“The fairy tale uncle cut up the designs and picked them into the frame”

“The fairy tale uncle cut up the designs and picked them into the frame”

The gallery owner Alois Wienerroither has experienced turbulent days since it became known that he wanted to sell a real picture by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in a frame counterfeited by André Heller. The selling price in 2016 would have been six million euros, but there was no buyer in New York at the time.

“We never offered the frame as an independent work of art or as a real Basquiat frame because we didn’t have a certificate for it,” says Alois Wienerroither, who grew up in the community of Attersee. Both the picture itself and the sketches processed in the frame, which Basquiat had made for the “Luna Luna” project conceived by André Heller, are verifiably genuine. Wienerroither: “The fairy tale uncle (Heller, note) cut up the drafts and picked them into the frame.”

Wienerroither has already confronted the universal artist André Heller, who dismisses the matter as a childish prank, by telephone. He asked him: “What happened there, Mr. Heller, why did you say that, that’s not true at all.” Heller’s answer? “You know, I wanted to make a clean sweep.” Heller means that he wanted to “deceive” the Viennese Basquiat specialist and art historian Dieter Buchhart with the frame campaign.

“Incredible nonsense

Alois Wienerroither attaches importance to the statement that his gallery “Wienerroither und Kohlbacher” has fulfilled every duty of care for 25 years.

The gallery owner had a good relationship with André Heller for many years: “It would never have occurred to me that he would do such incredible nonsense.” He does not want to take legal action in the matter.

Source: Nachrichten

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