. The artist was asked by Sotheby’s New York to examine two of his photographs consigned to its 16 May sale by Luca Giussani, an Italian living in Miami. The works, estimated at $50,000-$70,000 each, were “crude and brazen forgeries”, says Mr Beard, stating that they appeared to be digital scans based on reproductions found in catalogues.
A Sotheby’s spokeswoman said the works, Rogue Rhino, 1965, and Bull Elephant, 1960, were withdrawn from the sale. Mr Beard says “they are part of a group of preposterous put-togethers that have been suddenly appearing on the market”.
The Beards have retained the New York law firm Shatzkin and Mayer who on 20 April filed suit in court charging Mr Giussani with “copyright infringement and unfair competition”. The court heard the case on 10 May and it continued as we went to press. Mr Giussani’s New York-based lawyer, Raymond James Dowd, did not return our calls.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Photographer sues over forgeries at Sotheby’s'