NEW YORK (AP) — Federal officials are accused of selling counterfeit paintings by Raymond Pettibone, a successful contemporary artist who got his break decades ago by doing album covers for punk rock bands like Black Flag and Sonic Youth.
A spokesman for the federal prosecutors’ office in Manhattan said Thursday that aspiring artist Christian Rosa, who fled the United States last year, is still absconding. Rosa’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, declined to comment.
Rosa, also known as Christian Rosa Weinberger, was a one-time friend of Pettibone who is a citizen of Brazil and Austria. US Attorney Damian Williams announced the indictment against him on Wednesday, saying he was living in Los Angeles at the time of the alleged fraud, which centered on a famous series of paintings by Pettibone that depicted surfers dwarfing giant ocean waves. Was.
Williams said, 43-year-old Rosa “frauded buyers for hundreds of thousands of dollars and jeopardized the legacy of a New York artist through her counterfeiting scheme.”
In 2018 and 2020, Rosa and others arranged the sale of four forged wave images to two unidentified buyers, the indictment said. It said that Rosa also forged certificates of authenticity with Pettibone’s forged signatures.
Court papers say that in 2019 after an email exchange with a friend asked about why the sale was delayed, Rosa explained that she wanted to find a buyer who would not resell the work at auction. agree to sell.
“I’m not trying to bust, so it’s taking longer,” he reportedly wrote.
Rosa panics after artnet.com Newspapers say it reported suspicions that one of the paintings sold last year was a fake. She emailed the friend, saying “the mystery is out” and even contacted Pettibone to claim that the fake was an “overpainted print” made by someone else in Austria, the papers say.
According to artnet.com, Pettibon’s works are included in the collections of the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Gallery in London.