Here I again sit in my third floor writing studio working on the rewrite of Artful Dodgers: Fraud and Foolishness in the Art Market. With a terrific torta Cubana and a Cerveza Pacifico close at hand, gentle breezes wafting in from my roof-top terrace and all of San Miguel de Alliende around and below me, I am reminded of the thought that “the best revenge is to live well”. So how am I doing?
With the promise of a luxury bus ride to Mexico City on Friday and several days with my friend Ernesto Zepeda, the Dali collector and scholar, the nastiness of Fine Art Registry and those associated with them seem a very long way away. A host of strong and supportive comments have come in from people who really do know the truth, but the settlement agreement in a recent lawsuit precludes me from publishing them. Pity, but it’s the cost of deciding that no matter how badly I’ve been treated, no matter how many lies have been posted about me and no matter how flawed other “Dali experts” may be, I just don’t want to spend the next three years of my life in a lawsuit proving myself right. The people who really matter and the people who really do know don’t have to have me prove anything to them. I’ll concentrate on living well and try to keep the poison extruded by others out of my life.
Oh, by the way…… One comment sent to this blog by someone too chicken to identify themself (although it’s obvious who it is) referred to my posting in which I said I had never worked for Park West Gallery and said that I was lying. NO. I have never worked for Park West Gallery. I have only been retained as an independent Dali expert and believe me, that is a whole different role, especially when my reputation is everything and I shall never be influenced by a client to report opinions that I don’t fully believe are true. Ever notice how those who don’t understand integrity assume that everyone else is cheating?
So, about Artful Dodgers….. The rewrite (always a part of the process) is going well even though at one point I thought I might be in the position of Felix Mendelssohn who said after completing his Italian Symphony, “Of everything I have written down, as much was deleted as was allowed to stand.”
Unraveling Dali’s Les Caprices de Goya
Recently I received an interesting assignment. Actually, they all are.
Janice Embry Brown, docent extraordinaire at The Salvador Dali Museum, was asked a question about the printing methods used to produce the 80 prints of the Dali suite Les Caprices de Goya. She, always wanting to give the full and correct answers, passed the question on to Professor Elliott King who suggested she ask me since it is an area of my specialization.
Before leaving Santa Fe for San Miguel I did my research, copied entries from the two catalogues of Dali prints and other printed references and added notes from my files (the most extensive in the world) on my personal examination of a suite of the prints.
I found that the catalogues, as usual, were confused. Dali et Les Livres came the closest. My determination was as follows.
Salvador Dali obtained a set of reproductions of the eighty Francisco Goya images from the Musee de Castres–the Goya Museum–about two hundred fifty miles southwest of Paris. Between 1973 and 1977 he created drypoint plates which, when printed over reproductions of the Goyas, produced eighty two-artist prints. These were then hand colored with watercolor applied through stencils at Atelier J. J. Rigal.
The prints exhibit printed facsimile Goya signatures, titles and plate numbers, drypoint signatures of Dali and pencil signatures of Dali. The total edition size is 250 sets.
If you have any further explanation, additional information or new perspectives on this one of innumerable Dali print enigmas, please pass it on to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always appreciate such contributions.