The Damning Tale the Emails Tell
In May 2005 Kevin Hearn bought a Morrisseau BDP, “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” from Joe McLeod at Maslak McLeod, and loved it for five years. (Joe was Canada’s senior and most reputable Morrisseau expert.)
In June 2010, during a musical gig, hosted by the Art Rental Department at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Hearn hung “Spirit Energy” on the wall.
On June 10, “Spirit Energy” became the victim of a notorious art terrorist attack, initiated by Hearn friend, Ritchie Sinclair, who orchestrated the dismount of “Spirit Energy,” from the AGO wall, claiming it was a “forgery.” For an entire week the scandal he precipitated was a gossip item among Ritchie Sinclair, Kevin Hearn, and the AGO “gaggle of giggle girls” Jennifer Bhogal (Art Rentals) and Kirstin Mearns (Gift Shop), all sneering about and behind the back of, a totally unknowing, and unsuspecting, Joe McLeod.
Only seven long days later – presumably to give Kevin Hearn time to work out his “story line” with the cabal of fraudsters behind him – did he bother to tell Joe McLeod that “Spirit Energy” was dismounted, and discredited. Hearn then fraudulently told McLeod it had apparently, all been done by unnamed AGO people. Which of, course, astonished McLeod.
Hearn had already deliberately hidden the scandal, from Joe, for a week, when he finally called him. And now Hearn also hid the Truth from Joe, which was that Ritchie Sinclair and his band of fraudsters had done it all…
And that, in fact, NO AGO curatorial staff were involved at all, on any level, in either dismounting or discrediting “Spirit Energy” as a fake. Least of all, of course, the Art Gallery of Ontario Frederik S Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, Gerald McMaster.
For several months Joe McLeod then tried to get a professional response from AGO Director Matthew Teitelbaum and Curator Gerald McMaster, to inform him what they had allowed to happen, on their watch, under their roof, with his painting, “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.” They utterly refused to answer his registered professional letters, asking for a professional response.
For the next two years, the man who had taken down “Spirit Energy” as a “fake,” Ritchie Sinclair groomed gullible art neophyte Kevin Hearn and convinced him to launch a lawsuit against Joe McLeod, claiming “Spirit Energy” was a fake and that Joe was a deceptive crook. It was filed on McLeod in October 2012.
The Defence was written, for McLeod, by Brian Shiller, and filed with the Plaintiff Hearn in Feb 2013. That Defence makes utterly clear the provenance of “Spirit Energy” as coming from David Voss by way of Randy Potter (Khan) Auctions.
The Defence, of course, makes a total mockery of Carmen Robertson’s “provenance” analysis in her “expert” report, where she deliberately and maliciously insists on using an outdated, and superceded note tossed off by Joe McLeod, years ago, with errors in it. Robertson – as is so common with her – sneers off and ignores experts and documents she does not like, and favours documents and experts that she finds useful, to help pursue her private vendetta against “Spirit Energy” and Joe McLeod.
There is always the possibility that she has NOT even bothered to read the Defence, where her error is so clearly exposed, and ridiculed, because she already had made up her mind about “Spirit Energy” and Joe McLeod, and did NOT need to listen to him, his lawyer, or his Defence.
This is Repeating on Me – Her disdainful dismissive refusal to consult other opposing experts is exactly what Judge Martial chided Margaret Hatfield for – she loudly sneered off Joe McLeod – and for listening too much to the same two Robertson informers, Ritchie Sinclair and Donald Robinson.
Sinclair also delivered the lucrative Hearn legal contract to his longtime Morrisseau “fakes” business partner, Jonathan Jerome Sommer c.j.c. from Sutton, Quebec.
(This new lawsuit contract would dovetail nicely into another Morrisseau “fakes” lawsuit Sommer was already handling, Hatfield v Child.
That lawsuit, too, had also been precipitated by Sinclair grooming a hapless, helpless, and gullible elderly lady, Margaret Hatfield, by convincing her first, her Morrisseau BDP was a fake, that she should sue the gallery that sold it to her, that her case was a slam dunk, that she would get all her money back and then some, and that she should hire his Morrisseau “fakes” business partner, Jonathan Sommer. Sinclair had delivered her into Sommer’s lap a year before he began grooming Hearn to follow suit. Sinclair’s contribution to the Sommer Business Law Firm bank account, for delivering his two Morrisseau “fakes” contracts, has been estimated to be between $200 – 250,000.)
Jonathan Sommer’s own Statement of Claim (filed June 2012), (Opening Argument Dec. 5, 2017) and laid out in Final Argument (Feb. 9, 2018), falsely claims that Art Curator Gerald McMaster dismounted and discredited “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” on June 22, and called it a “forgery.”
The emails – all from Sommer’s own evidence box – show that he HAS NOT A SMIDGEN OF EVIDENCE for that claim. THAT HIS CLAIM IS FRAUDULENT.
Invoice – Joe McLeod for “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974”
– one of only 14 times, Joe used his own money to buy a high quality Morrisseau at Kahn
– proves his “provenance” is Randy Potter (Kahn Auctions), back through David Voss
– a professional Potter CRA document, NOT an underground cash economy transaction
– dated Feb. 14, 2004, when Ritchie Sinclair was in the hall, praising the “wonderful Morrisseaus,” he told Donna Shea (auction manager) he personally could never afford to own. (Also there that day, besides Sinclair & McLeod, were James White, Joe Otavnik)
– a typical “inconvenient Truth” willfully ignored by Carmen Robertson
THE SET-UP: Ritchie Sinclair started his long career as an art and cyber terrorist in October 2009, when he reinvented himself as a “Protégé of Norval Morrisseau” – Norval had died a year before – and went to work as a fraud enforcer, art and cyber terrorist, for KRG’s Donald Robinson, and put up his racist website denouncing 1,000 genuine Morrisseaus as fakes.
A few months later the duo went to work, as art terrorists, and act as the “Morrisseau experts” Dream Team for lawyer Jonathan Sommer. A job they fulfilled till Oct.2, 2017, when, in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki moment of the trial, Sommer dumped both of them from the trial, saying that the duo, who had prepped Hearn v McLeod for six years, would be removed from the witness chair and not be available to face cross-examination.
Email – Sinclair to Matulic – Meat Grinder Death Threat – Mar 28, 2009
– Sinclair is notorious for being a cyber terrorist with anonymous vile emails
Document – Meat Grinder Sitemeter traced to Sinclair’s CPU – Mar 30, 2009
– Matulic reported the death threat to Calgary Police
– Donald Robinson the art terrorist turns sneaky informer on colleagues, with malicious & fraudulent charges
– KRG’s Robinson family uses the RCMP as a tool to advance their art fraud
– fabricates false & detailed charges against their business competitors
– shows the ruthlessly cunning detail of KRG industrial espionage
– BUT – shows how totally thorough the RCMP investigation was over three years
– RESULT – found NO fakes, charged NO one, seized NOTHING
– KRG TARGETS WERE ALL TOTALLY CLEARED OF ANY ALLEGATIONS
– after three year multi-million $$$ investigation by multiple police forces
– all except KRG which runs a hugely documented provenance manufactory
Document – Fraudulent Sinclair Police Report – Apr. 9, 2010
– Sinclair fabricates false associations of people who don’t even know each other
– Sinclair tell cops he’s member of the NMHS (Heritage Society/Foundation)
– Sinclair knows it works with cops; he’ll try it with AGO a few weeks later
Document – Sinclair Affidavit – Collaborates with Sharon Godwin – Jan. 15, 2009
– TBAG Director collaborates with Sinclair to discredit Otavnik/Seetner paintings & family
– Godwin lies about it to the Otavniks while defaming them & their art privately
– Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s Cultural Genocide v Indigenous art (Morrisseau BDPs)
Email – Alastair MacKay attacks longtime Heritage Blogger – May 18, 2010
– MacKay & Godwin, taking Ritchie Sinclair orders to attack Ugo Matulic
– Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s Cultural Genocide v Indigenous art (Morrisseau BDPs)
THE TRIGGERING EVENT: On Jun. 22, 2010, THREE Morrisseau paintings become part of a fiasco, that would unroll for over three months, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. NONE of the paintings WOULD EVER BE NAMED in any of the emails by anyone. It’s impossible to figure out who is talking about which painting… We’re only interested in Kevin Hearn’s painting “Spirit Energy,” BUT IT TOO IS NEVER NAMED.
Three months later it becomes clear that AGO curator Gerald McMaster does NOT recognize or remember EVER having even seen, or dealt with this painting (“Spirit Energy”) EVER BEFORE. He tells Hearn, he’s mistaken and has the wrong painting… That he (McMaster) has no recall of the painting, has no past association with the painting, and – AFTER HEARN SENDS HIM A PICTURE – that Hearn must be talking about the wrong painting. NIAOB, This cannot be seen as anything other than a professional reprimand from the AGO’s Frederik S Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, to a neophyte art collector who has bought his first painting… and is seeking to involve the AGO curator in a private matter regarding a painting McMaster has NO KNOWLEDGE OR PREVIOUS ASSOCIATION WITH.
Email – Sinclair Dismounts & Discredits “Spirit Energy” Jun 22, 2010
– Sinclair confesses the Dismount & Discrediting of “Spirit Energy” is ALL HIS doing
– the involvement of AGO’s McMaster or Teitelbaum nowhere in sight or evidence
– the Hunt for a more presentable & reputable “trigger man” begins
– the fraudsters will settle on unknowing bystander & hapless victim, Gerald McMaster
– Kirstin Mearns offers Hearn McMaster’s shoulder to cry on
– so McMaster will end up being the designated “patsy” for what Sinclair did
– Jonathan Sommer uses McMaster as the fall-guy to trigger his lawsuit, later in 2012. In fact NO ONE uses the name “Spirit Energy” in any of the 2010 emails. The gossipers never know which painting they’re even talking about. As McMaster makes clear on Sep. 2.
– In fact Sommer is the first person to use the name “Spirit Energy” in his Claim, and try to nail McMaster’s hide to it. When, if Sommer had bothered to read his own evidence emails he would have seen McMaster says a loud and resounding NO.
– NOTE: the RCMP reference echoing KRG; Sinclair is KRG fraud enforcer since 2008
– This totally damning email KILLS the Sommer/Hearn Lawsuit Claim
Email – Mearns gossips with Hearn – Flurry – Jun 22. 2010
– idle hands of the gift shop girl, promoting mischief with “sandwiches”
– the first AGO related email that totally kills the lawsuit
– Mearns say “Flurry… started out as a claim from the Heritage Foundation (AKA Ritchie Sinclair) that the Morrisseau’s (sic) we had on display were forgeries.” Corroborates, totally, Sinclair’s own email, that HE did it.
– shows McMaster being drawn into something he didn’t start & will never understand
– This totally damning email KILLS the Sommer Lawsuit Claim
Email – K Mearns, attacks longtime Heritage Blogger, Ugo Matulic – Jun 22
– idle hands of the gift shop girl, up to more mischief, pretending she’s really AGO curator
– Mearns takes Sinclair’s (Heritage Foundation) orders to attack Ugo Matulic
– lines up the AGO on the side of fraudsters attacking genuine Morrisseau BDPs
– Hearn wildly eating sandwiches instead of responsibly calling & consulting Joe McLeod
Email – Kirstin Mearns calls “sandwiches” Her “Hero” June 22, 2010
– idle hands, busy, busy, busy, fawning over a local celebrity instead of minding the shop
– gift shop girl advises counseling for “sandwiches” with Gerald McMaster
Email – Mearns gossips with Hearn – Wow Wow Wow – Jun 23. 2010
– the only adult in the building, Joe McLeod, does the professional thing
– tries to ride a wave & sell a previous customer (in 2005) a couple of paintings
– a partner & supporter of AGO (McLeod) gets sneered at by AGO gift shop chief
– idle hands of the gift shop girl, promoting mischief with “sandwiches”
Email – Mearns gossips to McMaster – Jun 23, 2010
– idle hands of the gift shop girl – Who’s minding the store?
– describes the dismount & discrediting of an unnamed unidentified Morrisseau painting
– Mearns sets up “counseling” session for “sandwiches”
– sends McMaster the telling Sinclair email describing his dismount of “Spirit Energy”
– it doesn’t help; it turns out McMaster hasn’t got a clue about “Spirit Energy” at all
Email – Mearns gossips re Hearn’s talk w Gerald McMaster – Jun 26, 2010
– “sandwiches” reports to Mearns about his counseling session with McMaster
– Mearns is glad the AGO is NOT involved/stressed like Hearn with his private problem with Sinclair
Email – Hearn to McLeod – “These people” – Jun 28, 2010
– sandwiches has waited seven days before calling Joe McLeod. Why?
– has been freely gossiping behind his back for a week, like a pre-teen. Why?
– has needed the time to get the story straight his handlers want him to stick to
– tells Joe wildly false stories of anonymous “AGO people” dismounting & discrediting “Spirit Energy”
Letter – Joe McLeod to Hearn, Jen says “apology on the way” – Jun 30, 2010
– the only adult in the building, Joe McLeod, does the professional thing
– Joe allows a misunderstanding has taken place, willing to accept Bhogal apology
– Bhogal realizes she’s been fucked over by Sinclair & backpedals, big time
– by offering an AGO apology, she’s malfeasant AGAIN, with power she does not have
– I would call that firing offence #2 (Bhogal “leaves” AGO a few months later)
Letter – McLeod to McMaster re “investigate my painting” – Jul 10, 2010
– the only adult in the building, Joe McLeod, does the professional thing
– reacts to hearsay evidence from Hearn that McMaster is “investigating”
– if the AGO is investigating his painting, his gallery must be involved in the process
– any formal findings must be in writing and professionally copied to him, OK Gerald?
– there is NO answer; there is NEVER an answer to McLeod, even to registered letters
Letter – McLeod to Hearn – a provenance chit – Jul 10, 2010
– Joe under extreme duress, dashes off a quick note, from the backlot of his memory
– tosses off 4 Morrisseau sources he’s had deals with, or paintings from in the past
– Schnieders and Voss names are well-known Thunder Bay Morrisseau dealers
– Irving Jacobs, a known Morrisseau buyer and dealer (and consigner to Joe McLeod)
– Oh, and the typos? Shame on you… You’ve never done any? And you’re not even an 82 year old man, under awful business and personal attacks, night and day, by art fraud “enforcers”
ANNUS HORRIBILIS 2010 – All during 2010, the 82 year old Joe McLeod has been viciously attacked 24/7 by Sinclair and his cabal of aggressive fraudsters, regarding his Morrisseau BDPs, many of which have already been forensically authenticated.
Joe’s under ferocious physical attack, by Sinclair, at Joe’s car, in the street, at his office and at his home, setting off the burglar alarm at 2 a:m.
On Dec. 18, 2010, Toronto Police would finally arrest Sinclair for multiple acts of Criminal Harassment of 82 year old Joe McLeod.
Letter – McLeod to Hearn eckankar images
– the only adult in the building, Joe McLeod, does the professional thing
– the Enkenkar (sic) reference would cause self-styled Morrisseau expert Carmen Robertson to make one of the more fraudulent flights of fancy in her report
– Joe’s right of course, and Robertson’s interpretation is not only false, but ludicrous; in fact from an academic research point of view, it’s clearly a deliberately distorted analysis on her part.
Letter – Cover TOC – McLeod to Hearn – Summary Report – Jul 10, 2010
– the only adult in the building, Joe McLeod, does the professional thing
– promotes “Spirit Energy” as a first class Morrisseau, which the documentation overwhelmingly proves, is not only his professional view, but personal belief
– Email – Sinclair to Hearn – the fraudster in high gear – Aug 19. 2010
– WOW – Sinclair totally destroys the Robertson “Robert Voss” allegation, & reveals McLeod as an honest broker
– Sinclair reveals Robertson as an utterly negligent, and incompetent researcher & a willfully fraudulent reporter
– all by itself, destroys any credibility the professor & her report ever had
– all by itself, kills the lawsuit
– the lying going on here is astronomical in its scale, even for Sinclair…
– This totally damning email KILLS the Sommer Lawsuit Claim
Letter – McLeod to Teitelbaum – No response from McMaster – Aug 6, 2010
– the only adult in the building, Joe McLeod, does the professional thing
– says wrote a professional registered letter to McMaster; no response
– says “Spirit Energy” was removed by Jennifer Bhogal who promised apology…
NOTE: Joe is wrong here only because Hearn lied to him, & hid from Joe, that Sinclair had done the dismounting and discrediting, and made Jennifer, Sinclair patsy #1
– “C’mon you AGO guys, this is serious stuff for me, my gallery and my reputation!”
Letter – McLeod to Hearn no reply from Teitelbaum – Aug 8, 2010
– the only adult in the building, Joe McLeod, does the professional thing
– Joe keeps his client informed that he has fearlessly gone to the TOP
– Joe is fearless because, alone of the entire sorry lot of gossipers, and fraudsters, he knows his stuff. He acts professionally throughout, and demands that the AGO management do the same. He waits in vain…
Professionalism, from the gift shop and rental girls, up to the curator and director, is NOT what the AGO is capable of delivering. So they just let a street terrorist into the building and use and abuse the AGO imprimatur for a personal agenda on behalf of a fraud.
The Telltale Confession that Kills the Sommer/Hearn Lawsuit:
Email – McMaster to Hearn – “C’mon send the right pic” – Sep 2, 2010
– shows Hearn is the witless agent of his own misfortune
– Hearn tells McMaster that McLeod is demanding a professional written response regarding the AGO’s position on his painting “Spirit Energy”
– McMaster can’t even recall the painting, and hell, he’s a top art professional…
– McMaster asks for a picture; Hearn sends “Spirit Energy”
– McMaster has no visual recall at all; that Hearn sent the wrong pic…
– McMaster tells Hearn he’s confused, wrong, mixed-up, whatever
– McMaster has no previous relationship of any kind with “Spirit Energy”
– McMaster advises Hearn to stop all engines & tells Hearn to get the right picture, get the right painting, get the right expert, give him six months, and
– let’s try and save everyone’s
ass – sorry, I meant face…
– This email, BY ITSELF, totally KILLS the Sommer/Hearn Lawsuit
Transcript – McLeod Attacked by Ritchie Sinclair all during 2010
– Joe McLeod’s ANNUS HORRIBILIS from the inside
– 82 year old senior Morrisseau expert repeatedly physically threatened
– Testimony in Hatfield – Jun 4, 2012
Arrest Record – Ritchie Sinclair Criminal Harassment – Dec. 19, 2010
– Sinclair repeatedly attacking 82 year old, soon to undergo heart surgery
– Sinclair warned by Toronto Police to cease & desist
– arrested Dec. 19, 2010 for NOT heeding police warning, & persisting
– it is not known what KRG is paying its enforcer for doing this work
– courtroom, prosecutorial & police malfeasance leads to charges dismissal
– I watched the entire disgraceful thing play out in front of me, all day, Mar. 12, 2012
– lawyer Sommer lies to Justice Sanderson, saying Sinclair “acquitted” 2013
– Sommer & Sinclair have been Morrisseau “fakes” business partners, since 2009, with Sinclair providing Sommer with both Hatfield & Hearn clients
– the experience set back Hatfield c $60,000 and Hearn from $100-200,000
– over the years I have seen Ritchie Sinclair & Mrs. Sommer being the only relentlessly constant attendees on Sommer court days (ONLY I have a better attendance record at Sommer’s Morrisseau-related court appearances.)
– Hatfield & Hearn are the ONLY Morrisseau fakes cases EVER to go to court
– Sommer is the ONLY lawyer – out of 90,000 in Canada – EVER to do this
I think it is disgraceful beyond belief, how AGO “asleep at the switch” malfeasance and negligence at the top, has allowed the “gift shop gossip girls” to “run the show” – play at curator – to snipe behind the backs of loyal AGO supporters (read Joe McLeod), and allow themselves to become witless accomplices of ruthless, off-the-street art fraudsters, and do their bidding, so making the AGO a party to a fraud. And allowing the AGO imprimatur to be used to act as “cover” and an excuse for a totally fraudulently fabricated lawsuit.
To their credit, ALL AGO managers – past and present – tellingly, refused to appear as witnesses in Hearn v McLeod, so demonstrating loudly, and publicly, that the current AGO regime totally refutes ANY AND ALL association with the fraudulent Hearn Statement of Claim as put forward by Jonathan Sommer on Dec. 5, 2017, stating that AGO curators dismounted and discredited as a “fake” the Morrisseau painting “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” on June 22, 2010.
And the documentary record, from Sommer’s own evidence box, makes it irrefutably clear, that in so stunningly absenting themselves from any and all association with this gross act of racist anti-Indigenous cultural vandalism, AGO managers did the proper, and only decent thing they could have done, and voted with their feet…
IN 2010, THROUGH TOP MANAGEMENT NEGLIGENCE, THE AGO WAS DRAWN INTO BECOMING BOTH, WITLESS AND GULLIBLE VICTIMS AND PERPS, OF THE WORST ACT OF CULTURAL GENOCIDE IN ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO HISTORY. Thereby doing Great Irreparable Harm to the Art and Artists of Canada’s Indigenous People.
10 Killer Documents That Kill “Hearn v McLeod”
Précis – On Jun 22, 2017 Ritchie Sinclair, claiming it was a fake, and acting entirely on his own, orchestrated the dismount of his friend, Kevin Hearn’s Morrisseau painting “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” at an Art Gallery of Ontario musical gig, where Hearn AKA “sandwiches,” had put it up on the wall.
This was part of a longtime campaign by Sinclair and his cabal of cronies, to target and discredit both Morrisseau BDP paintings, and Joe McLeod, the main Kinsman Robinson Galleries Morrisseau business competitor, who had sold “Spirit Energy” to Hearn.
The documentation makes clear Sinclair accomplished, this brazen act of cultural vandalism by simply bamboozling a couple of gullible, witless and uncredentialed, minor AGO retail gals, into participating with his fraudulent scheme to discredit “Spirit Energy” and Joe McLeod.
The record is clear, that, over the next three months, though the takedown happened on AGO property, there is NO documentation that acknowledges any official AGO participation, or the giving of any directive of any kind from AGO Director Matthew Teitelbaum, or Curator Gerald McMaster. Nor do either, or the AGO, accept responsibility of any kind, in calling for “Spirit Energy” to be taken down, and/or calling it a “fake.”
This totally dismisses, with merit or substantiation, the entire Sommer/Hearn Statement of Claim, that says the AGO aka Curator McMaster as having authorized the takedown and discredited “Spirit Energy” as fake.
Just one of many reasons why this lawsuit should NEVER have been brought.
On Dec. 5th, 2017, lawyer Jonathan J Sommer made his opening statement, before Justice EM Morgan, on behalf of his client, the Plaintiff, Kevin Hearn. Hearn claimed the Defendant, Joe McLeod, had fraudulently sold him a painting “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” in May 2005, knowing it was a fake.
Mr. Sommer claimed that Hearn was alerted to this fraud by a dismount of “Spirit Energy,” as a “fake,” by Art Gallery of Ontario Curator Gerald McMaster, during an AGO musical gig where Hearn displayed the painting, in June 2010.
Hearn Buys & Shows the Painting – The lawsuit was allegedly founded when Kevin Hearn bought the subject painting “Spirit Energy” at Maslak McLeod, in May 2005. For five years Hearn was completely happy with it.
Then, on June 11, 2010, Hearn was given a room, arranged by Jennifer Bhogal of the “Art Rentals Department”*** of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), to play some music. He was invited to hang some of his art. He chose to hang Morrisseau’s “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.”
***NOTE: This was NOT a feature AGO art showcase, either set up, organized, or curated, by either Director Matthew Teitelbaum, or by Canadian Art Curator Gerald McMaster. Bhogal ran the AGO art rental department, organized the event, and was solely responsible for it, hoping thereby, to boost the profile of her art rentals department. Bhogal only had AGO retail responsibilities for the art rental department; she was NOT an AGO art curator or involved in exhibit staging.
Bhogal also put on display in Hearn’s playroom, two other, small, and relatively uninteresting Morrisseau paintings, that Joe McLeod had consigned to her.
Everyone, directly involved in the alleged scandal – Sinclair, Hearn, McLeod – dealt only with Bhogal directly, and only her, when the “Morrisseau Dismount Fiasco” started and became known (June 22 – June 28).
Part 1 – The “Sinclair Fakedown,” Jun 22, 2010 – A week after the Hearn musical gig started, on June 22, 2010, a friend of Kevin Hearn’s, Ritchie Sinclair, a documented art terrorist,*** had Bhogal remove “Spirit Energy” as a “fake” from Hearn’s “playroom” at the AGO.
***Later Sinclair would be discredited by multiple Justices and Judges (Lederer, Martial, Lacavera, Sanderson, Kilian), as having NO expertise, NO credentials, NO trustworthiness in testimony, and even be convicted for being an art terrorist and fined the maximum, by Judge CW Kilian in 2015.
The “Sinclair Fakedown” immediately started a flurry of wild water-cooler gossip, about so-called “fakes” being removed, exchanged via email, by the AGO gift shop girls and Hearn.
(Note, neither Teitelbaum nor McMaster involved themselves in any of this. Neither went into print on any level to anyone during the entire period that followed.)
There was, therefore, at the time of the Sinclair Fakedown, NOT a single piece of evidence, of any kind, that proves official AGO curatorial complicity in any of it – that is either, ordering “Spirit Energy” to be taken down, and/or calling it a “fake.”
In other words, no proof at all, for what Jonathan Sommer was to claim before Justice Morgan, on Dec. 5, 2017 – for an AGO orchestrated takedown and discrediting of “Spirit Energy” as a fake. None… Nix… Nada… Zilch…
For a whole week Hearn did NOT inform McLeod that “Spirit Energy” had been dismounted and discredited as a “fake,” by Sinclair. And then he did NOT inform Joe that Sinclair had done it, but instead said unnamed AGO people had had actually done it. Joe was completely blind-sided – Hearn had NOT sent him a copy of the Sinclair Fakedown email. No wonder McLeod was so stunned that the AGO would have done it.
Had Hearn sent McLeod the Sinclair email it would have been “game over.” McLeod would have known what was up and immediately gone to AGO Director Teitelbaum to raise hell and expose the Sinclair cabal fraud. Thanks to Hearn’s deceit, McLeod now thought the AGO and Teitelbaum and/or McMaster were behind it.
Just what the hell is going on here?
BACKGROUNDER – To the Sinclair AGO Fakedown of Jun 22, 2010
To understand what happened at the AGO on June 22, 2010 you have to know that only a few months before, in early 2009, lawyer Jonathan Sommer and Ritchie Sinclair had teamed up to start a Morrisseau “fakes” business partnership, to “help” a retired schoolteacher, Margaret Hatfield, launch a lawsuit against a reputable Toronto fine art dealer Artworld, claiming it had sold Hatfield a Morrisseau BDP “fake.” (BDP – Black Drybrush Paint/Painting signature on the back)
In July 2009, Sommer took over the Hatfield v Child case, in downtown Toronto.
The initiator of the Hatfield v Child lawsuit was Ritchie Sinclair and the parallels to the Hearn v McLeod lawsuit, which followed the AGO Fakedown of June 2010, are stunning.
Sinclair had found and groomed a gullible, art collecting neophyte – “Maggie” Hatfield – and convinced her that:
– her Morrisseau BDP painting “Wheel of Life 1979” was a fake
– she should sue Artworld (Child) for big bucks
– her court case would be a slam dunk
– the judge would rule the painting was a “forged” Morrisseau
– she would get all her money back – and then some for penalties and costs
– Oh, yeah, and Sinclair already had the perfect lawyer for her, one Jonathan Sommer, from remote, rural Sutton, Quebec. And a lawyer superior, Sinclair, no doubt told her, to any of the 25,000 other lawyers in the Toronto area (who were much closer to Hatfield, and so would have been a lot cheaper).
The damning and telling parallels continue:
Primary Target: 82 Year-old Joe McLeod
Joe McLeod who was the target of the Sinclair Fakedown, and later, of the Hearn v McLeod lawsuit, had, since 1990, long been a prime target of the fraudsters, because he was a principal business competitor of Donald Robinson, and Gabe Vadas.
In 1993 they tried to scare and sue him for violating copyright – by doing what every other art dealer, world-wide, had been doing for eons, using small images in their art catalogues to advertise their shows and auctions.
McLeod was targeted for more Robinson anger by being hired by Revenue Canada as a Morrisseau expert to evaluate an overblown $1.1 million KRG evaluation, for some Whent lawyer group donated paintings. Thanks to McLeod’s input, Justice Mogan, ruling on Whent v Regina, in 1996, cut the valuation in half.
The hate only grew when lawyer Whent appealed and two top Justices, in 1999, ruled against him, and in favour of the Mogan valuation, cut nearer to where McLeod had pegged the real values.
In 2008 Sinclair went to work for KRG as the Robinson’s fraud enforcer.
This was just after Sinclair’s Scollard Street Gallery show had disastrously failed. Sinclair blamed McLeod for telling the proprietor that Sinclair was NO “native” as he claimed, despite using “Indian” names, and “Indian” syllabics on his art. No art collector wants Faux-nishinaabe art by white guys like Sinclair posing as “Indians.” And the owner closed the show down.
McLeod had also turned Sinclair down as a gallery artist. (Sinclair’s anger against Artworld had been triggered because the gallery had turned him down as a gallery artist – so Sinclair groomed Hatfield to sue Artworld to get his revenge.)
Furthermore, McLeod was part of the multi-dealer lawsuit, suing Ritchie Sinclair in the fall of 2008, for Sinclair libeling them and defaming hundreds of their Morrisseau BDP paintings as lowlife fakes on his racist website. Sinclair had first posted it in October 2008.
In addition, McLeod, for decades, considered the senior and most respected Morrisseau expert, was a high value target because, on behalf of the Defendant, in Hatfield v Child lawsuit, McLeod, had appraised “Wheel of Life 1979” as a genuine Morrisseau BDP. So undermining Jonathan Sommer (and Sinclair’s) Hatfield lawsuit.
Motive, Means & Opportunity – Ritchie Prepares Joe’s Annus Horribilis: 2010
The year begins with Ritchie Sinclair visiting a Toronto police station, with malice in his heart.
In April 2010, Sinclair went to Toronto police with a fabricated document alleging that Joe McLeod and Joe Otavnik – among other targets, including John Goldi – were all part of a huge Morrisseau forgery and fraud syndicate. And were maliciously persecuting Ritchie Sinclair. (My HOAX blog was three years down the road.)
The entire two page document was totally fraudulently fabricated from top to bottom. Of the eight people in the syndicate, with whom I was supposedly involved, I did not know a single one, and had never spoken, talked to, met, or emailed a single one of them. And I would NOT for many months, and some for years…
But the Toronto police believed it, and charged Joe Otavnik.
Chalk one up for Sinclair… Where to now? TBAG CORPORATE CULTURE
In May 2010, Sinclair’s art terrorism campaign reared its ugly head in Thunder Bay, ON, against his longtime target Morrisseau blogger, Ugo Matulic – also on the Syndicate List of Eight.
(A year before Sinclair had sent Matulic a “Death Threat,” by anonymous email. Matulic had it traced, and reported it to Calgary Police.)
Now a year down the road Matulic had, quietly, published a celebratory Morrisseau BDP, that the Thunder Bay Art Gallery had in its collection and on its website.
On May 18, 2010 Matulic suddenly received an aggressive and rude email demand, from TBAG Communications Coordinator Alastair MacKay – copied to TBAG Director Sharon Godwin – ordering Matulic that his Morrisseau image and TBAG link “must be removed immediately.” The TBAG had already removed it from theirs. The picture link now led to a dead END.
MacKay further, demanded that in future, if Matulic wanted to post a picture from the TBAG
“you must request permission, and written approval from us for use of any images and of our logo before you post.” (highlights in TBAG original email)
Someone aggressive wanted to police the use of the kinds of Morrisseaus the TBAG – and its handlers – would allow. Now who could that be?
This aggressive assault, out of the blue, on an Indigenous culture heritage blogger, was a stunning development, because only one person could possibly be behind McKay on this, and that was Godwin, and who else? Why her handler: Ritchie Sinclair.
Godwin and Sinclair had been collaborating in targeting the Otavniks and their Morrisseau BDPs, since late 2008. At that time, Godwin – without proof and without doing forensics – had told Sinclair the four Otavnik/Seetner paintings were fakes and that she had dismounted and discredited them.
Sinclair then put her denigrating comments, about the Otavnik/Seetner BDPs, into a sworn Affidavit in Jan. 2009. Sometime later Godwin fed her bilious beliefs to an eager Carmen Robertson who, clearly as a favour to Godwin, featured all four O/S paintings as prominent fakes in her expert report.
Of course Godwin lied to Otavnik, when he called her up in October 2017, some upset, to find his family’s TBAG painting donation – vetted as genuine by some 17 Cultural Property Review Board experts – was all called lowlife fakes in Robertson’s report, and intimating his family was deliberately involved in art and tax fraud.
Whew! Close Call! – Godwin managed to bamboozle Joe Otavnik, telling him she had NOTHING to do with what Robertson says in her report. That his family paintings had NOT been discredited as “fakes” by her or the TBAG; they were still regarded as totally genuine… Intimating, I guess that Robertson, calling them “fakes,” was just off on a wild tear on her own…
When, in fact, Godwin had long ago told Sinclair exactly the opposite – they were discredited by her AND TBAG, as fakes and no longer displayed – as early as 2008, and then to Robertson c 2012, and after. All duly reported, as fact, by Jonathan Sommer in court on Dec. 1, 2017.
Amazingly enough, in spite of what the behind the scenes experts – Robertson, and Sommer – themselves, were saying in person or court documents, Otavnik bought it…
Of course Matulic refused to bow down to art terrorism by Godwin, McKay, and their handler, because he knew who the pusher was – Ritchie Sinclair – and that the claim was false. The dismounted TBAG Morrisseau was genuine, but Sinclair said it goes, so they dutifully dumped it. Matulic left it up.
This backgrounder detailing the May TBAG cyber and art terrorist attack against a Morrisseau BDP orchestrated by Ritchie Sinclair through Sharon Godwin, is key for what will soon happen, in only four weeks, in Toronto.
Barely a month later, June 22, 2010, Sinclair did his celebrated Fakedown of the painting, “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” which McLeod had sold to Kevin Hearn, five years before.
The intent was clearly to duplicate the successful launching of the Hatfield v Child lawsuit, a few months before, by finding another way to discredit Joe McLeod and his art, and hopefully convince another gullible and witless art collecting neophyte that his Morrisseau BDP was fake, and that he should sue Joe McLeod.
On June 22, 2010, Sinclair found a gullible art collecting neophyte – Kevin Hearn; found his McLeod-sourced painting “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974”; found the opportunity – a Hearn musical show at the AGO; found the weak link – the hopelessly gullible AGO rental retailer, Jennifer Bhogal, AND STRUCK!!!
Sinclair ordered it taken down as a “fake” and Bhogal obliged…
For the rest of 2010, Sinclair would ramp up his attacks on Joe McLeod and his art.
In November Sinclair – in concert with the Robinsons – terrorized the Elmwood Spa Gallery, owned by Sherry Brydson, reputedly the richest woman in Canada. She was hosting a Morrisseau show, of paintings mostly from Joe McLeod, and the Robinsons and Ritchie Sinclair, threatened them, getting them to remove many of them from the exhibition.
At the same time, the Spa was also threatened with dire consequences if it published a Morrisseau book featuring Joe McLeod sourced paintings. The Spa, suitably terrorized, cancelled the book launch.
(I was there multiple days, and saw the whole Robinson/Sinclair fakedown operation in action. I watched Sinclair police the premises to ensure Spa compliance, and talked to the principals involved, Spa curator Jessica Wilson and Joe McLeod.)
During this time, Joe McLeod was also personally, physically targeted by Sinclair, at his car, in the street, at his place of business, and at his home. (JOE MCLEOD SPEAKS)
On Sep. 3, Toronto Police warned Sinclair to stay away from and cease and desist from harassing the 82 year old McLeod. Sinclair refused.
On Dec. 18, 2010 Toronto Police arrested Sinclair and charged him with multiple incidents of Criminal Harassment of Joe McLeod.
This was how the last six months of 2010 – following the Sinclair AGO takedown – played out. And was the background against which the AGO fiasco must be seen.
Unlike Teitelbaum and McMaster who were otherwise occupied with the manifold duties and responsibilities thay had to look after, the art terrorists were well organized, determined, and knew exactly where the weak chinks in the armour were and struck with deadly force.
Part 2 – The AGO Declines Any Responsibility (June-Sep 2010)
The AGO Officially Hides/Denies all Complicity – For the next two months, July and August 2010 – and ever after – McLeod tried, in vain to get Hearn to help him, get an official response from the responsible AGO officials, to try to get them to explain why “they,” according to Hearn, had supposedly taken down “Spirit Energy,” and called it a fake.
Despite multiple tries, McLeod spectacularly failed to get any professional response or official letters or emails from top AGO officials, including AGO Director Teitelbaum and Curator Gerald McMaster, BOTH of whom refused to answer his registered letters demanding to know their – or any AGO official role – in dismounting and discrediting his art, if, in fact, they had done it, as Hearn had given him to believe.
In short McLeod spectacularly failed to get even a smidgen of AGO evidence, documenting what Hearn had told him, namely AGO complicity in the Fakedown of “Spirit Energy.”
So two months after the Sinclair fakedown, there was STILL NOT a single piece of evidence at all, for what Jonathan Sommer was to claim before Justice Morgan, on Dec. 5, 2017 – for an AGO orchestrated takedown and discrediting of “Spirit Energy” as a fake. None… Nix… Nada… Zilch…
Part 3 – Gerald McMaster Admits He Has No Clue (Sep 2, 2010)
The AGO Curator is Blind-sided & Then Some – When Hearn approaches AGO Curator Gerald McMaster, on Sep 2, 2010, for help regarding Kevin’s painting dismounted on June 22, 2010, the flurry of emails between them shows that McMaster has NO clue about which painting Hearn is even talking about, and when Hearn sends him a photo of “Spirit Energy” McMaster says, there must be a mistake, it’s not the painting he remembers seeing…
Clearly, some THREE months after the dismount, the AGO Curator admits candidly, in his own emails to Hearn – not hearsay – that he hasn’t got a clue about which painting Hearn is even talking about. And that regarding the painting Hearn is showing him, he has NO RECOLLECTION AT ALL.
And it couldn’t be clearer that McMaster is telling Hearn directly that he’s totally confused about what Hearn is saying.
It is farcical and patently ridiculous and fraudulent for Hearn and his lawyer Sommer, to claim, as they BOTH did before Justice EM Morgan, that BOTH the AGO and the AGO Curator Gerald McMaster dismounted and discredited “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” on June 22, 2010. And that that is what they claim to be the foundational cornerstone of their lawsuit.
Hearn and Sommer are desperate to involve the AGO and its curator even though he –McMaster – has admitted on paper that he hasn’t got a clue about, or even remember having seen the painting in question, “Spirit Energy.”
The emails also explain why, despite his most duly diligent efforts to get a professional response from the AGO and McMaster for the fiasco, McLeod remained totally sandbagged by both Hearn and the AGO over the next two years. The AGO Director clearly did NOT want to be involved, and neither did McMaster who didn’t even have a clue about the material facts, the actual paintings, and the images involved.
The foundational “facts” bandied about by Hearn and Sommer before Justice Morgan, are nonexistent except as fabrications in their minds. Why would they launch a lawsuit based on that?
Part 4 – The Hearn v McLeod Lawsuit is Filed – Two Years Later – Jun 8, 2012
On Jun 4, 2012, Joe McLeod testified for the Defence in the Hatfield v Child trial, before Deputy Judge Paul J Martial. The Plaintiff’s lawyer was Jonathan Sommer; the Plaintiff’s witness was Ritchie Sinclair; the Plaintiff’s expert was Donald Robinson.
Four days later, a parallel lawsuit was filed, the Hearn v McLeod, featuring the same lawyer, witness, and expert, making the same allegations, again, against another Morrisseau BDP, also appraised as genuine by Joe McLeod, and sourced from him.
Only a couple of days*** before the legal expiry of the issue, Hearn filed a lawsuit (June 8, 2012) against McLeod, alleging he sold Hearn a fake painting “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” and that McLeod had done it knowingly and fraudulently. And demanding big bucks in compensation and for punitive damages. (***Asuming the triggering date for the lawsuit is the AGO event, according to the two years allowed by Limitations Act.)
The lawyer, who wrote the Claim, ended up being the self-same Jonathan Sommer who had been picked and provided to the Plaintiff by Ritchie Sinclair in the earlier Hatfield v Child lawsuit.
Part 5 – The Hearn v McLeod Trial Begins – Dec. 2017
The Hearn v McLeod*** trial got under way, six years later, on Dec. 5, 2017. (***Note Joe McLeod had died in May 2017)
In his opening statement to Justice EM Morgan, Sommer made his case:
“Obviously this is a terrible way to resolve an issue. But it’s technically correct in law. The onus is on the Plaintiff to prove the painting’s a fake.”
“… the allegation my client is making is that he was sold a fake painting and that the Defendant (McLeod) knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that it was a fake.”
“The core claim is that the painting “Spirit Energy” is a fake.”
“The second element of the core position is that the Defendant knew or recklessly disregarded that the painting was fake all along, and chose to intentionally and actively conceal the painting’s true provenance.”
“… the embarrassment and humiliation experienced by the Plaintiff when the painting was removed from the AGO and this is part of the evidence. This was removed by the curator of the AGO*** from the wall during the show and this is where it all started for my client.”
***The AGO Curator whose name the Plaintiff keeps bringing up is Gerald McMaster.
Disclosure: I believe that all these claims are utterly false, and completely unsupported by the evidence in Sommer’s own evidence box of 241 items in Hearn’s “Affidavit of Documents of the Plaintiff.”
And not AT ALL supported by anything any of Sommer’s witnesses said on the stand, or evidence they produced for the court, from Dec. 5-8th.
Examining & Dismissing the Claim’s Truth About the AGO Fiasco
Part 1 – The Bogus AGO – The Water Cooler Gossip – Dismount – June 22, 2010
The Core Sommer/Hearn Claim –
That the AGO and the AGO curator dismounted “Spirit Energy,” thus denigrating the painting, discrediting Joe McLeod, and precipitating the lawsuit against the dealer.
On the stand, following Sommer’s opening statement of claim, on Dec. 5th, 2017 Kevin Hearn verbally stumbled around, on the stand, with his varying chronologies of what happened, and with whom, and in what order, etc., but clearly alleging repeatedly, that the AGO were the official, active operatives, who dismounted his art, and specifically naming his communications with AGO Curator Gerald McMaster as being the purported agent of the dismounting, discrediting, and devaluation of his painting.
Hearn kept saying McMaster said “Spirit Energy” was “questionable” etc., and “probably a fake.” But this is all utter hearsay; neither Hearn nor Sommer produced any private or official letter or email from McMaster, or from the AGO Director, Matthew Teitelbaum saying any of that. Or in support of the Plaintiff, in saying that.
And any representative from the AGO to back up what Sommer and Hearn were claiming, was astonishingly and conspicuously absent from the witness box. And even from the courtroom…
The #1 Witnesses everyone expected to see were tellingly NOT forthcoming.
So the Hearn/Sommer core position, about the AGO officially requesting, ordering, approving, or acting in the official dismounting of “Spirit Energy,” was shown to be totally unsubstantiated – make that utterly false – and NOT AT ALL proven by the documentation in their own evidence box of 241 documents Hearn listed.
And then it gets worse.
One document alone, in Hearn/Sommer’s own evidence box, ALONE, demolishes this Hearn/Sommer claim – and therefore kills the entire lawsuit.
Document #1 – The Killer email Sinclair sent to Hearn (June 22, 2010)
On Jun. 22, 2010, documented art terrorist Ritchie Sinclair sent Kevin Hearn a clearly “chummy” email letting him know that HE – not the AGO – had just, on his own, and for his own reasons, had “Spirit Energy” removed from Hearn’s display wall at the AGO as a “purported Morrisseau.” Sinclair apologized for doing so, and told Hearn he would update him later with HIS (not the AGO’s) reasons for doing so.
“Hi Kevin… I met with Jennifer Bohgal (sic) today at the AGO University Ave. venue. I had to ask her to remove your purported Morrisseau painting (which she did). Please contact me when you can so I can better explain why I have asked her to do this.”
The email is totally clear about who did what to whom, how, and why. REMEMBER this because it will become apparent that BOTH Hearn and his lawyer, Jonathan Sommer, appear to suffer from some disabling reading and comprehension problems.
After the dismount, Sinclair – clearly in a self-important bragging mood – emailed Hearn telling him, with unmistakable clarity that it was he, and no one else, who had Jennifer Bhogal, dismount Hearn’s painting, “Spirit Energy,” as a fake.
Sinclair’s email is totally exculpatory of any and all official AGO or curatorial participation in dismounting or ordering the dismounting of “Spirit Energy.” It is also full of totally fraudulent and self-important fabrications and wild exaggerations about Sinclair’s ties to Morrisseau and expertise in his art.
The email is totally damning of the Hearn/Sommer core position about the AGO, or the AGO curator, dismounting and discrediting “Spirit Energy.”
In fact, though the Sinclair email originates in the Plaintiff’s own evidence books, it is the best possible Defence document.
Lawyer Jonathan Sommer’s core claim, on behalf of Kevin Hearn, is clearly fraudulent.
The Sinclair email ALONE makes this clear. In fact multiple documents in the volume entitled “Affidavit of Documents of the Plaintiff,” in Hearn’s own evidence box, do NOT allow any reasonable person reading these few lines, and interpreting the writing, in the ordinary meaning of the words, to make the claim of an official AGO dismount or discrediting of “Spirit Energy.”
Because Sinclair’s email says in unmistakable, black and white terms, WHO originated and did the actual dismounting of “Spirit Energy,” and WHO DID NOT do the dismounting.
The activist agent was, in fact, NONE OTHER, than Jonathan Sommer’s own longtime Morrisseau “fakes” business partner, Ritchie Sinclair acting alone. and strong-arming a hapless and witless AGO art rental employee to act as “cover” for him.
That employee was Jennifer Bhogal, who had NO curatorial standing at the museum, and was NOT acting at the behest of an official AGO curator issuing her an order or a directive.
She was hopelessly hapless and gullible and had NO clue about how she was being manipulated. She was following the direction only, and entirely, of a guy off the street, one Ritchie Sinclair, who had NO official position of any kind at the AGO. His only connection was he was apparently, a friend of Kevin Hearn’s. In her defence, Bhogal probably thought Sinclair was doing this with Hearn’s approval, or actual direction.
I believe he sucker-punched her by claiming to be a member of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society. (See Sinclair’s Morrisseau Foundation claim below)
Did she know that Sinclair was a documented art terrorist, and a racist anti-Indigenous website publisher?
And a procurer (of clients) for Jonathan J Sommer, his longtime Morrisseau “fakes” business partner.
Bhogal, by, however witlessly, accompanying Sinclair on his destructive vendetta, I believe clearly usurped authority that was NOT hers to exercise, on behalf of the AGO. She would do it again later, as Joe McLeod’s email to Kevin Hearn would disclose, saying the AGO would issue him an apology, clearly again without official AGO approval. It never came to pass, for obvious reasons.
I would have fired Bhogal for either malfeasance. In fact only a few months after this fiasco, into which Bhogal had involved herself, and enveloped the AGO, in the summer and fall of 2010, Bhogal’s employment at the AGO ended. Draw your own conclusions.
In FACT THE AGO WITNESSES STUNNINGLY MISSING FROM THE TRIAL, said it all. The AGO Curator, Gerald McMaster, who should have been there to corroborate what both Hearn and Sommer were claiming, about the AGO’s – and his – participation in the dismounting, and discrediting of “Spirit Energy” as a “fake,” was a complete no-show.
NOT A SINGLE AGO WITNESS SHOWED UP AT TRIAL to back up the Hearn/Sommer statement of claim before Justice EM Morgan.
It is my belief, that after one look at the witness list, we should all have all gone home…
END OF STORY; End of lawsuit…
IT WAS, ONCE AGAIN – LIKE IN HATFIELD V CHILD – ANOTHER RITCHIE SINCLAIR-ORCHESTRATED FRAUD AND LAWSUIT…
Hearn had played along, trying to play up the role of the AGO, and downplaying the role – in fact completely trying to obliterate the role of Sinclair – in the dismount of “Spirit Energy,” as far as Joe McLeod is concerned.
In his testimony on the stand, Kevin Hearn claimed he did not even know Sinclair when he received the June 22, 2010 email, you know, the one that opens with so much familiarity: “Hi Kevin. Ritchie Sinclair here.”
Hearn seems to have misremembered his own email. And HE has his name listed on the front of the evidence volumes as supposedly having put all the documents (241 of them) into the book labeled “Affidavit of Documents of the Plaintiff.”
Hearn did NOT disclose in court, that Sinclair dismounted his painting, as the email clearly told him is exactly what happened.
Hearn it is clear, was determined, like lawyer Sommer, to stick to their nonsensical script lines that were something like: “Let’s ignore Ritchie entirely, and concentrate on McMaster and the AGO doing it.”
It got so bad and surreally idiotic, that Hearn claimed that he did not even know Sinclair in June 2010, when he received his chummy sounding email.
Saying that he NOW – eight years later – knows who Sinclair is: an artist, and one of Norval’s (countless) apprentices, etc.
To me the June 2010 email bespeaks of a familiar previous relationship between Sinclair and Hearn. Certainly Sinclair was no stranger to Hearn. Sinclair had Hearn’s private email address. And Sinclair said he would update him later, about what he had done in dismounting his painting. Sinclair also sent a chummy email to Gabe Vadas’ wife Michele (July 2010), alerting her to Kevin’s latest musical compositions. And then emailed Kevin to tell him he had done so…
Chutzpah and then Some… – How could Sinclair get away with such a brash act as to walk into a major public institution and just demand a retail employee take down a painting from an exhibit?
Another killer document gives us a clue.
Document #2 – The Killer email Kirstin Mearns sent to Hearn (June 2010)
Ritchie, Bhogal & Mearns – the AGO Retail Girls
These three names are inextricably intertwined – and NO others – regarding the “Spirit Energy” fakedown of June 22, 2010.
In 2010 Jennifer Bhogal ran the AGO art rental shop, from which she would also sell the odd run-of-the-mill painting. Which is how SHE ended up displaying two of Joe McLeod’s smaller Morrisseau paintings in the Hearn playroom.
Kirstin Mearns ran the AGO gift shop. But her duties clearly did NOT keep her busy enough to stay out of trouble, because she started – big time, and I believe without authorization – taking over the AGO’s curatorial authority and wheeling and dealing with Morrisseau art authenticating.
It was an area of expertise, which the record makes clear – his own words – the AGO’s official Frederik S Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, Gerald McMaster Ph.D., OC, was NOT at all, comfortable in making any professional assessment – AT ALL. He told Hearn he would leave that to others.
He, told Hearn, it was Lee Ann Martin of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. McMaster, clearly DID NOT mean the AGO gift shop gal.
But, hey! Really NOT a big deal for the gift shop girl, Kirstin Mearns.
In fact her private emails exposes her willingness to be an activist, with Bhoghal, and with Ritchie Sinclair. Sinclair’s fingerprints are all over her email.
Writing on the afternoon of June 22, around the time of the Sinclair dismount, she writes to Hearn:
“Hey Kev. It has been a bit of a flurry of activity over at Art Rental these past few days, what started out as a claim for the Heritage Foundation (sic) that the Morrisseau’s (sic) we had on display were forgeries.”
The first key thing Mearns says is clearly identifying the author of the dismount, as “what started out as a claim for the Heritage Foundation (sic) that the Morrisseau’s (sic) we had on display were forgeries.”
Tellingly, in her first documented email, Mearns, does NOT name “Spirit Energy” and says NOTHING whatsoever about AGO involvement in initiating anything, or calling “Spirit Energy” a fake.
In fact, NONE of the paintings any of these people talk about are ever identified. Specifically “Spirit Energy” is never identified by name. And, in fact McLeod – hey, he’s a businessman – had consigned two other Morrisseau paintings – also not named – with Bhogal of the rental department for Hearn’s show.
And the gossip mill totally muddled up the paintings involved, never mentioning names or even saying what they looked like.
Sinclair Plays the “Heritage Foundation” Card – Again!!!
The key thing Mearns references, as the “fake” initiators, and activists, is to the “Heritage Foundation” which, thanks to Mearns’ bad hearing and memory, is actually the “Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society” (NMHS).
She heard it from someone else. I believe it was Jennifer Bhogal, who over at Art Rental had accompanied Sinclair as he dismounted “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.”
I believe that Sinclair, to overcome any skepticism Bhogal might have had, about Sinclair’s authority as a Morrisseau expert he may have for dismounting the art, conned her by saying he was a member of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS), that was garbled by failing memory as “Heritage Foundation,” when Bhogal repeated what happened to Mearns and others.
How can I say something so preposterous?
Because I know for a fact, that Sinclair had done exactly the same thing before.
In fact, only two months before, on April 9, 2010, when Sinclair had filed a police report, alleging a criminal conspiracy against him, and demanding police file a Criminal Harassment charge against one member, Joe Otavnik.
He told Toronto Police he was a member of the NMHS.
Document #3 – The Killer document Sinclair prepared for police (Apr 9, 2010)
The police – suitably impressed – noted that Sinclair said he was a member of the “Morrisseau Historical Society,” AKA the NMHS. It was of course, a total lie, but it did wonders to impress the police.
Sinclair of course had NEVER been a member of the NMHS, though he had lamented to Joe McLeod in the fall of 2008, that Donald Robinson had NOT made him a member.
Sinclair discovered, later, that you didn’t really NEED to be a member; it worked wonders just telling people firmly that you WERE a member, to get them to do your bidding. Like the Toronto Police; like the AGO’s art rental shop employee, Jennifer Bhogal.
Audacious BS when aggressively put, can be a powerful tool with the unwary.
The police then launched a Criminal Harassment claim against Joe Otavnik.
Just as Sinclair would flaunt his bogus NMHS credentials, again two months later, at Jennifer Bhogal and Kirstin Mearns…
Again with good effect. He was able to take “Spirit Energy” down, and discredit it as a “fake” Morrisseau, and engineer having Joe McLeod, Sinclair’s arch-enemy, targeted and discredited as some kind of crook. The behind-the-back sneering about Joe McLeod is reflected in the Mearns emails.
There is in fact NO document in evidence that the genuine NMHS group played any role at all in the Sinclair dismount, though they may have been secretly involved. They are documented as secret denigrators of forensically authenticated Morrisseau BDPs (Red Lake Fiasco, SAW Gallery Fiasco, Dr. Jonathan Browne Fiasco, etc.)
But, the NMHS, exactly like the official AGO curators, left no paper trail of involvement in any of the “Spirit Energy” dismount.
For that entire week from June 22 to June 28, no one, neither Sommer, nor Hearn, nor the AGO director or curator, produced even a smidgen of paperwork to prove the Hearn/Sommer claim that the AGO curator dismounted the painting, on June 22, let alone saying on the record, that it is a “fake.”
The trail to the scandalous dismount of June 22, 2010, starts and stops – supported by unequivocal documentary proof from Kevin Hearn himself – with documented art terrorist Ritchie Sinclair.
On that basis alone the Sommer/Hearn lawsuit is still-born, as based on totally fraudulent claims and actions, they falsely attribute to the AGO curator.
But Mearns is also, like Bhogal, acting as an AGO activist, when she has no business doing it.
Mearns is Bored Doing Retail So She Plays Curator – Some More
Another document clearly shows that Mearns is conspiring with Ritchie Sinclair and I presume Hearn, who had sent her Sinclair’s dismounting email.
On the very same day, probably within minutes of the Sinclair dismount, on June 22, 2010, at 2:42 pm, Kirstin Mearns – the AGO gift shop retail girl – sent an email to Ugo Matulic ordering
“that you remove all reference to the works of Norval Morrisseau at Art Rental and Sales as the works have been removed from the exhibit and returned to their consignors accordingly. Kirstin Mearns, General Manager, Retail, Art Gallery of Ontario.”
Tellingly, Mearns does this on her own volition. She DOES NOT say, that she had been told to pass on a message from AGO Curator Gerald McMaster, or Director Matthew Teitelbaum.
Neither is mentioned in a series of fakedowns Mearns and her cabal of conspirators are clearly orchestrating entirely on their own, out of “Art Rental and Sales.” And traceable to Ritchie Sinclair who is directly and indirectly BOTH documented as the master manipulator of a couple of retail girls.
Sinclair has just come from manipulating the police in April, and manipulating the TBAG in May. Now it’s the AGOs turn.
To me, a retail girl, going to do:
– the bidding of a non-AGO official, an off-the-street art terrorist
– issuing a directive like this on her own
– wildly overstepping the parameters of her own expertise
– and the boundaries of her job description, including
– wildly usurping the authority of the Director and the Curator, I consider a firing offence.
Sinclair had dismounted “Spirit Energy” in early afternoon.
How, within an hour or two of the Sinclair dismount, would Mearns possibly discover the existence of this minor and unremarkable Matulic posting on her own and send him blog removal notice?
Never, in a million years would Mearns EVER even bother to monitor the Matulic Morrisseau blog, a highly specialized and idiosyncratic posting about a painter the AGO has little or less experience with – NOTE the total unfamiliarity with this artist of even the Curator of Canadian Art at the AGO, Gerald McMaster, is legendary in his own emails.
So, then, how come, within only moments – OK, an hour or two – of the Sinclair dismount, is the AGO retail girl sending an aggressive email to a Calgary blogger, to remove from his blog the two Joe McLeod paintings at the AGO rental shop, which Matulic is celebrating, and the very two that Sinclair had just been telling the retail girls at the AGO, were fakes.
He told them so; he says the Heritage Foundation says so.
The only – the ONLY – explanation for Mearn’s blistering post to Matulic, is that Mearns was put on to it by none other than Ritchie Sinclair. Sinclair is notorious for following the main two Morrisseau blogs with a pathological obsession, multiple times a day…
By trying to attack genuine Morrisseaus on other people’s blogs, using the imprimatur of the Art Gallery of Ontario, she is fronting for a fraud, that has done Great Irreparable Harm to the Art and Artists of Canada’s Indigenous people.
And then Mearns does it again…
When Hearn starts to bemoan the fate of what Sinclair has done to his painting, calling it a “fake,” SHE looks for a shoulder for him to cry on and get consolation.
It is SHE, again, not the AGO, who drags AGO Curator Gerald McMaster into the developing fiasco, in trying to help Hearn out of a brouhaha totally orchestrated by his own friend Ritchie Sinclair.
She says she’ll try to help “Kev” deal with his upset by getting Gerald – a person knowledgeable about art – to maybe give him some advice.
This is a PERSONAL outreach, offered by her, NOT an official AGO anything…
Hearn Calls McMaster
On June 25, three days after the Sinclair dismount of “Spirit Energy,” Hearn contacts McMaster by phone, regarding his upset about the dismounting of his painting (supposedly “Spirit Energy” but its name is not mentioned.) Also no photo reference was involved. The talk is vague generalities.
(We don’t know what McMaster envisions Hearn is talking about. In fact, only a month later it is clear from McMaster’s own emails that the ONLY painting Hearn is interested in talking about is NOT AT ALL the same painting McMaster has any recollection about.)
But one thing immediately becomes clear: McMaster is totally unsure of his ability to authenticate, or declare as a fake, any Morrisseau on any level.
McMaster is quoted by Hearn, as saying that he is going by “gut feeling,”*** that “I would like to investigate it further in the coming months.” Now talk about lack of confidence and knowledge about Morrisseau paintings.
***As a curator, I don’t know what this means. Is this the same as police judging guilt, “For Driving while Black?”
Then McMaster is further quoted by Hearn as wanting to “investigate it further… with a peer of his.” Talk about the height of total uncertainty about how to tell a real from a fake Morrisseau. McMaster wants to ask someone else? Some unspecified and undisclosed person?
McMaster does NOT leave a documentary trail, but the hearsay evidence is utterly strong, and multi-level. He essentially confesses he hasn’t got a clue about Morrisseau art, let alone any expertise to tell real from fakes.
And that he wants – and will require the unnamed subject painting, whatever the hell that is – for months of examination and studying before he can be sure, as well as further consult with a “real expert.” Offering the “good news.” that perhaps months down the road, he’ll be able to come up with something definitive or conclusive for Hearn.***
***Why not bring this up with Joe McLeod who has decades of experience as Canada’s senior Morrisseau expert? Instead of deliberately staying away from him, as far as he could and avoid answering his registered letter? What’s his game? What’s his aim?
McMaster shows every sign of running for the hills, NOT stepping up to responsibility for either calling “Spirit Energy” fake, or saying he dismounted it. (As Hearn and Sommer both claim he did.)
McMaster is saying in every way possible that he is NEITHER knowledgeable or comfortable with being a so-called “Morrisseau expert.”
In fact McMaster is also running for the exits, because Hearn’s problem, as a result of the Sinclair dismount is NOT an AGO or a McMaster problem…
And, in fact, a day after the dismount, (June 23, 2010) Mearns says exactly that to Kevin Hear: “Believe me none of us are experienced in the world of art scandal and certainly no embarrassment or issues for us… Our concern for you was our only stress!!! K”
In short, we feel for you Kev, but your problem is NOT our doing or responsibility. But let me try to get Gerald to give you a shoulder to cry on…
I believe it is totally farcical for Jonathan Sommer to portray McMaster as being a Morrisseau expert, who, he says, walked into the Hearn exhibit, denounced “Spirit Energy” as a “fake,” and dismounted it.
I think even the hearsay evidence is strong that McMaster was in no way confident in his knowledge of Morrisseau art to do anything like that. Nor would he…
That Hearn/McMaster email exchange, alone, totally absolves anyone at the AGO from participating in the “Spirit Energy” dismount. It certainly absolves Curator Gerald McMaster.
This conversation goes nowhere and resolves nothing other than that McMaster is waffling big time about everything.
FAST FORWARD: In fact two and a half months later when Hearn contacted McMaster again, this time McMaster, for the first time writing his own email, says he can’t remember which painting Hearn was talking about. And when Hearn sends a pictorial reminder, McMaster says that’s not the painting he remembers at all…
Part 2 – McLeod is stymied by BOTH Hearn and the AGO: June 28, 2010
What Did Hearn Know & When Did He Know It?
On June 22, Hearn knew that:
– he had received a personal email from Ritchie Sinclair, telling him that:
– Sinclair had dismounted his painting “Spirit Energy” at the AGO
– Sinclair called a painting Hearn paid $20,000 for, a “fake”
– causing Hearn one of the biggest and most surprising shocks of his life, that
– Sinclair claimed to be a top expert on Morrisseau art and had a long painting relationship with the artist (both NOT true and false claims***) and that
– there were thousands of fakes out there
***For a brief period after late 1979, Sinclair had been hired by the Volpe crime family, to service Morrisseau, during the notorious “Dollars, Dicks, and Dope Period” when Norval was provided all he wanted in exchange for ALL his art output. (See “Dear M”) Sinclair testified, in Hatfield v Child, that he liked working for the Volpes.
What would you have done after receiving an email telling you all that, if you were in Hearn’s shoes?
I know what I would have done, within five minutes of receiving it. Pick up the phone, immediately and call Joe McLeod telling him everything, and demanding an explanation. And email him as well, complete with the attached Sinclair email.
Demanding, like right NOW! Hey Joe, what the hell is going on?
But Hearn did NOT do any of that: NOT immediately; NOT in five minutes; NOT in five hours; NOT in five days… Why NOT? What is going on? What’s his game? What’s his aim?
Joe Becomes a Hapless Victim of a Con
It was not till seven long days after the Sinclair takedown, on June 28, 2010, that Hearn finally emailed McLeod about the dismount of “Spirit Energy” as a fake.
But tellingly Hearn DID NOT tell McLeod what he knew – NONE OF IT. Instead, he sent McLeod a totally fabricated account of what had happened and who had supposedly done what to whom.
It was dishonest, deceitful, and clearly deliberately fabricated to fool Joe McLeod and try to throw him off his game.
From then on Hearn and his handlers set out to rewrite the history of the event.
Hearn falsely told McLeod that the AGO had dismounted “Spirit Energy.” Joe was obviously thunderstruck.
Tellingly, Hearn DOES NOT mention Ritchie Sinclair at all. Why not?
Tellingly, Hearn DOES NOT mention Sinclair’s enormous self-described Morrisseau expertise. Why not?
Tellingly, Hearn DOES NOT forward McLeod a copy of Sinclair’s email at all. Why not?
Tellingly, Hearn also DOES NOT mention any AGO person by name, or cite any official AGO document as proof for what he claims. Why not?
Tellingly, Hearn DOES NOT do, ANY OF THAT, to wit: what any reasonable person, faced with the same situation, and reading, and reacting normally, to those awful email words, contemplating their normal meaning and understanding would do. Why not?
It’s exactly what you and I would do… Why not Hearn? What’s his game? What’s his aim?
The documentation from his own email shows that Hearn was already turning on McLeod, instead of making a common front with him, to demand an accounting and settle the alleged issue with the so-called “AGO curators,” and find out just what the hell was going on over at the AGO…
Hearn cagily tells McLeod, “the paintings had to be removed from the show because they were cited as fakes. They have asked to keep it as they want to investigate it… Can you help me prove these people are wrong?” (my underlining of the cagey reporting)
None of these people are ever identified.
Now a week after the Sinclair take-down, instead of being straight up, and straight forward, Hearn has concocted an alternative set of facts for McLeod.
In fact, McLeod would die, never knowing that NO AGO curators were involved in dismounting “Spirit Energy” and that in fact, Sinclair, all by himself had done it. It was a secret Hearn kept to himself, and away from McLeod.
Why this clear departure from honesty? From full and transparent disclosure?
Hearn has turned the singular Sinclair into a “group,” and intimates to Joe that they are AGO people, who are the agents of the dismount and discrediting of “Spirit Energy.”
I believe it’s clear that Hearn has spent the week since the dismount, collaborating with his handlers, to concoct a story to target Joe McLeod and make him believe that the AGO – not Sinclair and his cronies – had targeted Joe and “Spirit Energy.”
Hearn makes strong charges to McLeod BUT mentions NOT a single name who, down the road could shoot back and call Hearn a liar, or whom Joe could call, to get clarification, verification, or an explanation from about the dismounting and “fake” allegations.
Hearn Deliberately Hides the Truth – Hearn’s email to McLeod is clearly transparently deceptive and dishonest, and designed to upset Joe and leave him floundering in the dark.
I believe, strongly, that Sinclair and his cabal, deliberately told Hearn NOT to mention Sinclair in any way in the email he sent McLeod.
Why? Because McLeod would have known instantly that the whole set-up was a fraudulent con by Sinclair and his cabal of fraudsters, and NOT a justified or credible complaint by anyone knowledgable at the AGO at all.
McLeod would have known immediately what was going on and who was behind the AGO dismount fiasco.
Joe McLeod had been a business target of Vadas, and the Robinsons since 1990, and of Sinclair’s since 2008 when he became the Robinson’s KRG fraud enforcer.
In the fall of 2008, Sinclair blamed McLeod for engineering Sinclair’s Scollard show debacle, and for NOT accepting him as a Maslak McLeod Gallery artist.
Artworld had similarly turned down Sinclair as a gallery artist, causing Sinclair to engineer the Hatfield v Child lawsuit, which Sinclair set up and delivered into Jonathan Sommer’s lap in mid 2009.
But it was important for Hearn to keep Joe believing that Gerald McMaster was behind the dismount and the discrediting of “Spirit Energy.”
It also explains why Hearn refused to join with McLeod in demanding some kind of official response from the AGO for what he told McLeod was THEIR takedown.
Why? Because Hearn didn’t want to hassle the AGO, when he, and they, BOTH knew the AGO had nothing to do with any of it. And Hearn would have looked bad by joining McLeod to demand a professional AGO response for falsely accusing them of doing what Hearn and they ALL knew they had NOT – and his chum Sinclair – HAD done. (Mearns had sent a copy of the incriminating Sinclair email to McMaster.)
During July and August of 2010, McLeod, totally side-lined and stymied by Hearn, then tried to get a professional response from the AGO without success, even resorting to registered letters to both Teitelbaum and McMaster. Both refused to answer.
Talk about powerful evidence of them NOT owning up to authorizing the dismount and discrediting of “Spirit Energy.” How about because they DID NOT DO IT? And did NOT want to be dragged into anything.
And maybe the AGO even had a lawyer who recommended stonewalling.
After Aug. 6 Hearn never contacts McLeod again. Just lets him swing in the wind.
At the beginning of September, now three months had gone by since the dismount, without the AGO issuing ANY kind of document or admission of being complicit in a “Spirit Energy” takedown on June 22, 2010, or in calling it a “fake” of any kind.
So, by Sep 2, 2010 there is still no documentation or AGO curatorial evidence that is supposed to be the foundational claim at the heart of the Hearn/Sommer lawsuit, that: the AGO dismounted the painting on June 22; that the AGO called it a fake; intimating that the AGO called McLeod a crook, and is involved in some kind of deliberate fraud.
NONE… NIX… NADA… ZILCH…
All just invented bumpf hoping to breathe some life into a fraudulent lawsuit.
On the basis alone, this lawsuit should be dismissed, as fraudulent, and not proven.
To sum up:
– the claim that the AGO was involved in the dismount of “Spirit Energy” is FRAUDULENT.
– the claim that the AGO called “Spirit Energy” FAKE at any time is FRAUDULENT.
And then it gets worse.
Part 3 – The Bogus Participation of AGO Curator Gerald McMaster
On Sep. 2, 2010, we finally get a look at an original document from AGO Curator Gerald McMaster about an event that happened three months before, the Sinclair takedown of “Spirit Energy.”
REWIND: In two hearsay emails, dating back to June 22, 2010, McMaster is mentioned
– by AGO gift shop water-cooler gossiper, Kirstin Mearns
In Hearn’s email of Jun 25, 2010, Hearn said he talked to McMaster on the phone, supposedly about the takedown of “Spirit Energy,” and claims McMaster calls the painting “questionable.” But there is NO email, or letter, from McMaster (or the AGO) making either an informal or formal acknowledgement or statement to that effect anywhere.
That is now, three months later, about to change, DRAMATICALLY.
On Sep 2, 2010 Hearn emails AGO Curator Gerald McMaster saying he has now contacted Joe McLeod and that he will ONLY give him his money back for “Spirit Energy,” if the AGO writes a letter EITHER saying the painting is real or is fake.
What to do? Hearn reports to McMaster:
“He (McLeod) reacted by saying that he wanted a letter from you/AGO stating that either
1) you felt the painting was questionable, so it was removed, or
2) you apologize for taking the painting down, and that there is no evidence that it is not authentic etc… He said that such an accusation would have to be settled in court, and he would not refund my money or discuss it further until he received a letter.”
In one of the most stunning email exchanges that, alone, again sinks this entire lawsuit is how McMaster replies to this, a full three months after the dismount of “Spirit Energy” on June 22, 2010.
McMaster replies: “Kevin, Briefly, can you send image (sic) of the work in question? Also, please contact Lee-Ann Martin at the Canadian Museum of Civilization regarding the Norval Morrisseau society (sic) which I think is responsible for uncovering fakes.”
It appears he thinks Hearn wants info on fake Morrisseaus, and suggests someone far better equipped and capable of handling the topic than he is. McMaster is standing firm on a subject McMaster admits repeatedly, knowing littler or less.
McLeod had written Hearn, and McMaster had read it “… there are no fraudulent paintings and challenged me to show him one example of a court case where a painting was proven to be so.”
McMaster is running for the hills. Hearn mildly reminds him: “You mentioned to me that you would write joe (sic) a letter (or a telephone call?) and i hope that you will…”
McMaster, far from being a complicit Morrisseau “fakes” AGO activist, sounds completely “out of it” to me. And signs off; and puts on his runners…
Gerald McMaster, Ph.D, O.C.
Frederik S Eaton Curator, Canadian Art
Art Gallery of Ontario
McMaster, you have to realize, runs a multi-billion dollar collection of thousands of Canadian ultra-valuable art works, from the likes of Lord Thomson, and other members of the rich and super-rich in Canada. Can you really expect him to become preoccupied, concerned or knowledgeable about one shitty little Morrisseau, down in the art rental department?
And he clearly does NOT remember a damn thing about any of it.
I say give him a pass…
Hearn sent McMaster a picture of “Spirit Energy.”
Gerald replies: “I didn’t think this was the work that was shown to me. Was there another work?”
Amazingly McMaster DENIES any knowledge of anything regarding “Spirit Energy.” I believe he is totally truthful, NOT dodging.
Hearn responds: “Hi Gerald. This was the only work that I own personally that was removed. There were two smaller pieces lent to the gallery by Joe that were also removed. Kevin”
Note: Hearn tellingly tells McMaster directly – he can’t lie to him, like he can to McLeod – that “this was the only work I own personally that was removed.”
Hearn tellingly and clearly deliberately does NOT say “you removed” because they both know Gerald did NOT do so. Hearn totally absolves McMaster from being the agent of the removal of “the only work I own personally” namely “Spirit Energy” which McMaster tellingly CANNOT identify or recall.
Why? Self-evident. McMaster did not do it. The AGO curator did NOT do it.
McMaster is an art professional. Would he not remember a painting that had caused more upset and gossip at the AGO that summer than any other of recent memory, if he had been involved with it?
End of the lawsuit.
Furthermore Hearn now has to “inform” McMaster that “two smaller pieces… were also removed,” because he realizes McMaster has no recall of any of it.
Even with these two – which Sinclair told him “McMaster removed” McMaster seems to be equally foggy about. And Hearn again does NOT say “the two which you removed.” Why? Because Hearn knows McMaster had nothing to do with either the dismount, removal, or discrediting of his “Spirit Energy.”
Gerald replies with his usual caution: “Let me suggest that you hold off on pursuing your move until I’ve had a chance to think about this more in detail. I don’t want to make a judgment that I’ve not thought about in detail… Okay. Maybe we can get to the bottom of this and everyone can save face. Gerald”
Clearly the AGO bosses have let something fester out of control in the art rental department. Joe McLeod is raising hell that his name and his art are being wrongfully attacked, libeled and defamed. And he wants something official in writing or he’ll ask the courts to straighten this out since AGO management is laying low.
The Final Nail in the Coffin of the Lawsuit
The Hearn/McMaster email exchange establishes several things clearly:
– McMaster hasn’t got a clue what painting – the only painting, “Spirit Energy” – which Hearn is talking about, and demurs when he’s finally shown a picture by Hearn, only to discover it is NOT what McMaster remembers, at all.
– McMaster echoes his earlier exchange with Hearn that, he likes to make thoughtful decisions, over time, and involve other experts, down the road. NOT fly off the cuff decisions.
– McMaster is by conviction, and by his own confirmed email documentation, NOT AT ALL the guy who shoots off his mouth, and dismounts and desecrates a painting (“Spirit Energy”) on June 22, 2010.
What McMaster himself, documents, interpreting his own words, is that no one can honestly or rightfully make the claim that lawyer Sommer and Plaintiff Hearn made before Justice Morgan, namely that McMaster, on behalf of the AGO, did the instant dismount of Hearn’s painting “Spirit Energy,” on June 22, and discredited it as a “fake.”
Because three months later, McMaster still absolutely denies – we have to take him at his word – that he even recognizes or remembers doing anything with the subject painting “Spirit Energy.”
And AGAIN, tells Hearn, as he did two months before, he wants to move with caution and do a lot more research before acting, on whatever it is that upsets Hearn and that he claims happened to his painting during a musical gig when a couple of AGO shop gals down in art rentals, fell into the hands of art terrorist Ritchie Sinclair on June 22.
And conspired to attack Joe McLeod, and dismount and discredit his art, about which, the record is quite clear, McMaster is completely uninformed.
McMaster has now seen the registered letters McLeod has sent him and Director Matthew Teitelbaum and realizes, whatever side-show fiasco had gone on in the rental department, he has now been dragged into something NOT of his own – or the AGO’s – official doing.
In short, by Sep. 2, 2010, there is NOT the slightest bid of documentary evidence that either the AGO or Curator McMaster took any of the actions that Sommer and Hearn accuse him of, and claim are foundational proof for launching this lawsuit.
The Hearn v McLeod lawsuit was filed on June 8, 2012.
The Defence – The Statement of Defence, written by lawyer Brian Shiller, for Joe McLeod, makes a couple of key points that destroy the keystone of BOTH the Plaintiff’s expert’s report and the the Plaintiff’s Claim.
The Defence makes it unalterably and incontrovertibly clear that the provenance of “Spirit Energy” to Joe McLeod came through Khan Auctions AKA Randy Potter Auctions, whose wife testified under oath – while Ritchie Sinclair himself was cross-examining her – that ALL the Potter Morrisseaus came from only one consignor and that was David Voss. NIAOB.
Had Sommer, Hearn, and Robertson only bothered to read the Defence, they would have learned that. And so prevented Robertson from embarrassing herself by using an old, outdated document, from two years BEFORE any lawsuit was involved, and chasing down erroneous leads that did not exist or led nowhere. She should have known better… What is her game? What is her aim?
In going on to cherry pick an old, outdated document just so she could draw false and ludicrous conclusions about “Spirit Energy” and Joe McLeod.
McLeod and Shiller had corrected the record for the lawsuit EXACTLY for people like Robertson so they would be in possession of the real facts regarding the origins of “Spirit Energy.” Why did she so wrong-headedly, deliberately choose to ignore updated, legally affirmed, evidence?
The Defence, had she bothered to read it, would have boldly, and incontrovertibly, told Robertson that all the named people she was ignorantly chasing down looking for “provenance,” were NOT involved with “Spirit Energy.” And NONE of them had EVER owned “Spirit Energy.”
Only David Voss had consigned “Spirit Energy,” just as he had consigned ALL the Morrisseau paintings to Potters, for the last ten years.
And Robertson deliberately avoided calling him up… Or Randy Potter, either. In fact Potter told me that Robertson NEVER called, EVER. What the hell kind of researcher is that? And then on that basis go on to slang a genuine painting and a good man.
And regarding Dr. Irving Jacobs, who, Robertson snorts pompously in her expert report, NEVER owned “Spirit Energy.” Well, obviously. But that is not the end of the story.
Potter also specifically told me, that Irving Jacobs bought Morrisseau BDP paintings from him. So it seems obvious to me, that Jacobs, a full-time doctor, would have consigned his own Morrisseaus for sale through Joe McLeod’s full-time Maslak McLeod Gallery as many people did.
Joe sold mostly consigned paintings, as he testified on June 4, 2012, in Hatfield v Child. McLeod explained that galleries had to work mostly with consignments since gallery owners could not afford to buy the art they sold themselves.
McLeod said he only rarely bought paintings himself, and only if they were of special importance and quality. He testified he only bought 14 Morrisseau paintings at Potters. He couldn’t afford more. A hell of a lot of people bought way more than Joe, many buying dozens, others buying hundreds.
One of those special paintings McLeod bought himself was Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.”
Randy Potter sent me a copy of the invoice, dated Feb 14, 2004.
This is very good news for Kevin Hearn, because it shows, long before Joe met Kevin Hearn, he considered and treated “Spirit Energy” as an extremely high value acquisition worthy of spending his own money on.
In fact “Spirit Energy” also impressed someone else who was in the auction hall that day, Ritchie Sinclair. It was the ONLY time he ever went to Potters to try to buy back some of his own art that had been seized by the Sheriff for non-payment of storage fees. Donna Shea, the Potter auction manager, testified Sinclair looked wistfully at the Morrisseaus in the hall that day – including “Spirit Energy” – and called them wonderful, and expressed regret that he would never be able to afford to buy any.
Now why would Robertson ignore ALL this evidence that the Defence would have opened her eyes to, or make a phone call to Potter, Shea, or Voss, and opt instead to go do something so damn irresponsible?
So Robertson, failing to find ANY link from “Spirit Energy” to Robert Voss, Rolf Schnieder (sic), and Irving Jacobs – because, hey! there was none to be had – concluded that since the painting had NO traceable provenance to this trio, that “Spirit Energy” was “fake” and Joe McLeod a crook.
Duuuh Professor! – A more proper conclusion could also have been that these men had NOTHING to do with “Spirit Energy.” That someone else had owned it. Which in fact was the case, as the Defence made crystal clear. That Robertson was tracking down an erroneous lead… All based on relying on a quickly mentally tossed off memo by McLeod years before, and one that had long ago, been updated and superseded by the Defence, which had been carefully drawn up based on files, records, documents, and correspondence, to answer a lawsuit.
And in fact the Defence ever so kindly pointed out to Robertson who that was – reading is a good skill to develop – to where the provenance trail actually led. Namely, one David Voss, and a man she DID NOT bother to track down. Can you guess why not?
In fact in court testimony in Otavnik v Sinclair, Donna Shea on the stand, being grilled by none other than Ritchie Sinclair told him without shading of any kind that ALL the some 2,000 Morrisseaus Potter Auction sold, came from only one source, and that was David Voss, the man Robertson deliberately chose NOT to call.
And Sinclair knew it then. Robertson quotes Sinclair as a trustworthy source in her book. Would he have told her “Don’t call David Voss” we know what he is going to say..
Sinclair’s Aug. 19, 2010 email
Of course it’s full of wild falsehoods but…
The one thing Sinclair is correct on is that he backs up McLeod as, saying, under oath that “Spirit Energy” came from “David Voss” NOT Robert Voss. Sinclair, of course, embarrasses Carmen Robertson because he therefore says she is hugely wrong in trying to tape Robert Voss to Joe’ forehead. She’s now the odd man out…
The Defence, Randy Potter, Donna Shea, David Voss, and even Ritchie Sinclair say the source for “Spirit Energy,” with only Robertson begging to differ, for some odd reason.
Exceeding The Limitations Act – in Time & Credibility – I believe this case has far exceeded the legal time limit within which you can launch a lawsuit after learning of an alleged infraction.
Hearn claims he was sold a fake in May 2005. He now says he was a sold a fake at that time.
Hearn claims the AGO and/or AGO Curator discovered it, and notified him it was a fake in June 2010, and dismounted and discredited it immediately – ALL OF WHICH ARE BOTH FALSE AND UNDOCUMENTED.
Hearn launched a lawsuit, two years later, in June 2012, with only days to spare, claiming that bogus event as the jump-off point for when he said “experts” told him it was a fake.
In the Defence, Brian Shiller and McLeod, demanded to be shown the “expert” report claiming “Spirit Energy” was fake.
Neither Hearn or Sommer ever produced or provided an expert report, in the thirteen years Hearn has owned the painting.
Neither was any expert report from an AGO curator or director – they are credited/blamed for the triggering even – ever produced, to that effect, or an Affidavit, or an agreement to testify on the stand.
Failing to supply the requisite expert report from an AGO curator, or a forensic expert within the time required, therefore renders this lawsuit to have been cut off by the Limitations Act, based on the May 2005 purchase date.
The last chance to sue, therefore disappeared in May 2007.
I consider it fraudulent then, to instead, just bumph up a Statement of Claim with invented bogus “hearsay” – putting words into the mouths of absentees – on behalf of AGO curators, who will NOT speak up, or appear on their own behalf.
That is NOT credible proof of a fake painting, or a fraud being committed, that can be served up in court, to supplant a forensic report by a scientist.
Back to RS and BS
Which brings us back to Ritchie Sinclair, the only documented participant – his own, and the Plaintiff’s emails, confirm it – to have orchestrated the anti-McLeod fakedown of “Spirit Energy,” and called it a “fake.”
Why then did lawyer Jonathan Sommer and his client Kevin Hearn, NOT ask Sinclair to put into an Affidavit all the claims he put into the email he sent to Hearn on June 22, along with all his claims to Morrisseau and art expertise?
AND then produce him and his claims, etc., under oath, on the stand?
And then why didn’t they, as requisite backup, immediately send “Spirit Energy” to a forensic expert to prove the BDP signature is a lousy, lowlife fake, as Sinclair, Sommer, Hearn (and Robinson and Robertson) ALL claim it was.
It would have made Sinclair’s Affidavit much stronger, and his testimony on the stand much more convincing.
Why Then, Nagasaki? – Can you explain, then, why Jonathan Sommer, INSTEAD, dumped Sinclair, the one and only instigator of the June 22, Fakedown, from the Affidavit list, and the Witness list? Didn’t he know that this would prevent the Defence from questioning or cross-examining the perp – the ONLY guy – who started it all?
Was it because they all knew Sinclair was a documented art terrorist who has been discredited as a serial perjurer and an untrustworthy fraudster, even when under oath, starting with Justice Lederer in 2008, and multiple other judges since: Godfrey, Martial, Lacavera, Sanderson, Kilian.
The Ultimate Shame – In the end even his own lawyer dumped Sinclair, in the Nagasaki Moment that stunned courtroom observers on Oct. 2, 2017. Was it so his serial perjuries, libels, defamations, Criminal Harassment of Joe McLeod, his “Death Threats,” etc., couldn’t be exposed in cross-examination?
Was it because, as multiple judges have found, he made lots of claims and accusations but NEVER had produced a smidgen of proof for any of what he was saying?
Because there wasn’t any… There never is behind a fraud…
The Last Roundup
The BDPs And All That… In fact Morrisseau black drybrush paint signatures have a varied history.
Robinson and Robertson say they’re all fakes.
Norval says, signing BDPs is really a pain in the ass, but necessary, sometimes…
It is so powerful as evidence, because neither Goring nor anyone else in court caught its enormous significance when it dropped out of the blue. It also means it couldn’t be crafted, or fraudulently dreamed up, to back up some point of view or other. It was something Goring just said in passing…
Goring was busy late at night, in Ottawa, framing up paintings Norval had completed for a show, and brought in to Goring’s framing shop earlier in the day. Now in the wee hours, Goring was alone, still busy framing the art for later that day…
Then a knock at the door. It is a grinning Norval, holding a brush, and a blue Chase & Sanborn coffee tin full of black paint. Said Norval, “I have to sign the back of the pieces for the show tomorrow, so I need time for it to dry.” (Transcripts, Marlowe Goring, Hatfield v Child, p81, June 4, 2012)
And there you have it. End of story.
I don’t really care what Norval did after that. The key point has already been made. And you probably missed it too… And that is that: the paintings and the BDP signatures were done – or not done, if you will – by Norval at different times…
Without knowing it, certainly without meaning to fabricate anything, Goring had given us a private fly-on-the-wall insight into Norval the artist, and how he worked, especially with regard to his signatures.
This time Goring watched Norval put his BDPs on the back, which is also interesting.
Without knowing what he had said, Goring established that Norval painted and signed at different times. Obviously you can’t flip over a wet painting and sign the back at the same time. It was a pain in the ass for Norval, so if THERE WAS NO NEED, Norval didn’t sign the BDPs. Norval would probably very often NOT sign the backs with his BDP signature.
But if there was a need, for advertising himself, and the story of the painting, for a show – like the one in Ottawa – or a gallery, Norval came back to sign the BDP to help boost sales.
But if there was NO need, Norval, who was always in a hurry, to finish the art and get the bucks, didn’t really want to go to all the trouble to do the BDP signatures.
Hey! It’s just common sense. And Norval had it.
In fact, Norval started evolving BDPs slowly, over time. The earliest of the type I’ve seen is probably “After Life Spirit of the Fourth 1958.” Norval did a lot of them on his souvenir ware on paintings, bottles, baskets, skins, etc. in the 1960s.
Demonstrating clearly malicious intent – to hide evidence of genuine Morrisseau BDP signatures for the benefit of lawyer Jonathan Sommer – Carmen Robertson, in collusion with Sharon Godwin and their KRG collaborator, enforcer Ritchie Sinclair, blocked this key holding of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery from her report. The Sommer/Robinson thesis: ALL BDPs are fakes; not once have I ever seen it says Donald Robinson. A statement for which he was roundly and deliberately ridiculed by the Hon. Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, who affirmed the BDP as established Morrisseau signing practice. And discredited all who claim they only decorate forgeries.
BDPs suffered a setback when Norval became famous in 1962, and went to work for Pollock and also followed the advice of Selwyn Dewdney. They did not like anglicized BDPs. They were interested in marketing Norval as an unspoiled primitive in order to appeal to the snoots and suits among the pompositing classes who wanted art from an “unspoiled savage.”
So for marketing to their clients, they told Norval to remove stuff from his paintings – on both the front and the back – that smacked of white civilization and spoiled the illusion of the savage they wanted to market. And that includes using Christian symbols, cars, and planes, and all the Englis titling and signatures that would hurt sales to their target crowd.
SO, don’t look for BDPs among the stuff Norval painted for Pollock, Sinclair or Dewdney.
Then along comes Wolf, his younger brother who told Norval to use big, bold BDPs in English to appeal to foreign buyers in Japan and Europe, who don’t understand the syllabic signature on the front, and want some information about the fabulous stories his paintings seemed to tell. Wolf got Norval to formalize and regularize the BDP in the form we are familiar with today. (Testified before Judge Martial, in 2012.)
SO, look for a hell of a lot of BDPs from the 1970s and 80s, during Norval’s peak period when his fame was spreading internationally. Wolf said he saw Norval sign thousands of BDPs, as have others, on the stand, and by Affidavit.
But DON’T look for BDPs for quick sale paintings, and DON’T look for BDPs when Norval already had a client, or a sure sale, in the bag, like a public gallery or a museum commission. Then he didn’t need to promote himself or explain or title some kind of story line.
(Carmen Robertson is one who says public galleries don’t have BDPs. Well there’s a reason, Ms. Robertson! Get it? Though she ignores paintings like “After Life Spirit of the Fourth 1958” in the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, which is a clear brash Norval Morrisseau BDP in a public gallery. And one she knows very well, but for some reason can’t see…)
And DON’T look for BDPs when Norval was selling 216 paintings in a lot to a group of lawyers like Whent, Zelinski, and Pustina. They didn’t give a damn about any story line thank you; they were just interested in doing a big CRA flip for big bucks to galleries and museums. Doing 216 BDPs would be a total nuisance for Norval when he already had the lawyers in the bag. Look for a lot of BLANK-backed genuine Morrisseaus among their hundreds of donated paintings.
In summary: the BDP English signature was just a marketing or promotional tool. Norval used it when he needed to sell himself or his art, but just an inconvenient time waster for a sale that was already a done deal.
The Courts – On Mar. 25, 2013 Judge Paul J Martial affirmed the “overwhelming evidence” that established in the court’s eyes the existence and authenticity of possibly thousands of Morrisseau BDPs.
The BDP as a common authentic Morrisseau signature was confirmed by the Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson on Dec. 17, 2013.
All the forensically authenticated BDPs have been upheld in ALL lawsuits as genuine and determinative:
– Otavnik v Vadas & Morrisseau in 2008 – $11,000 paid to Otavnik by Vadas
– Moniz v CTVglobemedia in 2009 – $25,000 paid by Globe to Moniz
– Hatfield v Child – Hatfield’s Claim dismissed in 2013 – had to pay costs to Defendant
– Hatfield v Child – Hatfield Appeal dismissed in 2013 – had to pay costs to Defendant
– Browne v Bugera – abandoned – “Grandfather Speaks” forensically authenticated
Every Robinson “expert report” claiming BDPs are fakes has been dismissed or rejected – FIVE out of FIVE – by judges, justices, lawyers, forensic experts. Oh, and did we mention? That he bought 31 BDPs for $54,000 from Potters and NEVER, EVER, brought a single one back, demanding a refund…
KEY BDP INSIGHT – Mr. Sommer Kills his own case – again!
Jonathan Sommer was the Defence’s best witness, in multiple ways.
Especially with regard to BDPs.
Sommer brought in two of the Defence’s best witnesses, Dallas T. and Amanda D. He had brought them in trying to prove that they were part of the forgery ring that produced “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.” Which was, of course, a total bust.
Justice Morgan had said on Dec. 5, 2017, he only wanted to hear about specifics with regard to “Spirit Energy” NOT about other Morrisseaus, like for example the ones my mother copied…
Alas, neither Dallas or Amanda had ever seen “Spirit Energy” before, nor copies of it; nor had either seen it, or anything similar, painted. Nothing… none… nix… nada… zilch…
What a waste for someone to pay so much to bring them in and house and feed them, when they had NOTHING whatever even marginally relevant to offer the man who paid the bills…
But wait; there’s more.
They did stay long enough to become two of the best witnesses for the Defence.
In a completely inadvertent disclosure – very much like the innocently dropped Marlowe Goring bomb in Hatfield – the duo dropped a bombshell of their own, that everyone missed.
But I didn’t.
Both Amanda D. and Dallas T. disclosed, in passing, that the forger they saw, was COPYING ORIGINAL MORRISSEAU ART – NOT INVENTING, OR FABRICATING, OR CREATING NEW STUFF FROM SNUFF…
Repeat, the forger was copying…
AND THAT FIRST HE WAS COPYING THE FRONT, AND THEN THE BACK, OF THEIR ORIGINAL MORRISSEAU MASTER PAINTINGS.
By both, independently, and unwittingly saying the same thing, trying to be helpful to the Sommer Dream Team, they SAID TOO MUCH.
They affirmed the “forger” was COPYING MORRISSEAU BDPs, and that sometimes he did it by COPYING original Morrisseau backs, and sometimes he signed the back freehand, he was that good… AT COPYING MORRISSEAU BDPS… in case you missed it…
They were impressed and so should you be, with their powers of observation and honesty in reporting, regardless of who paid them.
Sommer and his Dream Team missed the bombshell they dropped entirely, and that they had given the Defence two powerful witnesses who could prove with finality – and they did – that Norval painted BDPs, exactly like “Spirit Energy” was signed.
When the claim of Sommer and his expert Robertson, is that Norval NEVER signed BDPs. That a succession of ignorant judges and justices, and forensic experts are to blame for what he now has started to call “controversial Morrisseau paintings.”
They ALL got it wrong; only he got it right.
And then the delusion gets worse.
Amanda and Dallas did another dirty on Sommer.
They reduced the diabolical syndicate of Thunder Bay forgers, which the Sommer and Sinclair duo, in tandem, have been promoting aggressively in the media since 2013, as huge and expansive, down to a measly single “forger” Benji Morrisseau.
Sommer is left with a “Forgery Ring” a “Forgery Syndicate” of ONE.
After five years, and spending scores of thousands of Hearn’s money, that’s the best Sommer could come up with.
And then it gets worse.
The “Forgery Ring of One” was Benji Morrisseau, a nephew of Norval’s.
And Benji was for years, an apprentice of Norval’s and unlike Sinclair, Benji painted with and for Norval for years. If anyone knew how and what Norval painted that was Benji. NIAOB…
Which is why Benji copied the front AND backs – as Amanda and Dallas testified – why Benji painted BDPs… Because he knew it was Norval’s customary way of signing his paintings.
And then it gets worse…
Dr. Singla, speaking about the psychology of “forgers” said something telling: that a forger will NOT do what an artist he is copying, does not do. That would be foolish and immediately betray his work as a lowlife forgery, resulting in NO sales, and or jail time.
If an artist does not sign the back, then the forger won’t sign the back. If the artist signs the back in BDP style, then the forger will sign the back in BDP style.
Elementary My Dear Watson… Even for people with single digit IQs.
And Benji, who is a hell of an artist in his own right, would have made a hell of a forger. And that’s why he would have strongly, only done what his uncle Norval would have done, when asked to make a copy of Norval work.
Now do you know why Benji painted BDP backs…?
So Amanda, Dallas, and Benji, whatever the hell they were doing, with creating or selling whatever, back in Thunder Bay, they affirmed loudly and clearly that Norval painted and signed BDPs… NIAOB…
Exactly like the back of “Spirit Energy.”
So we’re all glad they came to testify.
Jonathan Sommer, after he reads this, not so much…
“Fuck off!… with “your iconography” – Tom Hoving, MOMA, NY
Norval, like most artists, hated “talking” art, though clients frequently did like one annoying woman who demanded he explain the Ojibwe significance of a fish painting he was selling.
Norval exasperated said, “Lady, sometimes a fish is just a fish!”
Probably no other subject – including sex – has had so much utter bumph spouted off about it as art, and what the artist was trying to say with it, and the meaning of this and that inclusion, or colour, or juxtaposition of forms or meanings. Blah… blah… blah…
Art catalogues are full of this utter crap written by people who claim to have learned in school, about how to divine what is in an artist’s mind when he creates.
Artists don’t like to talk art; they like to do art.
Talk show hosts and associated windbag professions like to talk art and pretend to have a superior insight into the mind of a creative artist, that even he or she doesn’t have.
I have been a professional visual artist for most of my adult life. Yet neither my family members, nor my friends know what I have done for a living in the creative arts that have won me over 130 international awards for creativity. None of them could say two lines – better make that one – about anything I’ve done or do as a creative artist and why.
For one simple reason; I don’t talk to any of them about it, ever. I don’t like talking about it. I like doing it. Talking about it is such a waste. Doing it, is the passion.
It’s utterly key to understanding Norval as well.
Norval said he was a born artist. I’ll buy that. He never said he was a born talker.
Norval left NO verbal trail of his art anywhere.
SI MONUMENTUM CIRCUMPSPICE. Don’t listen to his CD or his E-book.
Because there isn’t one.
It’s other people – non-artists – and mostly white guys who SPEAK about Norval’s art.
Pretending that they ARE Norval, and know exactly what he was thinking, and intending, when he dipped that brush in paint and drew that symbol in that place in that particular way.
It’s called deciphering iconography. And Carmen Robertson says she’s a master at deciphering Morrisseu’s art and divinging exactly what he was thinking.
Because Norval never told anyone…
All the books supposedly authored by Norval were all written by mostly white people, NOT AT ALL, appearances and title pages to the contrary, by Norval. Anyone who reads any Norval letter from the 1970s knows Norval was functionally illiterate and could NEVER write any fluid prose of any kind of the sort that found its way into hardcovers with his name attached.
All Norval’s writing was faked… especially his “Indian” stuff, faked by white men… for personal profit and writing glory.
Morrisseau Fiction Part 1: “Legends of My People” – 1965
Often considered Norval’s first book – AKA his voice – it was “edited” by Selwyn Dewdney, a white guy, and for a change, one of the good white guys. But Selwyn was far, far more than an editor. In a real sense he was the voice for Norval. He was the first white guy to speak for Norval because Norval couldn’t speak for himself. He was practically illiterate.
But there’s even less of Norval’s voice here. Norval’s “voice” for the Indian stories in the book is phony, a rip-off AKA not Norval’s voice either. His brother Ronald told James Stevens, that Norval ripped him off, big time: “Most of the stories in that book came from my own writing. I helped him with a lot of stories that I knew. There was a time when I helped him write it… I was never given anything out of that book.” (Picasso of the North, James R Stevens, p 176)
In his first so-called book publishing outing, Norval rips off his brother. Get him to do all the work, and he then, along with Selwyn, take all the glory and all the bucks. It’s only fitting that for the rest of his life white guys and academics would, in turn, rip Norval off by speaking for him, and taking all the bucks. And so often just regurgitating what other white guys had said in the past. Pretending they were the authentic voice of Norval about his work and his art.
Morrisseau Fiction Part 2: The Art of Norval Morrisseau – Lister Sinclair, Jack Pollock – 1979 – The Sinclair/Pollock book, which Carmen Robertson refers to as the bible and the bedrock for her “expert” report, and as her “voice of Morrisseau.”
In fact the paintings were picked by white guyes, and the voice of Morrisseau Robertson is regurgitating from the book was ENTIRELY written by ultra-white, all-around cool urban white guy, Lister Sinclair, pretending – however benevolent were his intentions – that he was Norval Morrisseau as he put pen to paper.
Many in the public thought Norval had written large parts of the book. When Norval had NOT written a single line; all was written by Lister Sinclair, trying his best, in his CBC suit to sound like Norval, a bush “Indian.” So we fail AGAIN to hear the voice of Norval Morrisseau. And Robertson has ALL the art in the book, and all the prose written in the book, pre-sifted for her, straight from the pen and heart of a cool white urban dude.
In fact the damning proof is a passage in Robertson’s own book, “Mythologizing…” which she ends with a curious comment indeed… (p 131)
Morrisseau Fiction Part 3 – KRG’s “Travels to the House of Invention” – In 1997 the next Morrisseau book forgery “Travels to the House of Invention” was totally concocted, fabricated, and published by the ultra-white urban downtown Toronto dudes in suits, in Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
In fact the title gives it away: “Norval Morrisseau Travels to the House of Invention” – that is Kinsman Robinson Galleries – where the Master of the House of Invention, Donald Robinson, totally invents not only “Travels” in 1997, but “Return” in 2005, and of course all their “provenance”for their paintings, in the basement.
A prominent front chapter was – fraudulently of course – attributed to Norval to make it appear he had something to do with it. That he was the principal author, and Don Robinson just a guest commentator. lol and lol some more.
In fact Donald Robinson and his KRG elves wrote the whole damn book themselves. Exactly like Lister Sinclair had done twenty years before, at a time when Norval was at the peak of health in 1979. But still of course, virtually functionally illiterate as a writer and author.
But by 1997, when Robinson entirely ghosted “Travels” Norval was hugely degraded, debilitated, physically and mentally. What he couldn’t do in 1979, he certainly could NOT AT ALL DO in 1997.
SO Norval wrote NOT a word of Travels and its reissue “Return” in 2005. The KRG white guys did it. Go see Ritchie Sinclair’s Goofy Bear Dance video to see how verbally, and physically debilitated Norval was at exactly this time (1997).
Watch the video and read Norval’s chapter out loud… See the connection?
Ask them to produce Norval’s handwritten notes that is the basis of “HIS” chapter. Will they be able to do it? NOT on your life.
Ask them to produce the audio tapes of Norval saying ANY of those things. Will they be able to do it? NOT on your life.
But Donald Robinson can show you his rough notes and multiple drafts and computer files for Norval’s chapter. Will he do it? NOT on your life. In fact I hear him running to burn them as he reads these lines… And you do too…
Morrisseau Fiction Part 3 – Armand Garnet Ruffo – Then along comes Armand Garnet Ruffo pretending that HE knows exactly what Norval is thinking and saying, and then totally dreams up the whole damn thing as a total fiction made up in his own mind.
Ruffo calls his flight of fancy, “creative non-fiction.” No, Armand, it IS FICTION. TOTAL FICTION. NOTHING non-fiction or “real” about it whatsoever, except in your mind. Though I’ll allow, it’s the same kind of poetic fantasy about trying to “talk” for Norval, that Lister Sinclair did in 1979, Donald Robinson did in 1997.
Those men at least, had a passing acquaintance with the man, when he was hale and hearty. A man whom you didn’t really know at all.
In fact your book is probably the very first so-called biography of a notable person IN HISTORY, which has not a single academic footnote attribution of any kind to anyone for any of it. It sprang totally from your own, NOT Norval’s mind.
Call it poetry if you like; if you insist on calling it biography, I call it farce.
Just because a writer claims to share some kind of Indigenous DNA with Norval, doesn’t mean he can’t make an utter fool of himself by making utterly dreamed up claims about “speaking for Norval.”
How reliable is it?
Well consider this: I watched Armand Ruffo, sit for a book-signing session inside Toronto’s notorious and discredited Kinsman Robinson Galleries, the home base of another creative fiction writer claiming to “speak for Norval,” one Donald Robinson. Worse Robinson is also the most disgraced and fraudulent self-described “expert” regarding the art of Norval Morrisseau in world history.
The man who has done more than any other Canadian to do Great Irreparable Harm to the Art and Artists of Canada’s Indigenous people with his vicious attacks on Norval’s BDP signed paintings, thousands of them… To benefit his son’s gallery.
How the hell can Ruffo, if he was a self-respecting Indigenous artist, show up for a book-signing in Kinsman Robinson Galleries, just to make a measly buck for himself…? Maybe he thought no one would see. Well I saw…
Shame… History will NOT forget.
Morrisseau Fiction Part 4 – Robertson – Mythologizing Robertson is only the latest among those who’ve decided, for fun and profit, to make up myths about Norval and claim to speak as an expert on his behalf. A man she’s never met… And only knows through books written by ghostwriting white men. With only one interest, to make Norval say what they wanted him to say so they could make him a more salable commodity for flogging his paintings.
This malfeasant book has two hugely fraudulent sections that alone totally discredit Robertson as having anything credible, or trustworthy, to say about anything in the book, let alone be a spokesperson for Norval and his art.
She deliberately chooses to falsify the Globe journalism malfeasance fiasco of 2007, in regurgitating the notorious article by Val Ross, as a result of which Canada’s National Newspaper had to pay Michael Moniz $25,000 for libeling him and slandering his Morrisseau BDPs. And about which Robertson says NOT a peep, out of deference, I believe, to her two colleagues, Gabe Vadas, and lawyer Aaron Milrad, who had fed Ross the fraudulent information that destroyed her career and brought on both her and Moniz’s premature deaths.
Robertson also deliberately paints the NFB filmmakers of 1974, as being some kind of deliberate racists in the film editing process in order to make Norval look bad, as if he was some kind of out of control drunk…
I can only surmise that she did again, NOT interview the film’s producer, exactly like she refused to interview any of the key people involved with “Spirit Energy” before she also wildly and fraudulently denigrated that work and the people associated with it.
She has NO credentials as a filmmaker. She certainly has NO insights into filmmaking in the 1970s, or in remote Indigenous communities. A subject I have huge and many years of intimate knowledge and experience in, all over Canada. Producing the same kind of films on, with, or on behalf of Indigenous leaders, communities, and peoples. Programs which have won huge international kudos as well as Platinum and multiple Gold Medals, in Canada and the US, and winning kudos by being installed or premiered, in top international museums, and parliamentary venues in Canada, the UK and Europe.
If I had been involved in the NFB show she sneers at, I would have sued her, and demanded that the NFB also sue her.
She should stick to something she knows; whatever that is…
One such fraudulent and incompetently researched passage is enough to throw out any book by an academic. TWO such stunning failures of academic malfeasance is beneath contempt… I’m off to burn my two copies of her book, so they do not further contaminate the minds of someone else about the real art and life of Norval Morrisseau.
Morrisseau Fiction Part 5 – Robertson Testifies – On the stand for hours Robertson loudly and brashly pomposited, endlessly, about Norval’s iconography, and the meaning of this and that element in his art and how it relates to this and that period of painting.
And how, if it doesn’t, then it’s a sure sign of a forger’s work. Blah… blah… blah…
And all this fabricated bumph, entirely based on a very tiny and highly restrictive sample group of paintings, and as a study entirely based on viewing low res dupe images and picture books.
I do not have the foggiest, from where she got all these wild suppositions, because she personally NEVER interviewed Norval, during the last seven years of his life when she first claims to have seriously started to study him… Well, not so seriously, it turns out…
I believe she probably got input in how to come up with something from nothing by talking to masters in the art of bumpf, both colleagues of hers, Donald Robinson and Armand Ruffo.
Remember, ALL the source books Robertson used as “the voice of Norval” – you know regarding what he painted, how, when, where, and why – were ALL written by white men, fabricating stuff they made up themselves. In order to con upper class white ladies into spending big bucks for art from this genuine “primitive.”
One comical highlight was when lawyer Jonathan Sommer offered to make an exhibit of the Lister Sinclair book, which Carmen Robertson used as the bible bedrock for her expert report. The picture book from which 26 of her sample study group of 38 paintings, came from!!! And ALL just, like kids, from looking at pictures in a book.
Except kids, on that basis, don’t go out and sneer in public at genuine paintings and call McLeod and the Otavnik/Seetners as some kind of lowlife art and tax fraudsters…
And NO neither Sommer nor Robertson told Justice Morgan that NOT a single word of it was Norval’s. That the entire books was a total fabrication, by one white man using his genius to impersonate Norval and speak for him, with HIS voice and understanding. The book was copyright NOT to Norval but to Lister Sinclair, whose voice the book really was. So he got all the money.
NOT a single word, I kid you not, came from Norval.
Because Norval was a born artist – and a showman – not a very good or convincing talker. And a far worse writer…
Which is why so many people who fancy themselves as having the gift of the gab, have jumped up to say “I know better: I know exactly what Norval meant to say” blah… blah… blah…
And rush into print pretending they are Norval… NO, better than Norval…
But then white men have always known what’s best for Indians…