AuthorsFrom the Wire

Dark Arts: PW Talks with Richard Dorment

In “Dark Arts: PW Talks with Richard Dorment,” art critic Richard Dorment discusses his upcoming book, Warhol After Warhol, which delves into the corruption allegations that led to the disbanding of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s authentication board in 2012. Dorment explains that he wanted to find a way to make the story more accessible to the general public, and decided to tell it in the form of a memoir, using Joe Simon’s real-life experience with the foundation as a literary device. In the interview, Dorment reflects on the difficulties of writing the book, the surprising actions of the board, and the impact of his reporting in shedding light on the other side of the story. He also addresses the wider issue of authentication controversies in the art world, pointing to the Knoedler scandal as an example.

Dark Arts: PW Talks with Richard Dorment

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Interview with Richard Dorment about Warhol After Warhol

In a recent interview, author Richard Dorment discusses his book Warhol After Warhol, which delves into the 2007 lawsuit against the Andy Warhol Foundation. Dorment explains that he knew this story would become a book after contemplating on how to make it accessible to a wider audience. He didn’t want it to be limited to only art enthusiasts, dealers, and scholars. The breakthrough came when he realized that he could tell the story through Joe Simon’s real-life experience, turning it into a memoir. This way, readers could engage with the story through Joe’s extraordinary personality and life journey.

Background on Warhol After Warhol

Warhol After Warhol focuses on the disbanding of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s authentication board in 2012. The foundation’s authentication board was responsible for determining the authenticity of artworks attributed to Andy Warhol. However, allegations of corruption shadowed the board, leading to its eventual disbandment.

Dark Arts: PW Talks with Richard Dorment

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The 2012 Disbanding of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s Authentication Board

The disbanding of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s authentication board was a significant event in the art world. The board had faced accusations of corruption and questionable practices. This raised doubts about the credibility and accuracy of the authentication process for artworks attributed to Andy Warhol. The decision to disband the board brought the issue to the forefront, prompting further investigation and discussion.

Revisiting the Articles in the New York Review of Books

Dorment’s book draws heavily from his previous articles in the New York Review of Books. These articles were highly technical and closely argued, making them challenging to read for a general audience. However, they served as a foundation for the book, providing the necessary research and analysis. By revisiting and expanding upon these articles, Dorment was able to create a more accessible narrative.

Dark Arts: PW Talks with Richard Dorment

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Telling the Story as a Memoir

Dorment chose to tell the story of the Andy Warhol Foundation and its authentication board through the lens of Joe Simon’s lawsuit. By framing it as a memoir, he was able to humanize the narrative and keep readers engaged. Joe Simon’s experience became a literary device to convey the complexities and repercussions of the authentication process. This approach allowed readers to connect emotionally with the story, regardless of their prior interest in Warhol or art.

Engaging Readers with Joe Simon’s Experience

Joe Simon’s experience served as a vehicle for readers to understand the intricacies of the lawsuit. Through his perspective, readers could witness the challenges, frustrations, and insights that arose throughout the legal battle against the foundation. By immersing readers in Simon’s journey, Dorment aimed to captivate their attention and make the story relatable on a personal level.

Dark Arts: PW Talks with Richard Dorment

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Challenges in Writing the Book

Writing Warhol After Warhol was not without its difficulties. Dorment reveals that he had to rewrite every sentence in the book multiple times. Such meticulous editing was necessary to ensure the accuracy and readability of the narrative. The attention to detail is a testament to Dorment’s dedication and commitment to presenting the story in the best possible manner.

The Foundation’s Tactics during the Lawsuit

During the lawsuit, the Andy Warhol Foundation employed tactics that surprised Dorment. Rather than addressing the authenticity of the painting at the heart of the case, the foundation’s lawyers attempted to discredit Joe Simon. They resorted to smears and conjectures, diverting attention from the core issue. This strategy puzzled Dorment, as it seemed to prioritize reputation preservation over a genuine exploration of the painting’s authenticity.

Dark Arts: PW Talks with Richard Dorment

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Impact of Dorment’s Reporting

Dorment’s reporting had a significant impact on the Warhol Foundation’s claims. His articles provided the first counter-argument to the foundation’s narrative, offering a different perspective on the authenticity of the painting. These articles gained widespread readership, reaching beyond just the art community. Notably, law schools started incorporating Dorment’s work into their curriculum, recognizing its importance in the emerging field of art law. The reach and influence of Dorment’s reporting made him proud, as it allowed the world to consider both sides of the story.

Authentication Verifications in the Art World

While the controversy surrounding the Andy Warhol Foundation was notable, authentication disputes are not limited to Warhols. Dorment points out the Knoedler scandal, which occurred a few years ago. The renowned New York gallery was involved in the acquisition and sale of millions of dollars’ worth of fake artworks, including one with the misspelled name of the artist, Pollock. Interestingly, the Knoedler scandal shared similarities with the Warhol Foundation’s case, as both entities employed the same law firm. This suggests that authentication kerfuffles are not uniqu

Source: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/interviews/article/93237-dark-arts-pw-talks-with-richard-dorment.html