All About Morrisseau “Fakes” Business Partners

UPDATE – Feb 15

A Historic Day of Remembrance – Feb. 14, 2004 – Feb.14, 2018

Joe McLeod was by far, the most senior and trusted Morrisseau expert on the planet, having a personal relationship to the artist, his work, and his family, that goes back to 1959, and which he maintained to his death in May 2017.

Today on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2004, Ritchie Sinclair – while he was a starving Faux-nishinaabe artist, and four years before he decided to go to work for Kinsman Robinson Galleries, in Oct. 2008, and become a full-time art terrorist – sat in the auction hall at Potter’s Auction in Port Hope, along with several other people of note.

One was Joe McLeod, considered by everyone the senior and most reputable Morrisseau expert on the planet (expertise dating back to 1959.) He mostly came to watch. As a gallery owner he sold art on consignment because – like other gallery owners – he could not afford to buy outright the paintings he sold in his Maslak McLeod Gallery in upscale Toronto.

Another was James White – who would, years later, successfully sue Ritchie Sinclair for Libel and Slander of his Morrisseau paintings and win $28,750 from Judge CW Kilian in 2015.

Another was Joe Otavnik, who would, four years later, go on to successfully sue Gabe Vadas – Norval’s business manager – for slander of title of his Morrisseau paintings. Otavnik would win a total capitulation and settlement of the full amount he wanted, from Vadas and Morrisseau for their malicious and fraudulent discrediting of his Morrisseau BDP paintings as “fakes” in 2008.

An art collector successfully suing an artist’s business manager, who claimed his art was “fake” and winning total capitulation, must be a first in world history.

Gotta Love Those Forensic Reports: Forensic reports Otavnik commissioned by Brian Lindblom made art terrorist and fraudster Gabe Vadas fold like a dirty shirt. He knew his lies could never hold up against a forensic report before a judge.

(Vadas would try them out again, on Dec. 7, 2017, in Hearn v McLeod. His stuttering and faulty memory on the stand were embarrassing. But Carmen Robertson still gave him the longest and most affectionate hug I’ve EVER seen anyone give or get, some 15 feet in front of me.)

Gotta Hate Those Forensic Reports: Fighting against a forensic report was an experience Jonathan Sommer would desperately try to avoid in Hearn v McLeod, by simply refusing to have the forensics done on a painting he called “fake” for six long years. I mean, seriously, do you know anyone in search of the Truth, who obstreperously refuses to have the Blood, the DNA, and the Fingerprints on the Murder Weapon tested? Well Sommer did his damndest… But so did I.

His hopes were dashed for good when I had the forensics done for Sommer, and I showed up in court on Day 1, flourishing a forensic report that authenticated as a genuine Morrisseau, “Spirit Energy,” a painting he and his Dream Team disingenuously claimed to be a fake. 

Now on Valentine’s Day, 2004, the dramatis personae were ALL there to watch art being sold. McLeod, White, and Otavnik, were there to buy up genuine Morrisseau BDPs from the collection of David Voss of Thunder Bay, as were scores of other top Morrisseau dealers.

But Sinclair was making his one and only appearance ever, at a Potter auction house that would sell some 2,000 Morrisseau BDPs over a period of ten years. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF WHICH WOULD EVER BE BROUGHT BACK AS A “FAKE” DEMANDING A REFUND.

And that includes Donald Robinson, Ritchie’s future employer – who had bought 31 Morrisseau BDPs for $54,000 and ALSO NEVER BROUGHT A SINGLE ONE BACK CLAIMING IT WAS A “FAKE.”

But Sinclair was there for an entirely different reason. He was there to try to buy back some of his own art that had been seized by the Sheriff, for his non-payment of storage locker fees. His acrylic on panels would end up selling for $20, $30, or $60, to people looking to block up holes in their wall board in their furnace rooms. Below Randy bought one as a souvenir of a failed “Faux-nishinaabe” artist who, out of anger would become Canada’s most notorious racist, anti-Indigenous art terrorist.

“Faux-nishinaabe” AKA “Crap Art”- Randy Potter, the auctioneer who, over a decade, sold some 2,000 Morrisseau BDPs, to some 200 of Canada’s top Morrisseau collectors and art dealers, including Donald Robinson who bought 31 for $54,000. AND WITHOUT A SINGLE ONE EVER BEING RETURNED FOR A REFUND BY ANYONE. NOT EVEN BY DONALD ROBINSON WHO LATER CALLED THEM ALL FAKES, YET NEVER ASKED FOR HIS $54,000 BACK… NOW HOW BELIEVABLE IS THAT? Here Randy holds a Ritchie Sinclair original panel, one of 28 stored in a basement, which came into his possession when Sinclair couldn’t sell them for love or money, and the storage locker company sold them to collect locker fees Sinclair didn’t pay. They were put up for auction at Potter’s auction. Randy bought one as a souvenir of how a white artist, no matter how diligently he cross-dresses, changes his name, and signs his art with fake syllabics, just cannot paint authentic “Anishinnabe” or Woodland art of a quality that anyone wants to buy. Many call it crap art; I call it “Faux-nishinaabe” art by wannabe “Indians.” It’s not in any way authentic; exactly like Ritchie Sinclair…

One famous Morrisseau painting of note was being sold that day in the auction hall, was also consigned by David Voss to Potter Auctions.

McLeod saw it being sold; White saw it being sold; Otavnik watched it being sold; and Ritchie Sinclair saw it being sold, to a man all three knew well.

The lucky buyer was Joe McLeod. He had finally spotted that special – once in a blue moon – gotta have painting he chose to spend his own money on. It was that great a Morrisseau BDP in his eyes!

The painting was “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.”

Sold at Randy Potter’s, Valentine’s Day, 2004 – A typical 1970s Morrisseau BDP, which Judge Martial found that there was “overwhelming evidence” that Norval signed thousands of these in this way. Justice Sanderson agreed with him. Together they totally and roundly scorched the claims of Sinclair, Robinson, and Sommer, that these were “fakes.”

Hearn should have gotten some counseling to improve his diet, and his physical and financial health. This Blog was available… In fact reading it, had probably saved John McDermott some $100,000 plus… Bottom: Hearn’s sign off phrase on his emails in 2010.

Donna Shea the auction manager, testified she spoke that day to Ritchie Sinclair who praised the “wonderful Morrisseaus” but wistfully sighed he would never be able to afford to buy one.

A year later McLeod could finally bring himself to sell that special painting that he and his daughter both thought was so special.

And made the worst mistake of his life. He sold it to a total neophyte who had never bought a single art object in his life, one Kevin Hearn, a local Toronto, Wawa, and Kapsuskasing ivory tickler.

Five years later Hearn fell into the clutches of the fraudster cabal run by Ritchie Sinclair, who convinced Kevin that “Spirit Energy” was a fake, and that he should sue McLeod.

And. oh yeah, I almost forgot: hire his longtime Morrisseau “fakes” business partner, Jonathan Sommer, a cjc from remote, rural Sutton, Quebec, to be his lawyer.

Kevin was ignorant enough to listen.

It would end up costing him some $100,000 to $200,000 in legal costs, mostly flowing out to Sinclair and Sommer… Go figure…

And what gain for Hearn? He’ll never see his money again.

And worse yet, gain notoriety, for the Ages, as an anti-Indigenous art terrorist, with his malicious and fraudulent lawsuit doing Great Irreparable Harm to the Art and Artists of Canada’s Indigenous people. And to thousands of Indigenous art collectors across Canada. Thanks to his notorious lawsuit making their paintings unsalable at any price.

Shame, shame, shame on you Kevin Hearn. For not tuning up your reading comprehension skills and studying this Blog. And for allowing yourself to be sucker-punched by Ritchie Sinclair…

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