The title, “315 Johns,” sounds less like the name of an artwork than a headline describing a prostitution bust. But in the second volume of the catalogue raisonné enumerating the works of Andy Warhol, it is listed as a 1967 Warhol creation: a series of silk-screens made from a photograph of the artist John Chamberlain and arranged in a heroic grid.
And in 2000, documents show, Mr. Chamberlain sold it for more than $3 million to an unnamed collector after securing a declaration from the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board that the piece was genuine.
But in a lawsuit now making its way through state court in Brooklyn, Gerard Malanga, a poet and photographer, angrily contends there are a few problems with this. For starters, he says, the work was not Mr. Chamberlain’s to sell; for another, it should never have sold for so much because Warhol, who died in 1987, not only did not make it, but was never even aware it existed.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
315 Johns: Authentic Warhol or Fo Fo Fo Faux?
When is a Warhol not a Warhol? Apparently when a Factory boy makes it and Andy doesn't know about it.