Update – Sep. 29
***Beltracchi was of course the famous international art forger, famous for sucker-punching entertainment celebrities with more money than brains. Kevin Hearn isn’t the only neophyte art collecting member of this witless group who made utterly disastrous calls on paintings – in his case, calling a genuine Morrisseau painting a “fake.”
With one huge Canadian difference. Ed Mirvish, Taylor Thomson, Steve Martin and others who made fools of themselves by making idiotic calls on fake artworks they bought, DID NOT negatively impact the marketplace valuation or the integrity of the other art of the artist they had bought. Collectors and the media, laughed at Mirvish, Thomson, and Martin, NOT at the genuine work of the artist they had bought.
NOT SO WITH HEARN, IN THE SMALL POND OF THE CANADIAN ART WORLD.
Only in Canada – In Canada, instead of laughing at Hearn, collectors and the media denigrated the artist and his work as shot through with “fakes.”
Hearn’s slanging of his Morrisseau painting as a “fake,” – especially allied to his “celebrity status” – had a huge and disastrous impact, and led to the downward spiraling of valuations, not only of Morrisseau art, but the art of all Canada’s Indigenous people. By totally undermining, without evidence, the integrity of the art of Morrisseau, the top Indigenous artist in Canada, Hearn undermined everyone’s faith in all the art and artists of Canada’s Indigenous people.
Hearn’s fraudulent claims did and continue to do, GREAT IRREPARABLE HARM to all the art and artists of Canada’s Indigenous people.
Celebrity Art Collecting Dunces – Famous art collecting “dunces” include, David Mirvish who actually spent $12 million that his daddy, Honest Ed, gave him, buying three fakes he, idiotically, claimed were genuine modernist Jackson Bollocks, long after the forensic experts told him he was as utterly wrong as only a neophyte art collector can be.
Another Art Gallery of Ontario “celebrity curator” who followed in Kevin Hearn’s disastrous footsteps in the role of pseudo “art expert,” was Steve – you are a laugh – Martin another celebrity musician. Martin bought a fake, made by Beltracchi for $880,000 US, and claimed it was real, until the forensic experts told him his art expertise was a “laugh” and his painting a fake.
Still, the AGO curators got the brilliant idea that Martin’s art “expert” ineptness was good expertise to make the American comic an expert on Lawren Harris… and pay to fly him – with your donations and mine – to Toronto to open the Harris Retrospective. Because to their mind an American comic, and a laughable Million Dollar dunce in art collecting, is preferable to a Canadian expert on Harris, who is, to my mind, hands-down, Canada’s best artist ever…
Hearn can’t skate away from his malfeasant irresponsibility, by blaming his “imagination” and his daydreaming in his “House of Invention,” for his gross ineptness stemming from being a neophyte art collector, and publicly fronting for a fraud by bandying about his celebrity name brand recognition, thanks to his association with the Barenaked Ladies.
What Hearn Knew or Ought to Have Known – From the beginning in 2010, Hearn deliberately and aggressively ignored all the obvious warning signals, that should have told him he was totally dead wrong about his Morrisseau being a “fake.”
Disastrously, he took NO STEPS of any kind to do DUE DILIGENCE, to do verification of anything on any level, even to protect himself, his reputation, and his painting, from being discredited, dismounted, and devalued by fraudsters, not a single one of whom showed – or could show him – a smidgen of credible evidence OF ANY KIND, for discrediting his painting.
NOT AGO Director Matthew Teitelbaum; NOT his Curator of Canadian Art Gerald McMaster; NONE of the inanely fawning AGO giggle girls in retail he corresponded with; NOT Ritchie Sinclair; NOT discredited Art Terrorist Donald Robinson; NOT his dutiful disciple the utterly malfeasant Professor Carmen Robertson, who was, in 2010, nowhere in sight among all these principals involved in the Morrisseau world at the AGO.
And certainly NOT from his lawyer Jonathan J Sommer, who was making very good money by disastrously losing every lawsuit he fronted, in promoting his and Ritchie Sinclair’s Morrisseau “fakes” business. Sommer had no wins, NOT ONE, in representing a single alleged Morrisseau “fake.” Only totally judicially discredited losses to show his willfully ignorant musician client.
Explaining, of course, in the starkest terms, clear to anyone with single digit IQ, why out of 90,000 lawyers in Canada, Sommer was the ONLY ONE claiming he had a client with a Morrisseau “fake.” That being art collecting neophyte Kevin Hearn, who had been convinced he should retain Sommer to sue the highly reputable art dealer and gallery where he had purchased it many years before.
(Hearn had been completely happy with his Morrisseau purchase “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” for years, until Sommer’s business partner, Ritchie Sinclair, came knocking at his door one day in 2010, with “bad news” and promoting Sommer as the “go to lawyer” for launching a lawsuit, as he recently also promoted him to the elderly witless and gullible Margaret Hatfield. That bad advice had cost her some $60,000 of her paltry pension, and a rebuke in two Canadian courts by two judges, regarding her and Sommer’s claim that her Morrisseau painting was a fake.)
Still the witless musician bought into the fraud that dismounted, discredited, and devalued his genuine Morrisseau. And paid scores of thousands to his lawyer to do it. And viciously, maliciously, and publicly discredited the only decent expert and human being involved in doing the “right thing” during the AGO scandal… Joe McLeod.
Hearn damn well knew – I’ve seen his email correspondence – that his chum Ritchie Sinclair – and no one else – dismounted and discredited his painting as a fake. And that only Ritchie Sinclair told him it was a fake. And as proof, offered Hearn only his “assurances.”
And Hearn blindly and willfully chose to believe his ruthlessly conning and conniving chum, who was already well established in Canadian art circles as an aggressive, racist, anti-Indigenous art terrorist.
Sinclair was prominent in going after his – and Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ – Number One Target for their Art Terrorism, Canada’s top Morrisseau expert, Joe McLeod. Sinclair, as the longtime fraud enforcer for KRG, also personally had a hate on for McLeod, for a lot of reasons, beyond dutifully targeting him, on command for KRG:
– Joe had turned Sinclair down as a gallery artist because he did not like his Faux-nishinaabe art, paintings by a white man done to mimic Indigenous artists, so fooling the buyers.
– Sinclair hated Joe McLeod because the wife of Sinclair’s first lawyer got a shock, when she brought McLeod some of her “Morrisseau” paintings to sell – which her husband Zak Muscovitch had received in payment from Sinclair for legal services. Joe sternly told a surprised Ms. Muscovitch, that they were NOT Morrisseaus at all, but “ersatz” art, Faux-nishinaabe stuff, painted by Sinclair himself. Muscovitch stopped working for Sinclair; and a rural Quebec lawyer, Jonathan J Sommer came aboard. Sinclair and Sommer became a team operating a Morrisseau “fakes” business. Sinclair found and persuaded the gullible and witless victims to sue, and hire Sommer; Sommer billed them.
– McLeod had killed Sinclair’s show of Faux-nishinaabe art at the Scollard Gallery, when he told the proprietor, that Sinclair was lily-white, NOT the “Native” artist with Indigenous DNA, he dressed himself up as, to fool people.
– The Scollard owner pointedly did NOT mention Sinclair as a gallery artist, after he went bankrupt and closed his gallery, and published a list of names and Thanks to all the artists who had exhibited with him.
– In 2010, in a secret deposition he made to Toronto Police, Ritchie Sinclair deliberately and fraudulently maligned Joe McLeod as being involved in a criminal conspiracy of forgers. (Sinclair also named me (John Goldi), accusing me of being actively involved as a member of a Criminal Conspiracy with the other people, who were all KRG targets. In fact, at that time, I had NEVER, met or talked to any of the other seven people, with whom Sinclair told police, I was an active, criminal conspirator, promoting forging or selling fake Morrisseau paintings.)
– Sinclair and KRG together, targeted the McLeod originating paintings exhibited at the Elmwood Spa show in Nov. 2010, and stopped a book launch featuring Morrisseau paintings McLeod had contributed.
– Sinclair terrorized Joe physically, in the street, at his car, at his shop, and at his residence, till Toronto Police warned him to Cease and Desist in Sep. 2010. When Sinclair refused to stop terrorizing the 82 year old McLeod, the Police charged Sinclair with Criminal harassment in Dec. 2010.
– Again in 2010, Sinclair targeted McLeod, by getting the Art Gallery of Ontario to dismount, discredit, and devalue a genuine McLeod-sourced Morrisseau painting, “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth,” bought by Kevin Hearn, and used for display during his “Celebrity Curator” stint at an AGO show. An act of Cultural Genocide willfully, and malfeasantly – without any substantiation whatsoever, or evidence of any kind – aided and abetted by AGO Director Matthew Teitelbaum and his Curator of Canadian Art Gerald McMaster.
Sinclair, Hearn, Teitelbaum and McMaster will forever be bound as architects of the worst act of Cultural Genocide in the history of the Art Gallery of Ontario, against the art and artists of Canada’s Indigenous people.
In Hearn’s defence, we offer the consideration that as a musician, perhaps he doesn’t read much, and so may not have seen the damning evidence denouncing and exposing his chum Sinclair’s racist views and anti-Indigenous rants, long published and documented on the internet.
We are all defined, for good or ill, by our friends; Hearn was defined by Ritchie Sinclair as their chummy emails, which I have seen, make damningly clear.
Sinclair, being the school dropout, with his firmly established reputation as a vicious and malicious art and cyber terrorist, and since 2015 a convicted Libeler and Slanderer.
Hearn had NOT A SINGLE IOTA OF EVIDENCE FROM THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO, SAYING THAT HIS PAINTING WAS FAKE. OR SAYING ON WHAT BASIS THEY WERE DISMOUNTING “SPIRIT ENERGY.” NOT ONE. There is NO such document.
HEARN HAS NO EVIDENCE FROM MATTHEW TEITELBAUM (AGO Director) OR GERALD McMASTER (AGO Curator of Canadian Art) SAYING HIS PAINTING WAS, IN THEIR OPINION, A FAKE. NOT ONE. And offering their proof. Not a smidgen.
All Hearn had/has, is Ritchie Sinclair, the worst and most racist art terrorist in Canadian history.
All Hearn has is inane gossipy emails with Ritchie Sinclair, and the nattering, and celebrity gushing gals running the AGO retail store and painting rental department.
And on that trash talk, from girls who work in retail, and a school dropout, rests the sole reason that the Art Gallery of Ontario dumped his painting, so precipitating the worst act of cultural genocide in AGO history.
Kevin Hearn has, apparently for years, been daydreaming in his imaginarium in his House of Invention. And refused to wake up.
Even after 2015, when Brian Shiller, Defence Counsel for McLeod, told Hearn in no uncertain terms that Joe McLeod, Canada’s senior, and most respected Morrisseau art expert, was firm that Hearn’s painting was totally authentic, and certainly no fake on any level.
Hearn preferred to go on listening to Ritchie Sinclair, the giggle gals in the AGO shop, and keep dreaming away in his imaginarium. (There are numerous embarrassingly inane and fawning emails between Kevin Hearn, Ritchie Sinclair, Jennifer Bhogal, who ran the AGO art rental shop, and Kirstin Mearns, who runs the AGO retail outlet, during this period. All say how sorry they are for what happened to Kev’s painting…)
In pre-trial documents of Dec. 2015, Brian Shiller also told Hearn, in no uncertain terms, that McLeod had no money to pay for a forensic examination of the painting. (In other words Joe could not afford a proper, or even minimal defence against a celebrity musician with deep pockets, being manipulated by fraudsters.)
It also meant that there was NO MONEY to pay court costs or pay for damages etc., even in the extremely unlikely event that McLeod was to lose his case in court. Hearn, Shiller sternly pointed out, would never, ever recoup, any of the scores of thousands he has paid to pursue his fantasy, let alone the scores of thousands he demanded in penalties. That McLeod had only his pension, which would have disappeared when Joe died in May, 2017.
I believe Shiller also did pro bono work, to help Joe out on the case. Because Shiller, better than any other lawyer in Canada, knows the Morrisseau HOAX that Kevin Hearn is promoting in tandem with his lawyer, Jonathan Sommer, and mutual friend, Ritchie Sinclair. A HOAX, that Shiller, before Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, called “a Scam… a Scam… a Scam” involving Donald Robinson, as I clearly heard him say, listening to him from a dozen feet away on Dec. 6, 2013. And watched Justice Sanderson, perusing the documents, nod in agreement, as he spoke.
The damning facts related to the origin of the Hearn claim, should have been a no-brainer, to anyone with a cerebral cortex. And the proper course of action for Hearn: drop the lawsuit that will be a total dead end for Hearn, on every level, in every way, NO MATTER WHICH WAY IT GOES…
But Hearn preferred to stick his head into a deep dark place, and, in the meantime just go on DOING GREAT IRREPARABLE HARM TO THE ART AND ARTISTS OF CANADA’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE…
And who would possibly want that…?
Still, Hearn preferred to keep hugely spending*** on his lawyer, Jonathan J Sommer, to what end is not known by any rational human being, even those with only a single digit IQ. (***In court documents Hearn openly complained about the huge legal costs he was having to pay.)
Still, rather than doing the obviously proper thing, Hearn wanted to keep on Doing GREAT IRREPARABLE HARM to the art and artists of Canada’s Indigenous artists. And the art of Norval Morrisseau.
Exactly like his bosom chum Ritchie Sinclair.
Hearn clearly, also, had no pity on a viciously and ruthlessly targeted and victimized 87 year old man with heart surgery complications, who was not only financially destitute, but hugely ailing with heart problems, and was, no doubt, under heavy medication, preparing for his open heart operation.
And guilty of nothing more than getting in the way of a ruthless band of art fraudsters.
After Shiller notified Hearn that Joe could not afford to forensically authenticate the Hearn painting – something Hearn, inexplicably, had NOT done in over 12 years he has owned the painting – a decent person, would have ordered a forensic examination himself. If only to provide the scientific hammer blow that would knock out Joe, BOTH as a Morrisseau expert and as a Defendant.
But there was NO HEART in Hearn. And clearly lots of ulterior motives, and fears…
Damningly, there was no rush by Hearn, or his team, to send their painting to a forensic scientist.
We know why the fraudsters didn’t demand Hearn do the forensics himself. Because, they very well knew the results would be catastrophic for their case.
An independent scientist, saying the painting the fraudsters around Hearn have called “fake” for years, is actually totally authentic, with DNA certainty, and not fake in any way shape or form.
And independent forensic examinations would have been a death blow to all those who have treated Kevin Hearn as a CASH COW since 2012.