- U of Regina Prof Accuses French Bicentennial of Hanging a Fake Morrisseau in 1989
- Celebrating Canadians at 150: Greg Hill, National Gallery of Canada
- Great Canadian Journalism Hall of Shame
- U of Regina Prof Accuses KRG of Selling Fake Morrisseaus in 2014
- April Fool Nominee for 2017 – Donald Robinson KRG BS
- How I Killed CTV’S “Canada AM”
- Canadian Art Terrorist Ritchie Sinclair’s April Fools Day “Fakedowns” of Genuine Morrisseau Paintings
- Coming: Sinclair’s Astonishing April Fools Fakedown
- Judicial Summary 1974-2015
- A Great Morrisseau Buying Opportunity…
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St-Laurent and Vo-Van should both be fired for their deliberately maliciously heinous and unethical behaviour in deliberately allowing an anonymous lowlife lawyer and the multiply-discredited Ritchie Sinclair, to use the SAW Gallery for indulging in a vicious private act of cultural genocide, and in doing their bidding in deliberately desecrating genuine Canadian art and maliciously attacking the personal property and integrity of Artworld, a highly reputable Toronto art dealer.
A 61 page Special Investigation: MAJOR UPDATES – Feb 24, 2015
Preamble: This analysis sets out to compare two historic documents from 1997, both, supposedly created in the exact same time frame:
– an alleged Norval Morrisseau painting “Child With Headdress 1997,” (which Toronto Canada’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries has had for sale for years), and
– a contemporaneous “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997” shot of Norval Morrisseau “dancing” the very same year, in order to:
– assess the possible authenticity, authorship, and provenance of the painting, and then to further examine its validity by reviewing other compromising contemporary evidence, to see how its “provenance” claimed by Kinsman Robinson Galleries in 2015, stacks up with the historical record.
Historian, Investigative Journalist – This highly unique investigative analysis, into comparing the “visual” with the “documentary” record, was only possible because of the rare combination of recognized professional skill sets possessed by longtime Canadian historian John Goldi csc, who graduated with an Hon. Ba. in Modern History from the University of Toronto in 1966, later pursuing graduate studies leading to a B. Ed. and an M.A. in History. He has carried out major historical and investigative journalism contracts for Parks Canada, CBC, and History Television. HISTORIAN – CURATOR
Visual Artist – For decades he has also, been one of Canada’s leading visual artists, in two fields that are rarely found together at the professional level: Director of Cinematography and film and television editor. NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL
Cinematographer – for his decades of work as a Director of Cinematography he was awarded a “csc” the highest honour awarded by the Canadian Society of Cinematographers for “outstanding achievement in the art of cinematography.” CINEMATOGRAPHER
Film & Television Writer/Editor – as a decades long, full-time professional film and television editor, of prime time television broadcast programs, he has won over 130 international television awards for his work for the Discovery Channel, CBC, History Television, Alliance-Atlantis, etc. EDITOR
No Requisite, Relevant or Recognized Professional Credentials or Skill Sets – We note with interest that two people we mention repeatedly in this article, Donald Robinson, and his acolyte Ritchie Sinclair, DO NOT HAVE any of these independently certified credentials, or anything remotely similar, in the visual arts, or in documentary examination (history or journalism). In fact court after court, and judge after judge, have holus bolus, brusquely dismissed and/or rejected both of their claims to having credentials or believable or credible expertise of any kind: NOT in the arts in general; specifically NOT in Norval Morrisseau art knowledge; NOR in fields of handwriting or documentary analysis sciences of any kind.
The Big Zeros – In short, in one word their Morrisseau art expertise is – NONE, NIX, NADA… And what they don’t know, they make up…
In fact, to my knowledge, I know of no two people in the history of Canadian art, who have been so totally, repeatedly, and universally discredited by judge after judge, after listening to their claims regarding Morrisseau art and so-called fakes they allege.
From Silly to Surreal and Back Again – Donald Robinson in court, before Judge Godfrey, acknowledged to Joe Otavnik on Mar 18, 2010, that he had no credentials, but that he still had a “right to give his opinion,” even if – and here it gets surreal – it is actually completely “groundless.” Otavnik is questioning Robinson’s so called expertise and truthfulness in writing a 100 page report claiming his painting “Jesuit Preist 1974” was a fake.
OUCH!!! Robinson had claimed it took him six months of serious study and research to write his report. Otavnik proved in court that Robinson had only had possession of the painting, after seeing it for the first time, for 2 (two) months, tops, before he published, his fakes allegation. Like so many other times when he is caught out – some distance from the truth – it appears that Robinson, not his artist, is the one suffering from debilitating Alzheimer’s.
“Jesuit Preist 1974” was later also totally authenticated by a forensic scientist, who unlike Robinson, had real, independently recognized credentials in the field. In fact, ALL FOUR of Robinson’s so-called “expert reports,” would be discredited and trashed by judges or lawyers for whom they were prepared.
Here’s the reason, in a courtroom exchange from Otavnik v Sinclair in 2010.
“Otavnik: And all of your, your handwriting analysis is your own analysis, that’s it?
“Robinson: Uh, yes
“Otavnik: And you have no, you have no… you have no education in that? You are not qualified to give an opinion on any handwriting? If I submitted handwriting analysis to you, as an expert, you couldn’t do it.
“Robinson: I am not a handwriting analysis expert, no.
“Otavnik: So what, what in this report is actual fact besides your opinion?
“Robinson: I thought the purpose of a report is to give you my opinion.
“Otavnik: Well, no, it’s using, using fact or, or a scientific method. If I were to get a handwriting analysis expert, he’d say, “I’m educated in X, Y, Z, I did this type of an analysis, I am qualified.” But yourself, you’re not qualified to give a handwriting analysis, is that correct?
“Robinson: I still have the right to do so if I wish.”
(Otavnik v Sinclair, Court Trans. Mar 18, 2010)
During a three-year-long trial, in Hatfield v Artworld, another judge, Deputy Judge Paul J Martial, listened to Donald Robinson giving similar kinds of sworn testimony, on different days, for many, many hours on the witness stand. And found it, in a word – incredible.
(I also saw and heard all the detailed testimony, in both court cases, from ten feet away. And then re-read it all in the transcripts, to make absolutely sure that I recalled properly, what I had seen and heard in person from the public gallery.)
I have observed many judges over the years, but none who demonstrated such a meek and disarming persona, on the bench, as Deputy Judge Paul J Martial. No other judge kept their cards so close to his/her vests; none betrayed such singular non-disclosing circumspection, in whether he was wavering towards the Plaintiff or Defendant in conducting the business in his courtroom.
In fact, after the last day of trial, I left the courtroom somewhat disenchanted, worried about the possible outcome, because, to my “reading” of the judge, he just didn’t “seem to get it.” After all we had both seen the same evidence from the same witnesses.
Which makes his totally absolute and scorching judgment, ten months later, on Mar 25, 2013, all the more remarkable.
Judge Martial pointedly repeated what Justice Mogan had found, 17 years before, in assessing Robinson’s credibility and honesty, in 1996. Martial recopied Mogan’s devastating finding in his own judgment: Robinson has “a hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective about the quality or value of Morrisseau’s work when he is currently the exclusive distributor for Morrisseau’s new works in Ontario.”
Adding his own supporting and damning examples, Judge Martial further concluded:
“It was Robinson’s opinion that Randy Potter sold some 2000 “fake” paintings… The Court finds it obvious that Potter would be seen as a significant competitor.” (ed: And one to target with allegations of fakes for which Robinson could never demonstrate any credible proof.)
“Mr. Robinson also testified as to his personal dealings with Morrisseau paintings. It was his view that there were a large number of forgeries. It was also clear that his personal views and business interests conflicted with his professional opinion since it was in his interest along with Mr. Vadas to maintain the price of Morrisseau paintings which would not otherwise be the case if the market was flooded with paintings sourced from Potter auctions. The Court rejects his expert report and his conclusion that the Morellian analysis, style, colour, and provenance all pointed to forgery.”
“His (Robinson’s) testimony” was “inconsistent” and “confusing” and “overlapped into the area of handwriting and included an analysis of syllabic and English handwriting, areas for which he was not qualified. He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.”
Which is a judge’s way of saying “you have no credentials; you have no facts; I don’t believe a word of what you say, nor what you write; what you’re claiming is all total bullspit to me…”
Judge Martial went on about Robinson’s lack of credibility regarding the authentication of paintings during exactly the period in which “Child With Headdress 1997” was supposedly painted by Morrisseau.
“Robinson agreed that he probably offered for sale Morrisseau paintings that turned out to be fakes. He also agreed that even he himself had difficulty assessing the authenticity of Morrisseau paintings around 1999-2000.” A failing which, to my mind, would have been even worse, in the years before, when, according to his own testimony in court, he was even a lesser expert. What is less than “a 10% expert” which he said he was at the time…?
Was one of those “fakes” “Child With Headdress 1997?”
“He (Robinson) testified that he observed Norval Morrisseau himself having difficulty telling whether or not his own painting was a fake…The Court concludes that authentication by the artist himself was at times incorrect.”
(All quotes from Deputy Judge Paul J Martial, The Judgment, from Hatfield v Artworld, Mar 25, 2013. All his findings subsequently totally upheld on Appeal by the Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson in Ontario Superior Court.)
What does all that say about the credibility of the artist and his dealer when both are judicially discredited as believable “experts,” two and three years AFTER “Child With Headdress 1997” was supposedly painted and certified by these two self-serving businessmen
Now do you see why judge after judge has, repeatedly, discredited Donald Robinson’s testimony and his so-called expert reports? There is NOTHING BEHIND WHAT HE SAYS… He’s prepared to tell you anything, at the drop of a hat…
Note 1: Kinsman Robinson Galleries (KRG) claimed to be the “Principal Morrisseau Dealer” from 1990 till Norval’s death in 2007, and in the years since.
Backgrounder: By the early 1990s, Norval Morrisseau’s lifetime of gross, over-the-top alcohol, sex, and substance abuse had made his the most mentally and physically-debilitated and disabled mind and body of any celebrity in Canadian history.
By the time he allegedly painted “Child with Headdress 1997,” Norval had – for years – already been a permanent wheelchair invalid, and been suffering from Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, and its associated Parkinson’s Dementia, which the Alzheimer’s Society says strikes some 80% of all Parkinson’s patients.
Read the 229 page Special Report of:
“The Mental, Physical, and Artistic Decline of Norval Morrisseau.”
In this Investigative Report I focus on the following:
1) Deliberately Covert, Secret, Hiding Behaviour at KRG – Transparency is the heart of provenance – in fact, of honesty – a fact that seems to escape Donald Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries because they have resolutely refused to be transparent with vital historical documents relating to provenance of key paintings it has owned and controlled – KRG’s notorious Wanker 31. In fact, KRG staff have diabolically and deliberately hidden pictures of them from the public for 15 years; so how can Kinsman Robinson Galleries possibly be trusted to be honest about the provenance of other paintings it controls, has sold, or has for sale, like “Child With Headdress 1997?” (Show me the Wanker 31)
2) Signing Blank Cheques at KRG 1990-2015 – “Blank backs” on their “new” Morrisseaus are all that KRG offers – not a single Morrisseau BDP signature in sight – as is claimed by Donald Robinson, to be the case with ALL Norval Morrisseau paintings sold at Kinsman Robinson Galleries, from 1990-2015. “Blank backs,” are, of course the art equivalent of a “blank cheque,” allowing KRG staff to write and allege anything they want about the provenance of ALL their Morrisseaus, including “Child With Headdress 1997.”
3) Norval’s Severe, Long-standing, & Telling Parkinson’s Twitch Videoed in 1997 – If you ignore the two “Goofy Dancers” in the “Goofy Bear Dance Video,” shot during the same time period that Norval was alleged to have painted “Child With Headdress 1997,” you can see Norval just as he was at time he painted “Child With Headdress 1997.” I am sure KRG would be only too glad to give – along with their other provenance paperwork – to whoever buys “Child With Headdress 1997,” a copy of this contemporaneous video, showing the artist as he was, either the day after, or the day before, he painted it. All KRG proof of provenance that the buyer can show to his/her friends.
Video #1 – Above Norval’s violent Parkinson’s Twitch stunningly made clear in a 1997 video featuring two white guys – Ritchie Sinclair and Gabe Vadas – in Davy Crockett costumes, in a “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997,” which proves incontrovertibly, that Norval couldn’t sign his name legibly, let alone paint a picture anyone would possibly want to see, let alone buy, in 1997, and a long time before… (There’s a second equally devastating video, below.)
4) KRG Publishing 5 (Five) Fakes in Travels in 1997 – Ritchie Sinclair aka “the Goofy Dancer” – has since early 2008 – many months before he became a KRG “enforcer” – accused KRG of publishing not one but 5 (five) full page fake Morrisseaus, in “Travels to the House of Invention 1997” in Norval’s own autobiographical picture book.
This is certainly a telling accusation from a member of the KRG inner circle, contending that in 1997, at the very time KRG claims Norval supposedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997,” he was suffering from bouts of Dementia that caused this unforgivable personal error in mindlessly choosing and publishing – in his own book – multiple fakes as genuine. It makes you wonder how Norval could remember where he put his brushes and paints, as he sat in his wheelchair at the easel supposedly painting “Child With Headdress 1997.” In the very same time frame he suffered this huge and telling bout of memory loss.
5) Sinclair’s # 1 Fake Proves Norval’s Manipulated Dementia 1999 – As the official KRG enforcer, Sinclair has repeatedly published that just a little over a year after Norval allegedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997,” and absent-mindedly put five fakes in his Travels book, a progressively more unaware Morrisseau was being crassly and coldly exploited into posing for phony photo ops in front of several Nimkee Gallery (Manitoulin Island) fakes, in 1999.
This is corroborative proof that Ritchie Sinclair believed Morrisseau must have been helpless and distracted and so Dementia-debilitated that he was easily maneuvered into playing along with this kind of purported absurd charade. It is, of course, nothing if not an astonishing reversal for Norval.
In his prime, when he was still healthy in the 1970s, Norval had such a strong and over-bearing personality he would never be anybody’s fool. He was himself, always, the Master Manipulator. Now in 1999, according to Sinclair, a hopelessly helpless Norval – the “disabled body with a pulse” – appeared to be “everybody’s fool” and need we add “everybody’s tool.”
Note: Sinclair’s #1 (Alleged) Fake, in front of which Norval posed, turned out to be genuine, when a forensic scientist analyzed it, proving Sinclair, not Norval, was the witless fool and tool.
In fact every single one, of the first 17 Morrisseaus that Sinclair lists and calls “fakes,” on his malicious and defamatory website, have been authenticated as 100% genuine Morrisseaus by various Canadian forensic scientists.
So it is completely irrelevant if Norval was “mentally out of it,” at the Nimkee Gallery, as Sinclair and his KRG handlers suggest, or not; the paintings he is “propped up” in front of, are genuine original Morrisseaus. Whether Norval acknowledges ownership – even if he deliberately disowns them, because he is pressured to do so – is totally irrelevant with forensically authenticated BDPs. We note, again, that you can never, ever have this forensic assurance as proof of provenance to Norval, with even a single “blank-backed” Kinsman Robinson Galleries painting it got from the Morrisseau “studio.”
6) KRG’s Manipulative Use of the “Disabled Body with the Pulse” in 1999 – KRG’s accusation of Nimkee Gallery as crassly exploiting and using the Dementia-debilitated Norval (the Disabled Body with the Pulse) for a lowdown propaganda promotion of fakes, is rich, beyond belief, as the week after leaving Nimkee Gallery in September 1999, the “Disabled Body with the Pulse” was shipped off and propped up inside the Kinsman Robinson Galleries, as its own business prop to promote its own brand of blank-backed Morrisseaus, or Burrowsseaus…
7) Three of Canada’s Top Justices Pass Judgment on Robinson’s Expertise and Credibility 1996-1999 – Only a few months before KRG claims Norval painted “Child With Headdress 1997” the Hon Justice Murray Alexander Mogan of the Tax Court of Canada, damningly citing Donald Robinson’s “hopeless conflict of interest,” found that the Kinsman Robinson Galleries boss could not be trusted to comment on the quality or value (read authenticity) of Morrisseau paintings. And he ruthlessly cut his Morrisseau valuations in half… Now, would you fly with a pilot, whose expertise promises you a safe landing 50% of the time?
No Respect at the Top – Lawyer Ken Whent, angry that Robinson, was so dismissively treated as a Morrisseau expert by Justice Mogan, launched an Appeal to Canada’s highest court. In 1999, a little over a year after “Child With Headdress 1997” was, we are assured by Robinson and KRG to have been painted, two of Canada’s top justices reviewed Justice Mogan’s judgment and reviewed the Robinson “expert report” he had done for the court on 216 Morrisseaus. And exactly as Mogan before, the two justices dismissed Robinson, his expert report, his valuations, all as tainted by “hopeless conflict of interest.”
To what degree can you count on the accuracy of a 1997 KRG gallery sticker price, and the so-called provenance of a painting “Child With Headdress 1997” – which Robinson claims was painted by Norval – at the very time Justice Mogan was making his damning assessment of Robinson’s judgment and believability as totally clouded by overwhelming self-interest? Especially when two other of Canada’s top justices reviewed the Appeal and confirmed that Mogan was right to conclude as he did in all respects, including his scathing dismissal of the believability of the “Morrisseau expert” and the execution of his duty as a supposed “friend of the court.”
– The Hon Justice Murray Alexander Mogan 1996
– The Hon Justice J Edgar Sexton 1999
– The Hon Justice Julius Alexander Isaac 1999
8) Try the “Morrisseau Twitch Test” aka “The Jonathan Jerome Sommer Replication Test” – I believe this is a foolproof way to ascertain the authenticity and provenance of “Child With Headdress 1997” that anyone can do, without counting on a motivated seller from a gallery who is contaminated by “hopeless conflicts of (self) interest,” while, at the same time, doing something that can be socially beneficial.
Simply give a brush or pencil and paper to one of your friends or relatives who is, like Norval was, disabled by Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Parkinson’s Dementia, and get them to make a copy for you of “Child With Headdress 1997,” to see how well they can match Norval’s flawless placement of lines and dots. Please give them all the time in the world, and then you draw your own conclusions about the provenance of “Child With Headdress 1997.”
My Conclusion – I conclude that “Child With Headdress 1997,” could not possibly have been painted by Norval Morrisseau – the “disabled body with a pulse” – in 1997, due to his disastrously debilitated mental, physical and neurological degeneration at the time, and his frenetic “Parkinson’s Twitch,” so clearly demonstrated in the second document, the embarrassing “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997.”
However dumb the two dancing goofballs are in this absurd pseudo-Indian ceremony, look past them; it does clearly show Norval’s disastrously debilitated mental and physical condition at the very time he was supposed to have painted “Child With Headdress 1997.”
Contemporary related events hugely corroborate my conclusion as inevitable and unchallengeable.
It all raises the serious question: why would Donald Robinson, Paul Robinson, John MacGregor Newman and the Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto, claim Norval Morrisseau painted this extremely complex work at a time, when by common sense alone, he was totally incapable of doing so?
Without even considering the mountain of other compromising evidence that it was even remotely possible – like the obvious and extremely physically debilitating neurological damage his disabled body was wracked with at the time.
Titling and Dating – Remember it’s KRG staff who added the name and the year (1997) to “Child With Headdress 1997” – NOT THE ARTIST. And KRG is noted as having repeatedly made provable, documentable, and catastrophically compromising mistakes with the provenance of Morrisseau paintings under their control.
NOTE: KRG staff have a fetish claiming all their Morrisseaus are “direct-from-the-artist,” when they really mean “direct from Gabe Vadas.” What they forget to tell their clients is that Norval’s total business management – including procuring and shipping whatever paintings he chose, from wherever he got them – was carried out by Gabe Vadas, Norval’s longtime white business manager and the wielder of his Power of Attorney since Apr 24, 1990. Vadas, not Norval – who was long past being able to – made the business, financial, artistic, and shipping decisions, and did the drafting and sending of all the legal documents sent to terrorize business competitors. etc.
So KRG’s “direct-from-the-artist” is really shorthand for “from Gabe’s studio;” it doesn’t necessarily mean a painting from the shop was painted by Norval, whose physical, mental, and artistic abilities were in tragic free fall during the 1990s.
There is NO Norval DNA on the back of “Child’s” blank back. KRG staff from 1990 on, took over the “naming and dating” duty that Norval – when he was healthy and capable – proudly used to do, himself, with black drybrush paint on the back of thousands of his high-period 1970s and 1980s BDPs. Alas, the onset of his violent Parkinson’s Twitch, in the early 1990s, prevented him from doing the signing and titling anymore, without just making a total mess of it… So the long established practice was stopped. And the totally blank backed Morrisseaus were born.
The large and expansive BDP signatures, including name, title, and copyright date, require a firm and steady hand because the paint for each section must be applied with a single, strong, unhesitating and smooth flourish. IN SHORT, IT IS A FORGER’S NIGHTMARE TO TRY TO DUPLICATE. AND SO EASY FOR FORENSIC EXPERTS TO DISCOVER IF FAKED.
Leaving the obvious query that forensic expert Dr. Atul K Singla, raised before Judge Martial: if Morrisseau himself never, ever did this – as claimed by Donald Robinson – then why would a forger possibly do it, and with such a huge and complex signature that would be sure to trip them up and flag to everyone that the painting was fake? (And that is only by disregarding the scientific fact that without exception, when every signature that Norval supposedly never did, was analyzed by professional handwriting experts, it tested positive that Norval, and no one else, was the author of this huge and expansive BDP in every case ever tested.)
The blank backs of the KRG Morrisseaus, leaves the obvious question: if Norval could no longer be trusted not to make a mess of his signature on the back, how could he possibly be trusted NOT TO MAKE A MESS OF THE FRONT OF THE PAINTING AS WELL?
Shouldn’t common sense tell you, if the back of the painting had to be blank by necessity, because of the disastrous mental and physical infirmity of the artist, shouldn’t also the front have been left equally blank?
It’s all extremely compromising of Kinsman Robinson Galleries because its owners adamantly assure you that ALL their Morrisseaus were obtained – with an absolute certainty of 100% – directly from the artist himself. And that includes “Child With Headdress 1997.”
They claim their word is foolproof provenance for the authenticity and time frame of the painting.
So let’s review the evidence…
The Hunt for KRG’s Provenance Begins:
We can actually imagine how an eager Kinsman Robinson Galleries salesperson might describe “Child With Headdress 1997” to a prospective buyer:
“Well, just look at the numerous exquisitely executed lines, drawn with masterful exactness – dozens of them. Surely an unprecedented number in any painting.
“And not a one is out of place, or smudged, or muffed. Could you do that?
“And remember there is no eraser you can use on an acrylic – it was a one shot deal… line after line after line, carefully criss-crossing, or in perfect parallel, and exquisite spacing, without a single slip-up, and doing it, dozens of times.
“It’s a marvelous example of Norval’s masterful brush control, and shows amazing proof of Norval’s truly amazing hand-eye coordination.
“It’s also clear proof that he’s an artist in total command of enviable and complete arm, wrist, hand, finger muscle control. An artist truly possessed of exquisite manual dexterity.
“To carry off such an artistic tour-de-force successfully – as he obviously did – it took all Norval’s obvious powers of intense mental concentration, which few of us are fortunate enough to possess, at the best of times. But it was not a problem for Norval in the slightest, as you can see from “Child With Headdress.”
“This is iconic imagery at its best! And there’s more; much, much more.
“Look at all those lines and dots – scores of them – more closely.
“Every single time Norval removed his brush from the canvas – and he did it dozens and dozens of times – he had to return with complete and total command, to hit an exact spot, with the same controlled light touch, for every new line or dot, without accidentally hitting or smudging one in the wrong place and spoiling one already there. Or he would end up ruining the sequence, the pattern, the spatial proximity of one to another…
“And only Norval dared to do it dozens, scores of times. Without a single failure…
“You’ve got to agree! Wow! What utter total artistic and muscular control he shows off!
“Look at the carefully drawn edges, and masterfully executed curves of the figures.
“Note too that “Child With Headdress 1997,” has more straight lines, more dots, more interacting grids of lines than any other artist you know would ever dare put into a painting, not AY Jackson, not Emily Carr, not JD Kelly, or Jackson Pollock or Vermeer or Van Gogh or any other artist, like Frank Stella, you ever heard of.
“Marked by its deft fluidity, this Norval Morrisseau painting is a masterful portrayal of its genre.
“Clearly, Norval was second to none with his exquisite brush control, and is supremely at the top of his game, in “Child With Headdress 1997.”
In fact Donald Robinson is on the record as claiming in court that Norval did much of the best work of his entire career during “Norval’s Wheelchair Invalid” period when he represented him in the 1990s…
Fact Check – I am one of the overwhelming majority of Morrisseau experts and collectors who will never buy Morrisseaus dated after about 1988, when Norval’s mental, physical, and artistic decline started to hugely undermine the power of his art which is acknowledged as peaking in the 1970s and early 1980s before noticeably beginning to fail in the late 80s.
Said an old companion of Norval’s, Lloyd Comber c 1987, “I noticed that his art wasn’t as good as it used to be.” (James R Stevens, A Picasso in the North Country, p193)
A typical cautionary for prospective Morrisseau art buyers is the comment by Gail Fikis, long with the Thunder Bay Art Gallery during its Morrisseau acquisition period:
“I have always told people, if you have work from the 60s, you’re laughing to the bank, the 70s, OK, but into the late 80s, questions, 90s and on, anything goes…”
(Gail Fikis, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, 1983-2007, latterly Lakehead University)
Note: The cut-off point for us all, is some 10 years BEFORE Norval supposedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997.”
And we note that the group of white businessmen who clustered around Norval’s debilitated body in 1988-1989, is of the same belief.
So much so that its members were forced to hire the “apprentice” Karl Burrows to increasingly do the artwork for Norval in 1989, so starting the notorious “blank backed”*** paintings of the Burrowsseau period (1989-2007) for which Donald Robinson and KINSMAN ROBINSON GALLERIES always claimed they were the exclusive distributors.
(***There are no Morrisseau BDP (Black Drybrush Paint) signatures – which Norval famously signed with on the back of thousands of his 1970s style paintings – on the back of a single one of these Burrowsseaus, according to Donald Robinson)
Whoa Hoss! Examining BDPs –
Forensics: SOMA & the Wankers
Need I add that I believe that there is not a chance, in this world, or the next, that Norval Morrisseau painted “Child With Headdress 1997,” not in 1997, or in any year anywhere close to that?
I don’t need to look on the back of the painting for Norval’s DNA confirmation. It’ll be conspiratorially blank back there.
There will be no BDP signature on the back. And no other typical Norval Morrisseau title, icons, copyright signs, or year, that he customarily added on thousands of his 1970s era BDP paintings, which you can use – and have been used, dozens of times, by forensic scientists, to corroborate an authentic Morrisseau from the period.
Sworn Court Testimony: Norval’s brother Wolf, his longtime business and personal manager, testified before Judge Martial (in Hatfield v Artworld) that, in fact, it was he who told Norval to begin the BDP signing on the back convention as a sales promotion gimmick in the early 70s to appeal to and attract art buyers outside Canada.
(Martial called Wolf a believable witness, while he totally “rejected” the testimony and credibility of the only two opposing Plaintiff’s witnesses, Donald Robinson and Ritchie Sinclair, which lawyer Jonathan Jerome Sommers had been able to find to support his losing case.)
Wolf’s reasoning being that while many in Canada might recognize Norval’s Cree syllabic signature on the front, foreigners would not. He reasoned correctly, that the splashy English promotional and identifying signature, dates, and titles would be appreciated by collectors and generate sales.
It proved to be a boon, not only overseas, but for collectors across Canada who care about genuine, honest-to-goodness provenance that is part of the actual painting, and that can be scientifically traced as DNA from the original artist.
FAKE – As opposed to the phony manufactured provenance (paper stickers, gallery invoices, gallery labels, Certificates of Authenticity, and worst of all, gallery salesman’s assurances, etc.) fabricated by motivated sellers who think their art clients are easily duped and gullible fools.) (VIDEO of Wolf)
Wolf’s BDP signing convention proved to be an especially enormous blessing to Morrisseau art owners when a handful of malicious and diabolical art terrorists stated to attack thousands of genuine Morriseau BDPs as fakes, in order to devalue the art being sold by their business competitors.
The very class of paintings, the 1970s BDPs, targeted as fakes, and instantly identified by the huge black paint Morrisseau signature on the back, found their very salvation as authentic Morrisseaus, in that very signature when handed over to forensic scientists.
No such luck for anyone who buys “Child With Headdress 1997” because there is nothing on the back – no “DNA” – that you can take to an independent forensic scientist, professional handwriting analyst, and expert document examiner and ask him:
“Look, are these gallery owners lying to me? Can you just scientifically analyze if that is really Norval’s signature on the back? Or is that signature faked by someone to try to con me into buying?”
A BDP signature on the back is every bit as wonderful and powerful for art owners as a fingerprint, or DNA left at a crime scene. They can pronounce with scientific certitude that you were either there or you were not there. In the US DNA evidence like this has freed hundreds of criminals that have been wrongfully imprisoned for decades – including over 140 from death row – because of false and malicious allegations backed up by trumped up and phony arguments and conspiratorially contrived evidence.
It happens all the time in the art world, which is polluted with conniving art terrorists.
Complete Disclosure: of SOMA – 100% Authenticated
When one of my own magnificent 1970s Morrisseau BDP paintings, “Shaman Envelopes SOMA 1976,” aka “SOMA 1976,” was called a fake by the same clique of malicious art terrorists who have hugely devalued Morrisseau’s art heritage with their false accusations, it was sent to TWO different forensic scientists, in different years, to analyze the signature.
In fact, “SOMA 1976” is the only Morrisseau painting ever sent to TWO professional forensic scientists because it costs multi-thousands to do, each time.
BOTH independent scientists, each working from a different set of known Morrisseau signatures, reported back, in different years, that the huge black BDP signature on the back was authentically signed by Norval Morrisseau, and further, that no one else could have done so. A forensic double Whammy!
In fact – you won’t believe this – “Principal Morrisseau Dealer” Donald Robinson himself was the under bidder on “SOMA 1976,” when I bought it at Randy Potter Auctions on Jan. 26, 2000. He ultimately bid on 90 similar BDP paintings from Norval’s 1970s “high period,” and bought 31 for $54,000 in late 1999 and early 2000.
Now if all that isn’t an encomium of authenticity for the existence and authenticity of a Morrisseau BDP painting – with a huge black dry brush signature on the back (a BDP) to boot – what is?
It was Donald Robinson himself, after the auction, who showed me how to roll “SOMA 1976” up properly, invited me to his gallery, where I went, and where he provided me with the name of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ own framer to mount the acrylic.
He praised “SOMA 1976”, telling me he was the under bidder, and that it was absolutely genuine, saying “Oh it’s real alright. Trust me! I’m the guy who wrote the book on Morrisseau.” At the time he bragged to anyone who would listen in the auction hall, that he was an expert authenticator and seller of Morrisseaus for 15 years.
A year later, Donald Robinson launched the biggest art HOAX in Canadian history by announcing through a lazy, gullible, ignorant, and compliant media, that ALL BDP paintings like “SOMA 1976” were fakes. But, curiously, not once did he bring even one of his own 31 so-called fake BDP’s back to the auctioneer demanding a refund. He supposedly took a bath on $54,000. Get the picture? If you don’t may I interest you in buying a bridge?
In fact he later told Judge Martial – I saw and heard him – he had quickly resold many “for a small profit,” which he explained as “perhaps 10%.” He did not divulge that at Kinsman Robinson Galleries a small price increase customarily means one from 550 to 600%. One of the many fibs Donald Robinson tried to slide by the judge.
Alas, Dear Reader, don’t worry… It didn’t work. In his judgment Judge Paul J Martial scorched Robinson as not a believable or credible witness. And all his claims bogus.
In this one single “SOMA 1976” case, TWO independent forensic scientists have made separate findings each of which alone, hugely compromises Donald Robinson, as either being deliberately, hugely untruthful or just suffering from his own brand of Dementia/Alzheimer’s memory loss.
“SOMA 1976” is also the only Morrisseau painting – ever – to receive a “Beyond DNA” authentication rating of 100.0% from a handwriting-analysis expert. Which, in the world of DNA and forensic examiners, is virtually unheard-of.
And NO, I’m not compromised in this, in any way. I did NOT ask for, or pay, to have the forensics done by either scientist. A public-spirited individual paid out the thousands it cost because he deemed the authentication – of paintings so personally tied to Donald Robinson’s personal credibility – to be in the public interest.
This disclosure is necessary because Donald Robinson has besmirched forensic scientists as being just paid lackeys whom owners with fake paintings pay to have them certified as authentic when they very well know they’re fakes. Tarring Canada’s forensic scientists as just some lowlife toadies willing to do anything for a buck.
This – I submit – is nothing if not a Freudian slip that gives us a peek into the manipulative mindset of Donald Robinson and what goes on behind the closed doors of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
I was no more interested in having a DNA test done of “SOMA 1976,” than I was to do a DNA test to see if I am really my mother and my father’s offspring. I would only consent to such a test if someone asked me to do so in the greater public interest, like if they wanted to establish a DNA chain to see if I was a possible missing link in the British royal family, and a descendant of the long lost bastard son of Richard the Lionhearted.
“SOMA 1976” is in fact, one of only two publicly disclosed Morrisseau BDP paintings – the other one, “FISH 1976,”*** is also mine, and forensically authenticated – that show exactly the kind of Morrisseau paintings Donald Robinson bid on and bought, and the 31 he proudly took home from Potter auctions in 1999-2000, and later did an about-face on and inexplicably called them fakes.
I have named these the Wanker 31 (an acronym from Wang and Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
(*** Medicine Being from Sacred Fish Stomck 1976″ aka “FISH 1976.”)
Donald Robinson: Hiding his Wankers
Unlike me, who has been completely open, to a fault, in publishing high resolution images of both the front and back of both “SOMA 1976” and “FISH 1976,” in the best traditions of academic disclosure and transparency, Donald Robinson has absolutely and totally refused to follow suit with any of his Wanker 31. Instead, like a thief in the night, he has resolutely ordered to be hidden from public view ALL images of the front and backs of all the Wanker 31 paintings he first called “absolutely authentic” and then suddenly, inexplicably called lousy fakes…
For 15 years Donald Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries have totally refused to allow academics, investigative journalists, and forensic scientists to get a look at the DNA on the back of the Wanker 31, which the Robinsons eagerly bought at Potters, and photographed, first called wonderfully authentic, then called poor fakes…
So effectively – but inexplicably – preventing an independent expert from examining if a forger signed the backs, or Norval?
To see what Donald Robinson saw there that made him do a total reversal about the authenticity of 31 paintings, which in the annals of world art history is an unprecedented failure for any art authenticator anywhere.
And to establish finally, if Donald Robinson is telling the truth or not about what he claims about the Wanker 31?
I believe Robinson furtively hiding the Wanker 31 research data is probably the most dishonest and heinous example of academic malfeasance in Canadian history.
Maliciously “Burning” the Wankers
It is now also my opinion that Donald Robinson and his son Paul have now, with the collaboration of the malicious and misguided members of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, either, ordered the destruction of the Wanker 31, or will in time announce that all 31 paintings have been “misplaced,” have “inexplicably disappeared,” “gone missing,” were “accidentally placed in the trash by the cleaning lady,” or “since they are fakes and worthless,” and their “educational” use has ended, they have been humanely disposed of “in the interests of all concerned,” and “to protect the art heritage of Norval Morrisseau.”
I believe they will never be seen again… And that Donald Robinson and his son Paul have seen to it, and are the active authors of the disappearance as they have been the authors of the HOAX in the first place.
To prevent the truth from ever coming out about the Wanker 31, which the Robinsons first called authentic, and then lousy fakes…
All done to protect the reputation of Kinsman Robinson Galleries from the inevitable fall-out, and lawsuits, that would follow when the very proof KRG alleges as the foundation proof for their “fakes” allegations – the Wanker 31 and the Norval BDP DNA on the back – are proven to be 100% genuine. And KRG’s claims will be openly proven to be just malicious fabrication made up by KRG to hamstring its business competitors.
Now do you see why the Wankers must be burned…?
Below the rogues gallery of outreach workers of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries, all complicit in aiding and abetting the worst act of academic malfeasance in Canadian history, and actively promoting a far worse act of Canadian cultural genocide than the racist Potlatch assaults carried out by the Canadian government in 1921. At least some of those memorabilia items were recovered in recent years. Compared to 100% of the Wanker 31 Norval Morrisseau paintings which the NMHS has helped to “burn,” to prevent any possible recovery of any of them, by anyone, at any future time…
Clearly I view this as a “Hate Crime” that has its roots in anti-Aboriginal racism.
Why the Wankers Must Burn…
– the Damning Corroborative Proof
“SOMA 1976” – and its companion “FISH 1976,” on which Donald Robinson was also the under bidder, and whose huge BDP signature has also been forensically authenticated – give damning proof of exactly why Donald Robinson and KINSMAN ROBINSON GALLERIES have refused to publish photos of the back of their 31 BDPs which are from the same era, of the same style, and bought at the same time and place as I bought these two authenticated Morrisseaus.
The forensic evidence is utterly foolproof: Norval painted and signed “SOMA 1976” and “FISH 1976.”
These two paintings – by themselves – hugely indict the Robinsons refusal to publish the backs of their Wanker 31, because they want to hide from forensic scientists, that indeed Norval, in the same way signed the backs of all Wanker 31 paintings.
And the Robinsons have been wrong from the beginning in willfully and falsely perpetuating a huge HOAX for 15 years, by claiming the Wanker 31 are all Morrisseau forgeries.
SAVED FROM THE TRASH HEAP OF HISTORY
In fact I will take full credit for saving from destruction “SOMA 1976” and “FISH 1976,” by over-bidding Donald Robinson on these two paintings, on Jan. 26, 2000. Had I not done so Donald Robinson would have taken them home. They would have become Wanker 32 and Wanker 33.
They would have been thrown on the trash heap of history by Donald Robinson, his son Paul, and burned by Kinsman Robinson Galleries, and the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society as fakes.
That “SOMA 1976” and “FISH 1976,” are alive and well, and accusingly point the finger at KRG and the NMHS, is a truly damning indictment of the idiotic academic fools and tools, that sit on the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society where they gleefully oversee cultural genocide and the destruction of Norval’s art heritage, in collusion and under the clear direction of the Robinsons at the Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
So, in fact, it is one painting – “SOMA 1976” – that single-handedly – and more than any other Morrisseau on the planet – shows that Donald Robinson, Paul Robinson, and John MacGregor Newman, and the Kinsman Robinson Galleries enforcer, Ritchie Sinclair, are the most malicious and incompetent Morrisseau authenticators in the world and the worst art terrorists in Canadian history.
In some 70 cases, Morrisseau owners of the same 1970s era BDP paintings, who’ve had them attacked as fakes, by Donald Robinson, Paul Robinson, the Kinsman Robinson Galleries, and their notorious enforcer and multiply judicially-discredited Ritchie Sinclair,*** have sought out forensic scientists in the same way.
*** Sinclair, who, in a rage because no one wanted to buy his own paintings at his failed Scollard Gallery show, had only joined the Kinsman Robinson Galleries group, in October 2008, a year after Norval died, hoping to make a more profitable living as an “enforcer” for KRG, a role he would perform with gusto in the coming years.
And in every single case, without exception, the nefarious Kinsman Robinson Galleries team has been proven, in every single case, to have been utterly wrong, by three different, independent scientists.
Leaving the Kinsman Robinson Galleries team with a failure rate of false authentication of an astounding 100%.
How can anyone, in their right mind, be proven to be so utterly wrong, so many times without a single exception, and just go on maintaining their diabolical and malicious fiction?
NOW DO YOU KNOW WHY THEY HAVE HIDDEN THE WANKER 31 FROM THE PUBLIC FOR 15 YEARS?
And then it gets worse…
Neat-Oh! The Case of the Blank Check
“Child With Headdress 1997” is completely blank on the back. No signature; no DNA.
Which means you can, not only NOT go to a scientist and ask him to certify the signature being done by Norval, but you also CANNOT have a forensic scientist come back to establish authenticity or fraud before you throw good money after bad art, like in:
“Look, that signature is fake. Sorry ‘bout that but the signature is clearly forged. So don’t ask me about who painted the other side. It could be just about anyone on the planet. You’re on your own when you buy a painting with no testable DNA or signature on the back. And you’re even worse off if all your painting has is a lousy gallery label that could be pasted there by the KRG cleaning lady.”
Handwriting analysis experts use known signatures to line up and compare letters, strokes, lines, dots, tails, etc. of letters and the joins between them to check for believable and smooth variations, so they can spot the errors that a forger would make.
Such a damning forensic finding would clearly steer you away from buying such a painting.
With no signature, with no DNA you cannot get a forensic scientist to tell you either with: YES it’s authentic or NO it’s a fake. You are totally on your own with only the word of eager gallery salesmen to assure you.
And you should know by now that the word of many an art gallery salesman is as good as used car salesmen, your stock broker financial advisor, or the assurances of your Russian mail-order bride that she’s a virgin.
Why Passionate Art Gallery Asssurances of Provenance…
Are a Bust
Remember that Toronto multi-millionaire David Mirvish was talked into buying three fake Jackson Pollock paintings for a cool $12 million by New York’s most prestigious and oldest art gallery, Knoedler and Co., with passionate assurances that the provenance was impeccable and that they were real. The gallery took his millions and when the s#$%* hit the fan, just went bankrupt. His paintings and money were toast. Along with a lot of others who had trusted the passionate gallery assurances of provenance.
It’s the forensics that turned the table on the useless verbal promises of provenance Mirvish got from the art gallery owners, which used gallery lies on gullible clients to cover up one of the biggest art scams in world history. The gallery – after 165 years – went bankrupt leaving everybody holding a ton of worthless fakes they had been passionately assured were real, that the provenance was fool-proof – you know, “direct from the artist…”
Other clients who had been assured their provenance was fool-proof, ended up with a fake Pollock for 17 million; a fake Rothko for 8.3 million; a fake de Kooning for 4 million; another fake Pollock for 2 million…
All by people who have been sucker-punched by art gallery owners, because they are gullible, and have more money than brains and just do not know their own art… Like countless other buyers of Russian mail-order brides…
That the provenance was just made up by motivated sellers at Knoedler’s, and that the paintings were all forgeries was discovered and exposed because of forensic testing.
You know, the same kind of dispassionate forensic testing by scientists that has proved dozens of Morrisseau BDPs as being totally authentic, ended up proving that these Knoedler paintings were not real but all cheap forgeries.
So with no DNA on the back of your Morrisseaus, you are triply damned: 1 you cannot prove your painting is real; 2 you cannot disprove its authenticity and so discover if it is, in fact, a fake. So you have NO independently verifiable proof or DNA. And 3 you are forced to rely solely and entirely on the passionate assurances of a motivated seller in the art gallery that the painting’s provenance is genuine and reliable.
Isn’t this where the gullible, witless, and trusting David Mirvish came in…?
As world-renowned and longtime New York’s Museum of Modern Art expert and international art fraud sleuth, Thomas Hoving snorted pointedly “Fuck off with your provenance… that can all be faked.”
Since Donald Robinson claimed in court, that every single solitary genuine Morrisseau painting sold by Kinsman Robinson Galleries from 1990 to 2015 is blank on the back, then so is “Child With Headdress 1997.” No signature; no DNA, to verify its paternity either way… leaving you entirely on your own… to mull over how much you want to count on Donald Robinson’s verbal assurances of provenance…
Before you answer, ponder this: every single judge who has had to assess Robinson’s trustworthiness on his Morrisseau expertise – and we can count six so far – has dismissed both his testimony and his so-called “expert reports” – we can count four that have been rejected – as just NOT credible or believable, and entirely and “hopelessly” compromised by self-interest.
The blank back in 1997 is, of course, completely understandable.
Norval’s Non-stop Violent “Parkinson’s Twitch”
In Overdrive in 1997
We have already pointed out that finding video documentation of Norval Morrisseau’s physical activities and painting life are impossible to find for the 1990s because of his clearly apparent advanced and growing, mental, physical, and artistic deterioration.
The only two galleries claiming exclusive rights to be selling Norval’s new works, during this period, like Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries, and Aldergrove, BC’s Coghlan Art Studio, have hidden such videos – if any even exist – from public view, for obvious reasons. They don’t want their clients who buy new Morrisseau paintings from them to see what a “disabled body with a pulse” Norval Morrisseau was rapidly becoming after the early 1990s. (Robinson has testified he’s probably sold close to 1,000 of these “new” works – which he calls Morrisseaus and I call Burrowsseaus – over the years.)
So Canadian Morrisseau collectors are forever indebted to Ritchie Sinclair for finding and putting up the incontrovertible video proof that, in September 1997, Norval Morrisseau could not hold his violently shaking hands and head still, even if he wanted to. His Parkinson’s had robbed him of every control he ever had over his violently shaking painting hand. And had, obviously, been disabling his painting ability for some years previous.
Sinclair has found and put up two “Goofy Bear Dance Videos,” shot at Kleinburg, featuring two white “Indian imposter/impersonators” playing dress up at the Kleinburg Museum, in September 1997. The videos show Gabe Vadas and Sinclair, doing a goofy – but comical enough – pseudo-Indian bear dance around Norval as the despondent artist sits, violently shaking away, on his scooter.
Video #2 – Above, Norval’s violent Parkinson’s Twitch stunningly made clear in a 1997 video featuring two white guys in Davy Crockett costumes, Ritchie Sinclair and Gabe Vadas, in a “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997,” which proves incontrovertibly, that Norval couldn’t sign his name legibly, let alone paint a picture anyone would possibly want to see, let alone buy, in 1997, and a long time before…
With this video Sinclair offers incontrovertible, independent “live action” proof, if any were still needed, that Norval could not have painted “Child With Headdress 1997,” or any other similar canvas in 1997, or in the years before or after.
At the very time Norval was, according to KRG, supposedly painting “Child With Headdress 1997,” in 1997, the “Goofy Bear Dance” video makes clear that Norval was no longer physically – and had not been for years – capable of writing a stable, decipherable signature, than he could draw a straight line, make a controlled dot, a smooth outline of any kind, or fill in the colours without disastrously and wildly smudging and bleeding paint over all the borders and outlines.
Let alone paint a large complex and detailed painting like “Child With Headdress 1997.”
REWIND: By the early 1990s, Norval had signs of Parkinson’s, as well as mentally-disabling Alcohol Dementia, and Dementia/Alzheimer’s (The ALZ Society maintains that over 70% of Dementia patients have Alzheimer’s.) Photos from the mid-90s on show how he couldn’t even hold his tongue in his mouth anymore even for the countless photo ops he was featured in by celebrity junkies.
He drooled incessantly and the rare and short video clips from 2000 on, show his stare is fixed, not engaging in any way with his environment or the people around him, and ultimately show his head rigidly fixed in place (like in the outrageously staged BC Museum of Anthropology video in 2000) or flopped to the side and unmoving (like in the LeBlanc video of April 2002.)
By 2001, Norval’s brother Wolf testified in court, Norval had only brief periods of lucidity left, and confessed to him he couldn’t remember his past paintings anymore. And so was incapable of any longer being able to tell which ones were real and which were fake.
And those targeted as fakes by Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries dated from some 20 to 30 years ago…! So it is easy to see how Norval could be colloassaly and repeatedly wrong.
There is no such excuse for the colossally false, and repeatedly wrong calls as fakes, by the staff of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries, on dozens of paintings forensically proven to be genuine Morrisseaus.
Fortuitous Development: Norval’s precipitous decline into Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s was of great benefit to his white business managers Gabe Vadas, and Donald Robinson, because they could do the “fake” selections for him. Like when they did the preparatory internet sleuthing to find the many hundreds of images of paintings their business competitors were selling before appending them to those notoriously phony Affidavits of Forgery (2003-2005) and sending them to threaten their main business competitors with legal action for selling “fakes” in order to terrorize them.
NOTE 1: Vadas had craftily taken over Norval’s Power of Attorney on Apr. 24, 1990*** so, in Norval’s “absence” – both mental and physical – both Vadas and KRG had long experience using Norval’s lawyers and legal clout against their business competitors and Norval’s Aboriginal family. (***Source: Vadas Defence, Otavnik v Vadas (Morrisseau) May 8, 2007)
NOTE 2: After Apr. 24, 1990, which is the same year Kinsman Robinson Galleries started to first represent Norval Morrisseau’s art, IT DID NOT NEED, OR NEED TO CONSULT, NORVAL MORRISSEAU – THE “DISABLED BODY WITH A PULSE” IN ANY WAY FOR ANYTHING. With his Power of Attorney in hand, Gabe Vadas totally controlled ALL Norval’s legal, financial, artistic, and business operations. The Robinsons worked for Vadas, and at his – only his – pleasure. It was with Vadas’ collusion that the Robinsons spirited away the 384 paintings – the KR 384 – from British Columbia into KRG’s Toronto basement, to keep them away from Norval and his Aboriginal family and their lawyers in 2002, when Norval’s real family kidnapped him out of Vadas’ clutches and returned him to Thunder Bay, ON.
The Robinsons facetiously have just kept saying, “Norval said this; Norval ordered us to do this” because it sounded good in publicity handouts. And distracted gullible journalists. Norval “the disabled body with a pulse,” was, they very well knew, completely “out of it” legally, and actually. When together with Vadas, KRG looted his home, behind his back, Norval wasn’t there either. He was away in Thunder Bay, with his Aboriginal family. He did NOT know his two white business managers had removed his stored art into KRG’s basement where it would stay till two years after Norval died, when KRG claims it returned the 384 paintings to – guess who? – Gabe Vadas. KRG worked hard to ensure that the $20 million in art did NOT fall into the hands of Norval’s Aboriginal family and its lawyers, but stayed with its longtime white business partner Gabe Vadas, from whom KRG could get an endless source of “blank backed” Burrowsseaus for sale at its gallery.
So how successful do you think Norval could have been – the way he appears in the 1997 Goofy Bear Dance video – at doing the required internet research and website sleuthing for fakes on his laptop, which is A FULL SIX, SEVEN AND EIGHT YEARS BEFORE THE NOTORIOUS AFFIDAVITS OF FORGERY WERE RESEARCHED AND ISSUED?
Video #1 – Above, Norval’s violent Parkinson’s Twitch stunningly made clear in a 1997 video featuring two white guys in Davy Crockett costumes, Ritchie Sinclair and Gabe Vadas, in a “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997,” which proves incontrovertibly, that Norval couldn’t sign his name legibly, let alone paint a picture anyone would possibly want to see, let alone buy, in 1997, and a long time before…
Can you picture the scene, while the two Goofy white guys were prancing about, how impossible it would have been for Norval, in the condition you see him in, to just madly type away on his laptop, searching among the thousands of his paintings on the internet, to sleuth out the fakes supposedly for sale at Canada’s top Morrisseau art dealers, Artworld, Maslak McLeod Canadian Art, Jim White, Gallery Sunami, Woodland Art Gallery and Bear Claw Galleries.
Why just as impossible for him to have been able to paint “Child With Headdress 1997,” either just before the “dance” or immediately after it.
Then ask yourself, how much would Norval’s typing skills, laptop agility, and manual dexterity, AND MENTAL ACUITY, have IMPROVED over the next six years, before they were called on, big-time, to prepare those notorious Affidavits of Forgery, the first of which were not sent to Maslak McLeod till March and April 2003? The very time the CBC producer trying to film Norval was exasperated to find that Norval couldn’t utter a single intelligible word…
Regardless of the preposterousness of Donald Robinson’s and Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ claims, about Morrisseau’s painting abilities in 1997, the “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997” makes it totally clear, that by 1997, Norval was severely and hugely disabled by a complete collapse in all his muscular motor skills.
Norval can barely talk intelligibly; over half the time his mouth muscles will barely permit him to form decipherable words and sentences that anyone can understand. More often than you can somewhat decipher what he says, he will just utter unintelligible gibberish.
Now Norval’s hands shake with an uncontrollable frenzy that he just cannot control, even when he grips the solidly metal handlebars of his scooter. Can you imagine how much simply putting a frail brush in his hands would steady the tool, and make it ready to paint unwavering lines and dots? Or more tellingly, would this disastrously shaking hand possibly be steadied in any way by placing a small brush in it?
I have friends with Parkinson’s but have never seen them shake with the velocity that Norval displays in this video. A non-stop, violent Parkinson’s Twitch that totally disables his bodily motor and muscular skills.
By 1996, his muscle failure disabled his ability to walk; it is clear the Parkinson’s Twitch has now almost disabled most of his mouth muscles as well, and ferociously attacked and completely undermined his arm, hand, and finger coordination.
REWIND REMINDER: Remember the “Goofy Bear Dance” video was NOT shot to show what a human derelict Norval’s dissolute lifestyle had led him to become, but was actually used to promote white “European” Ritchie Sinclair’s mania at cross-dressing, a hopelessly deluded white guy in his 40s, playing Indian to try to promote his moribund career as some kind of artist.
NOTE: As late as 2004, after a lifetime of artistic effort, his original acrylic panels were selling to anyone who wanted them, at rock bottom “starving artist” prices, for only $40 and $50 apiece at Potter’s Auction in Port Hope, Ontario.
It is to Sinclair’s credit that, four years later, he recognized his own failings, and decided to segue from a “starving artist” into making his living as a “con-artist,” acting as enforcer and art terrorist for Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
It is not known how much the Robinsons pay him for his admittedly fanatic work on the gallery’s behalf promoting the biggest HOAX in Canadian art history but I have personally watched him, resplendent in his Davy Crockett buckskin jacket, beads and bones, enforcing compliance on a gallery already threatened by the Robinsons and Kinsman Robinson Galleries, to remove Morrisseau BDP paintings they objected to.
What the “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997” does do, rather than establish Sinclair’s pedigree as some kind of credible or licensed Indian imposter/impersonator, is prove conclusively that NORVAL MORRISSEAU WAS TOTALLY INCAPABLE OF PAINTING “CHILD WITH HEADDRESS” IN 1997, OR IN THE YEARS BEFORE OR AFTER.
The uncontrollably blubbering wheelchair-bound human derelict that is displayed in that video, for all the world to see, had clearly not been a capable functioning artist in any sense of that word for years.
All the artistic tour de forces on full display in “Child With Headdress 1997” including:
– amazing manual dexterity
– superb hand-eye-coordination
– enviable arm, wrist, hand, and finger coordination
– exquisite brush control
– total mental concentration
– absolute and complete muscular control
– outstanding artistic design control
are ALL exactly the very physical and mental abilities that are ruthlessly attacked and undermined in all Dementia, Alcohol Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.
And Norval was the poster child of how those debilitating ailments attack the elderly, being ferociously victimized and disabled by them, physically, mentally, and artistically, all with increasing intensity since the late 1980s and early 1990s, aided and exacerbated by a 50 year over-the-top lifetime of total and completely reckless and dissolute living.
It is a fact, that by 1997 Norval had the most abused, dysfunctional, and disabled body of any celebrity in Canadian history.
Thanks to a lifetime of excessive consumption of alcohol, and case lots of perfume, antifreeze, Lysol, Listerine, after-shave, and drugs of all kinds. The “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997” is nothing if not an alarming warning ad of what will happen to a totally unrestrained and selfish over-the-top drug, alcohol, substance abuser, and frenetic sex addict when your past catches up with you.
A fact that Kinsman Robinson Galleries took great pains to hide from the public. From 1990 to 2007 it never produced or published a single video showing Norval painting a canvas. Which is a truly astonishing – but telling – accomplishment. Why not?
Because Norval’s Parkinson’s Twitch was getting more violent with every passing year; he was soon in a wheelchair, with his limbs useless. His mind was wandering off and his memory gone. His tongue hung out and his stare became fixed and disconnected from anyone and anything, as he was crassly and coldly shunted about by KRG to promote selling of its paintings.
Don’t feel sorry for Norval. He said he’d do it all again, except do worse, do more, and do it earlier.
“I’ve experienced it all, bestiality, animals, homosexuality, men, heterosexuality, women. The only thing I’ve never fucked is a turtle.” Then we both broke out laughing at the outrageousness of his comment.”
(James Stevens, “Picasso of the North, 2011, p158)
So Sinclair’s “Goofy Bear Dance Video” fills in wonderfully for KRG’s own lack of providing a video record of their artist’s painting life in 1997, to support their version of “provenance” for a 1997 painting they claim is by him.
But alas, the “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997” is NOT provenance that Norval, either before he made the video, or after, had anything to do with painting “Child With Headdress 1997.”
But the video is TOTAL PROOF – in fact IT IS CORROBORATIVE PROVENANCE for anyone with an iota of common sense – that Norval in his condition couldn’t have had anything whatsoever to do with painting “Child With Headdress 1997” in 1997, either before, or after he completed officiating at the “Goofy Bear Dance” video event.
Now do you see why Kinsman Robinson Galleries has never, ever, produced a single video of Norval painting, from 1990 to 2007, during the period it claims Norval painted exclusively for the gallery? Not one.
And now do you see why Kinsman Robinson Galleries, no doubt, wishes the narcissistic Sinclair had never published the “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997” on Youtube?
The single short Kinsman Robinson Galleries video of Norval in the gallery which it shows on its website is ancient and features Norval signing autographs and even then speaking in a garbled voice. It is inexplicably – actually tellingly – undated, I believe because Kinsman Robinson Galleries wants people to believe it’s probably Norval in his final days at KRG, when it was actually done some 15 years before he died.
In 2003, the CBC crew, when shooting for Norval’s “Life and Times” couldn’t find any recent video of him painting or talking – they couldn’t get him to utter a word in 2003 – and had to use NFB footage of him painting from the 1970s and faking the rest with actors.
In 2006, when hosting the Morrisseau Retrospective, the McMichael Gallery had to use film footage that showed a clearly drunken Norval talking and painting from those years. There was nothing from later on or CBC or the McMichael would have used it.
I found it extremely disconcerting that during the first national retrospective of a Canadian Aboriginal painter – for Norval Morrisseau in 2006 – that the only video footage the McMichael could produce to honour Norval, when it hosted the show, was of a clearly drunken Morrisseau from the 1970s.
But it offers telling proof that Norval was well on the way to destroying his mind and body that by the 1990s, made it impossible for him to paint, either large canvases, or anything else with any power or finesse anymore, as he once could when he was healthier in the 1970s and early 1980s.
So there is no video – I’m positive – showing Norval painting “Child With Headdress 1997” in 1997.
Though, of course, I’m not saying there’s no video of Karl Burrows painting it. You would have to check with him…
So what’s the KRG excuse for not producing any Morrisseau painting videos in the 1990s? Is Kinsman Robinson Galleries not proud of its artists? At least enough to record Norval for posterity as he paints works for their gallery from 1990 till he died in 2007…
Why didn’t they? Can you guess?
Why would Kinsman Robinson Galleries possibly be so secretive, so furtive, so non-disclosing, so utterly non-transparent in the age of the personal video, the internet, Facebook etc.?
The short answer is: Sinclair’s “Goofy Bear Dance 1997” video.
And well, because increasingly after 1990, Norval’s Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s-debilitated mind and disabled body just couldn’t do tasks anymore that demanded of an artist the utmost mental concentration and hand-eye coordination.
Like in signing, titling, and dating the backs – or even doing the fronts – of his paintings.
And no one – certainly not Donald Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries – wanted Norval’s decline publicized by flagging it with a terribly disintegrating and creaky signature on the back of paintings, or by publishing a “Goofy Bear Dance” video.
I can certainly imagine Norval’s legal, business, and financial manager, Gabe Vadas, or his art dealer, Donald Robinson, sternly instructing Norval,
“Look, quit that signature stuff on the back. We don’t want people starting to ask, ‘Now if Norval wrote that hugely jerky signature scrawl on the back, then who drew all those smooth lines, shapes, and dots, and filled in all the colours with such utter dexterity, on the front, without smudging or bleeding disastrously over the borders? And who did that Morrisseau syllabic signature?’ We don’t want people asking embarrassing questions we have no answer for.”
Donald Robinson: the Master of the House of Invention
Honestly? – Remember Donald Robinson, Gabe Vadas, and their supporting lawyer Aaron Milrad have ALWAYS contended, THAT NORVAL DID ALL THIS ARTWORK; THAT HE ALONE SLEUTHED OUT THE HUNDREDS OF FAKES; THAT NORVAL “SAID IT;” THAT NORVAL “MADE THEM, ORDERED THEM TO DO IT, FOR HIM…”
AND THAT NORVAL DID IT TO THE VERY END, LITERALLY FROM HIS DEATHBED…
The Preposterous Mr. Robinson – In what is easily the most wildly impossible and blustering claim I have ever witnessed in court from Donald Robinson, was when he swore on the stand, that in 2007, only months before Norval died – then of course, only a “totally disabled body with a pulse” – Norval was hugely mentally alert, active and busily discussing fakes with him and directing him to numerous new examples of forgeries in the galleries of his business competitors.
Robinson did not say whether Norval was using his nimble fingers on his laptop to help instruct him on which offending websites the fakes were, or was using his mouse with his desktop computer.
Don’t Laugh – Robinson also did not disclose if either, or both of those, were subsequently interred with Norval to use in the afterlife.
In fact a year after Norval had died, Ritchie Sinclair, who, as an Indian imposter/impersonator is much given to intoning pseudo-Indian incantations referencing communication with the “spirit world,” firmly assured skeptics that “Norval personally approved” Sinclair using his coattails to ride to glory as a poor-man’s Morrisseau clone make-over.
Now go back to the “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997” and listen to how unintelligibly Norval was able to talk, a full TEN YEARS before he and Donald Robinson allegedly discussed fakes in detail. And ask yourself how intelligent Robinson’s conversation would have sounded with ten more years of mental and physical decline in Norval due to his precipitous deterioration from Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s?
In 2001, old friends of Norval, like Dolly McGuire, reported they couldn’t understand Norval at all. By 2003 CBC producer Paul Carvalho shooting a one-hour documentary on Norval, said Norval “couldn’t say a word” for him and his film. All this is clearly apparent in the few ultra-brief video clips from this period which feature only a “disabled body with a pulse” who never talks with anyone, never engages with his environment, and always, just stares blankly into space.
But a Norval with whom – four years after Carvalho couldn’t get a word out of him – Robinson claims (in court no less) to have had an intellectual discussion about fakes with him in 2007, only months before the “disabled body with a pulse” finally died.
To gild the preposterous with the absurd, consider this:
But none of Norval’s growing list of serious mental and physical disabilities claimed Donald Robinson and his business associate, Gabe Vadas, had any affect, anyway, on the artist, or slowed down or interfered in any way with Morrisseau’s magical painting arm in the slightest.
WOW! That when Norval’s brush touched the canvas ALL HIS SHAKING AUTOMATICALLY STOPPED – THE PARKINSON’S TWITCH MAGICALLY DISAPPEARED, ALLOWING NORVAL TO DRAW STRAIGHT LINES AND PRECISE DOTS, as if he never had even a smidgeon of Parkinson’s in his grossly abused 70 year-old debilitated and disabled body.
Like Lazarus from the grave, the “disabled body with a pulse” came back to full-blown physical, mental, and artistic creativity… Without betraying even a smidgeon of his former disabilities on the “new” canvases he produced during “magic hour.”
This preposterous claim, by the “Master of the House of Invention,” has to be one of the greatest hoots of the 20th, or any other century…
Robinson would have you believe that somehow, through some scientific miracle hatched in the basement of Kinsman Robinson Galleries, the moment Norval’s brush hit the canvas his disabled limbs, and motor skills reverted back to when he was at the peak of his power in his twenties and thirties.
Why doesn’t Donald Robinson bottle this and sell it? He’d make a fortune.
So according to Robinson, in 1997, Norval’s brush went to canvas and Presto! “Child With Headdress 1997.”
Fact Check: Only Kinsman Robinson Galleries operatives ever claimed this magic act of derring-do, not Norval. In fact he told Stevens that in his forties (1970s), he was already suffering from major sexual dysfunction. If just touching a brush to canvas restored him to full physical vigour, full hand-eye coordination, and complete motor and muscular skills – as Robinson and KRG claim – KRG failed to mention this to Norval, or he would have carried a brush and canvas with him at all times, especially just before going on a date.
Donald Robinson Repeatedly Makes a Very Bad Impression on Judges
Every court appearance Donald Robinson has made – both with his expert reports or personal testimony and purporting to be a Morrisseau expert – have ended with him and his allegations of fakes being totally discredited, without a single exception. FOUR of his so-called “expert reports” that were involved in lawsuits have ALL been trashed by judges and lawyers as not credible and not believable and/or totally self-serving.
And yet Robinson insisted before Judge Martial that not once in all his over twenty years as a Morrisseau dealer had he ever seen a genuine Morrisseau painting with a BDP signature on the back. NOT ONCE.
In his no-holds-barred judgment of Mar 25, 2013, Judge Paul J Martial slapped down Robinson and his sworn testimony on this point – and many others – saying there was “overwhelming evidence” from multiple credible experts that Norval, in truth, DID actually sign his name on the back with a huge florid BDP signature, thousands of times during the 1970s.
And no, Judge Martial was NOT aware of the damning forensics of “SOMA 1976” and “FISH 1976” which proved to two forensic scientists that Donald Robinson was no Morrisseau expert and didn’t know what he was talking about. And that Norval had signed both BDPs. They were both part of the “overwhelming evidence” quoted by Judge Martial that he wasn’t even aware of.
And no, Judge Martial was NOT aware that some 70 other damning forensics of the same kind have authenticated BDPs denounced by the Robinsons and Kinsman Robinson Galleries as fakes, as on the contrary, totally genuine Morrisseaus.
But they are powerful affirmative evidence of Martial’s correctness in his stunningly explicit affirmation of the authenticity of “Wheel of Life 1979,” and that other similar authentic 1970s BDPs exist in the thousands.
And that Donald Robinson and his acolyte and business associate Ritchie Sinclair are not to be believed for saying they are all fakes.
The Martial Judgment is another way of saying that Robinson is, by the same standard of evidence he referenced so damningly, a gross and egregious perjurer. (On this and on numerous other points.)
Six months later, on Dec 17, 2013, in her short Appeal judgment, where she peremptorily dismissed the forgery allegations by Robinson, Sinclair and lawyer Jonathan J Sommer, the Hon. Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, made a pointed comment.
After having perused her way through some 750 pages of court transcripts, she made scorching reference to Donald Robinson and his sworn statement by appending the only quote in her finding from him, in reference to BDP signatures on the back of genuine Morrisseaus. “Not once have I ever seen it” she clearly and deliberately mocks Robinson and his claim, which runs counter to a mountain of evidence she has seen, weighed, and found convincing to a certainty of 100%.
She especially noted drily – I sat in the very small courtroom and heard her – to make a pointed comment about the 31 BDPs, Robinson bought for $54,000 at Potters, which all had those signatures on the back. Which Robinson claimed he had never seen before buying. Oh and never brought a single one back for a refund… And all of which have totally been “disappeared” from public view by Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
The Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson is only the latest of six eminent judges and justices who have dismissed Donald Robinson as a credible and believable witness regarding the authenticity and valuation of Morrisseau art, after analyzing his so-called “expert reports,” or what he says when he speaks under oath on the stand in a Canadian courtroom.
That Damning “Missing” Signature “appears” and puts the last nail in the coffin of the “Child”
Still Norval’s signature – though missing on the painting – remains an obvious source for a “Danger Alert” about the paternity of this and any other painting from Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ notorious Burrowsseau period.
I submit a “genuine” Morrisseau signature collected four years after Norval supposedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997.” This was Norval’s supposed signature that Donald Robinson provided Jim White in May 2001. It shows an alarmingly huge loss of motor skills and muscle control.
In fact it is so degraded – or faked – that no forensic scientist would touch it for authentication. It’s just too far gone from any known standard signature. So we rely entirely on Donald Robinson’s word alone, that it is a genuine Norval Morrisseau signature.
You can do this test yourself. Go and check the comparative decline of your signature over the past four years… No decipherable decline, that you can make out, you say?
OK, well then ask yourself, “If this disintegrating shambles of a scrawl was Norval’s signature in March 2001, what would it have been a scant four years earlier?”
And the obvious answer is; “Well the same disintegrating shambles of a signature.”
I would say, in fact, that in 1997 Norval’s signature would have been worse by far, judged by the violent non-stop shaking of his hand as shown in the Bear Dance videos we post here.
Well, you may now ask, “Since Norval was obviously incapable of doing it, who the hell painted all those precise and perfect alignments of dots and lines on the front?”
Yes indeed. Who painted “Child With Headdress 1997?”
And why would Donald Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries claim, on the KRG gallery label, in their show catalogue, and on their corporate website, that Norval did, when by all the evidence it is clear that Norval COULD NOT HAVE.
And Kinsman Robinson Galleries VERY WELL HAD TO HAVE KNOWN IT.
Hell, everyone else familiar with Norval and his art knew it… And anyone who sees the “Goofy Bear Dance 1997” video.
Now do you know why there are NO BDP signatures on the back of any Kinsman Robinson Galleries-sourced Morrisseaus aka Burrowsseaus from 1990 to 2015. Donald Robinson swore to this fact in court.
And then it gets worse.
If that is really Norval’s disastrously disintegrating signature from March 2001 – and Donald Robinson said in court that it is – and that it obviously can’t change, in any decipherable way, in four years, then WHO THE HELL PAINTED “CHILD WITH HEADDRESS” IN 1997?
REPEAT: Who the hell painted it, when it is incontrovertibly, and conclusively obvious that NORVAL MORRISSEAU COULD NOT HAVE – AND I MAINTAIN IN FACT DID NOT – PAINT “CHILD WITH HEADDRESS” IN 1997?
And then it gets worse.
That Completely “Unknown Goofy Dancer”
at the KRG Book Launch
The very same year that Norval supposedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997” Norval and Donald Robinson (and Kinsman Robinson Galleries) published Norval’s own book, “Travels to the House of Invention 1997,” the first book the artist had produced since collaborating with Lister Sinclair and Jack Pollock on the last one, in 1979.
Norval – now 66, Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s-debilitated and permanently wheelchair bound – in as much as he was still able, obviously designed “Travels” to be a landmark publication and statement on his life as an artist.
Norval and Robinson both published lengthy personal articles inside which comprised the text for what is mainly a picture book of Norval’s paintings, past and present.
Norval picked the paintings he wanted included; Donald Robinson approved them, before his gallery published the volume.
The Kinsman Robinson Galleries publishing hoopla is vitally important to “Child With Headdress 1997” because Donald Robinson and Norval used the occasion of the 1997 book launch, of “Travels to the House of Invention 1997” to make a side-trip to the McMichael Gallery at Kleinburg where an ultra-rare video of Norval was made, showing him as he was exactly at the time he painted “Child With Headdress 1997.”
In tow were those two white guys – both early drop-outs from the public and high-school system – both playing dress-up in Davy Crockett costumes, sporting Indian bangles and beads, and bedecked with a wild assortment of chicken bones, turkey feathers, and other pseudo-Indian claptrap. As they cavorted around, muttering unintelligible guttural mumbo-jumbo they had picked up from Tonto in Lone Ranger reruns.
They were Gabe Vadas, Norval’s longtime companion, and one total unknown, Ritchie Sinclair, who would emerge as Canada’s greatest modern Indian imposter/impersonator.*** He had waited a decent interval after Norval died before inventing a totally new fantasy persona for himself, designating himself as Norval’s anointed successor.
***Hokey Pseudo-Indian Rituals – These hokey Indian ceremonies had been part of Norval’s show-business mentality since the earliest days, as Jack Pollock observed.
“… he abandoned his wife and children… and began an incredible journey into total sexual indulgence. I have often fantasized about his coterie of beautiful young men (all hustlers, all very well paid with thousands of dollars in cash which I provided from paintings sold), lots of drugs, and ritual pseudo-Indian ceremonies.” (Jack Pollock Dear M, 1989, p38)
Video #2 – Above, Norval’s violent Parkinson’s Twitch stunningly made clear in a 1997 video featuring two white guys in Davy Crockett costumes, Ritchie Sinclair and Gabe Vadas, in a “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997,” which proves incontrovertibly, that Norval couldn’t sign his name legibly, let alone paint a picture anyone would possibly want to see, let alone buy, in 1997, and a long time before…
If you really want to see two white guys (Ritchie Sinclair and Gabe Vadas) in Davy Crockett costumes – egad, these guys are in their 40s, if you can believe – doing a hokey pseudo-Indian Dance you can click on a video link (below) where they do a “Goofy Bear Dance” in 1997. In spite of Sinclair’s claims, he has never, ever, produced a video – hell, not even a single still picture – of himself supposedly painting with Norval, in an “artistic” relationship he claimed went on – we kid you not – for 28 years… That’s right folks, the “Goofy Dance” video is all there is…
Except for This – In this Sinclair is not unique. The man Sinclair calls “My Mentor,” Donald Robinson, has a similar inexplicable failing. While there are lots of photos of Jack Pollock – Norval’s most successful and longest serving art dealer – showing him, many times, in a clear, “in harness,” and intimate working relationship, with Norval, Donald Robinson has produced not even one single photo – or video for that matter – of himself similarly involved with Norval, in a relationship he pretended to have had with him for 18 years… Incredible, is it not?
Like with so much else about Donald Robinson’s numerous claims, there is no credible or independently verifiable documentation of any kind, forthcoming for any of it. There are only some terribly sad and crass business prop photos, featuring the strained smile of Donald Robinson posed behind “a disabled body with a pulse,” a wheelchair invalid whose blank, unresponsive, and fixed stare makes it clear he doesn’t have a clue if he’s in this world, or the next. So much for Robinson’s self-professed “close” relationship with Norval Morrisseau.
A white guy in a suit from downtown Toronto, catering to an upper class white clientele, could never possibly have a “close” relationship with any “bush Indian” Aboriginal Canadian, which Norval was proud to be. This is clearly evident in the very first photo Robinson ever published of himself with Norval from 1989. It’s of course, a classic for pictorializing and documenting an “unbridgeable gulf” been a Toronto “suit,” and a dyed in the wool Canadian Aboriginal original. It’s a brilliant photo of racial gulf between two totally dissimilar men and two cultures that could never possibly be bridged. They are warily eyeing each other; neither likes the other, but they each know they can make a buck off the other.
Robinson made this enduring gulf clear in his court testimony, some 22 years later, when he loudly blurted out – I heard him – calling all the Morrisseau family members – including Norval – “all liars,” “absolutely.” He also admitted in court that he – the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, with a supposed special relationship with Norval – did NOT attend Norval’s landmark National Gallery show in 2006, an unforgivable and colossal snub to an artist who for 17 years had provided the Robinson family gallery millions in income.
And when Norval died in Toronto, a year later, though he knew almost immediately when it happened, Robinson did NOT notify any of Norval’s numerous Aboriginal family members of his death. They learned from someone else – Toronto art dealer and a simpatico human being, Jim White – two days later. Robinson also did NOT pay to bring Norval’s cash-poor children from remote Red Lake for their father’s funeral service in Toronto. Again someone else – Jim White – did.
This kind of cold-hearted and dismissive white racism is, of course, the common Aboriginal experience in Canada. White men will pursue any advantage, and make a buck off any Indian whenever, and however they can.
Having lived, as a school principal, and worked for many years, in remote sub-arctic Canadian Indian settlements, I became well aware of the Canadian sociological phenomenon of undereducated white boys, who, being lost souls and social misfits and feeling culturally alienated, as societally unsuccessful refugees from white society, seek refuge and meaning in life as a pseudo-Indian make-over. Having no visible means of being gainfully employed, they just shack up with a roommate who is, and hide out on the fringes of Indian settlements sporting unkempt greasy long hair, wearing buckskin jackets, beaded moccasins, and adorning themselves with chicken bones, bird feathers, and necklaces of teeth from dead things. And hoping the disguise works…
Believe me it doesn’t; Indians unanimously smirk about the “goofy long-haired white guys” who appear in their midst and become Indian imposter/impersonators, obviously hoping to fill a deep hollow in their psyche.
Donald Robinson watched, on that Kleinburg occasion, in September 1997, when Sinclair and Vadas “performed,” and recorded, their totally hokey, home-made “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997,” featuring Norval’s mostly unintelligible blubbering and drawing especial attention to his totally debilitating Parkinson’s Twitch. Proving conclusively and with utter finality, that Norval, as captured in the video could not possibly have painted “Child With Headdress 1997” in that year or anything remotely even close.
It will forever remain a mystery to me, how Robinson could go home after watching the fiasco his Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s-debilitated artist was making a fool of himself in, and, in good conscience, fill in the gallery tag for “Child With Headdress 1997,” as just finished being painted by Norval Morrisseau.”
And then it gets worse.
Donald Robinson has testified in court that it was on that occasion that he first met, or ever heard of, Ritchie Sinclair, who had somehow attached himself to the Morrisseau/Vadas group during the book launch party in the Kinsman Robinson Galleries on opening day.
Robinson was somehow inveigled into inviting Ritchie Sinclair – who was parading in his Davy Crockett costume, and a total stranger to him – to attend a private dinner for Norval at his own (Robinson’s) home.
So here was Donald Robinson, the man who called himself “the World’s top Morrisseau expert,” and “the Principal (Morrisseau) Art Dealer” and “the man who wrote the book on Morrisseau,” and who had just completed all the research he and Norval had done for the book “Travels to the House of Invention 1997,” but who had NOT, after 12 (twelve) years of selling Morrisseaus, ever even heard of the aforesaid Ritchie Sinclair even though he took great pains to dress and learn goofy dances for the role he invented for himself.
You know the guy who years later – only after Norval was safely dead – started to call himself “Norval Morrisseau Protégé, Stardreamer, Ritchie Sinclair.”
Sinclair, who, like some 150 other anonymous assistants Norval wrote about in the book, briefly attached himself to Norval for a spell around 1980. (Everything about Sinclair is completely undocumented or undocumentable since he just reinvents himself and claims his accomplishments and experiences anew from day to day.)
Sinclair likes to claim in court that he had a deep, ongoing painting relationship with Norval for over 20 years. Which Morrisseau family testimony hotly disputed, claiming Sinclair was only one of the many short-term boyfriends Norval liked to surround himself with.
Just like there are no videos of Norval and Donald Robinson working together, or Norval painting, there are no videos, no pictures even, of Sinclair painting or associating with Norval as his apprentice. Sinclair has seen fit not to share his private videos with Norval. So his claims for the relationship are not supportable whatsoever.
To a judge, and to a historian like myself, who demand to see convincing, credible and independently verifiable evidence for claims people make, that undocumented relationship does not exist in the history books. No matter how much these days Sinclair struts about in his Davy Crockett costume and waves his chicken feather around like on the CBCs Four Rooms where he was roundly scorched as a failing artist and an amateur Morrisseau wannabe.
The CBC art experts are on public record: if Sinclair really did spend all the time with Morrisseau that he claims, then two facts remain firmly established: Morrisseau was the world’s worst teacher, and Sinclair was the world’s worst student. A truly unbeatable combination.
In the personality department Sinclair’s no winner either: he so offended the single woman expert on the CBC show, she harshly blurted out to the over-the-top narcissistic turkey feather waving Sinclair, “I don’t like you.” It’s probably the first time a host on CBC has ever unequivocally insulted a guest on air.
Nothing new here since Sinclair has been declared an unreliable witness by numerous judges. He was accused of perjury in the court of the Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson. I have seen and heard him commit perjury many times in multiple courts where he appeared and I was the investigative journalist.
Tellingly, in 1997, some 18 years after Sinclair claimed to have first met Norval and formed an important bond and painting relationship with him:
– Robinson had never heard of Sinclair at all
– Norval did not mention or bother to write a word about Sinclair in the “Travels 1997” book
– Robinson did not write a word about Sinclair in the “Travels 1997” book
– Robinson did not even mention Sinclair in the “thanks to” or “acknowledgments” of the “Travels 1997” book
And then it gets worse:
– Robinson, in the 2005 updated of “Travels” and re-issue as an amended “Return to the House of Invention” did NOT mention Sinclair in any way with even a single notation of his name: not in Norval’s text, not in Robinson’s text, not in the Preface, not in the Thanks, not in the Acknowledgments, THOUGH IT HAD NOW BEEN SOME 26 YEARS THAT ROBINSON HAD NOW A CHANCE TO EXAMINE AND INFORM HIMSELF ABOUT THE SO-CALLED “MORRISSEAU EXPERTISE” CLAIMED BY SINCLAIR.
WHAT COULD BE GREATER PROOF THAN THAT, AS LATE AS 2010, ROBINSON HIMSELF – BY HIS OWN DOCUMENTED RECORD – TOTALLY DISMISSES SINCLAIR AS A COMPLETE AND ABSOLUTE MORRISSEAU IMPOSTER/IMPERSONATOR.
A Nobody from Nowhere – Before Judge Godfrey, (I heard the Q&A) when Sinclair asked Robinson to explain to the judge his (Sinclair’s) importance and a biographical description, the best that Robinson could come up with was a tepid one-liner. Which I could see crushed Sinclair, who after asking the question retired to his chair as if expecting Robinson to launch into a lengthy praising biography.
“SINCLAIR: Q. Um, could you tell the court a little bit about who I am, Mr. Robinson, and what you know of who I am and my relationship with Norval Morrisseau?
ROBINSON: A. Well, I understand that you were, you were once, but you knew Norval Morrisseau a number of years, and that you were painting with him. I am not sure what else I can say.”
(Otavnik v Sinclair, Mar 18, 2010)
When Robinson stopped short and abrupt, Sinclair was visibly taken aback and scrambled back to fill the silence in the courtroom that followed. It was a bio that would easily apply to hundreds if not thousands of people.
That’s right folks: as late as 2010, you could squeeze more positive comments out of a hostile mother-in-law than Sinclair managed to get out of Robinson about Sinclair’s self-professed expertise on Morrisseau or on art. (Robinson, and KRG, you have to remember absolutely refused to ever host a show for Sinclair’s art in all the 18 years he has known him. That he was just not a good enoug artist, which is also the reason given by other galleries that refused to show his work: Liss Gallery, Artworld, Maslak McLeod, Bear Claw, Gallery on the Lake, etc.)
When Brian Shiller a couple of years later asked Donald Robinson about Ritchie Sinclair, his memory had, gotten worse. This from the man who said that it was “preposterous” to claim that Norval’s memory wasn’t 100% accurate (at a time the artist was debilitated by Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s). But Robinson who was not disabled by such ailments just couldn’t match his mentally addled artist in his recollections.
Acidly queried by Brian Shiller, Robinson’s – is it Dementia or Deception? – is on full display, in a script Jon Stewart couldn’t have improved on:
Q. Okay. Now, you wrote two books on Mr. Morrisseau; correct?
Q. Is Ritchie Sinclair mentioned in either of those books?
A. I’m sorry; did he….
Q. Is Ritchie Sinclair mentioned in either of those books?
A. I don’t remember. I don’t; I mean, certainly not in a major way; perhaps not at all; I, I don’t remember; perhaps in the acknowledgements; probably not at all.
Q. Probably not at all?
A. I don’t remember it. They were written several years ago.
Q. One is in ’89 (sic); one is in ’05; correct?
A. Probably, yes. (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Sep 11, 2011 p21)
Cyber Terrorist – Well he could have said that Ritchie Sinclair is the cyber terrorist who has totally destroyed the Wikipedia page of Norval Morrisseau, offering a sterling example of how the internet -for all its positives – has also allowed the publication of much viciously false information in Wikipedia entries posted by malicious sociopathic creeps huddling in their basements madly typing away.
Anonymous Emails – Sinclair is also famous, and documented in the courts, for sending countless vile emails threatening people, many of which I and others have received. A forensic analysis of them all, betrays a single source origin for them. One “death threat” – reported to the police – was also forensically traced to the “C drive on the Ritchie Sinclair “Stardreamer” computer.
NO MENTION in the literature: It is merely an echo of the fact that nowhere, in the academic, or media history of Norval Morrisseau, does the name Ritchie Sinclair appear anywhere, in books, articles, or catalogues in the entire painting career of Norval Morrisseau, from 1950 to 2007.
NO VIDEO of work related activity: And while there is a home-made, amateur-looking video of Sinclair – at the time a grown man of 40, for goodness’ sake – prancing about like a clown, playing Indian in his Davy Crockett costume, at Kleinburg, there is NOT and has never been, any video – hell not even a single photo – showing Sinclair painting with Norval or associating with him artistically in any way. And that’s after a supposed 20+ year working relationship claimed by Sinclair.
Though by Sinclair’s own claim he had been an active painting companion of Morrisseau’s for twenty years. Now how believable is any of that?
Especially, since in 1981, Norval left Toronto permanently, and lived far away from Sinclair, in northern Ontario, Winnipeg MB, Jasper AB, and White Rock and Nanaimo, BC, and returning to Toronto only for whistle stop visits for the odd art show.
Full Disclosure: God-awful KRG Videos:
I honestly believe Ritchie Sinclair’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries videos are easily, the worst educational videos I’ve ever seen, second only to his truly awful and wildly manic court performances.
Though I have to confess I’ve only been a professional video and film evaluator and educationally credentialed specialist since 1966. So my video reviews are only based on 49 years of direct, hands-on experience, as both an educational consumer and professional creator. (It’s probably meaningless, but I’ll mention it for what it’s worth: I have over 130 international film and television awards for my work in creating, directing, shooting, and editing educational and prime time TV shows.)
I have watched both him and Donald Robinson for more hours, in more court cases, than anyone else, living or dead, and much more than is good for my health. I would rather be water-boarded by ISIS terrorists than have to endure another session at having to watch either of them with their wildly narcissistic and totally self-serving and utterly disjointed and diabolical ramblings in court.
And then it gets worse.
In 2005, eight years after publishing “Travels,” Robinson and Norval re-issued the same book again, with very minor textual updates, NOT we note, making textual corrections or adding oversights, like forgetting to mention “Norval Morrisseau Protégé Ritchie ‘Stardreamer’ Sinclair.”
So once again – even after having listened to Sinclair brag of his supposed accomplishment at the Robinson dinner table, and hearing Norval’s response etc. – Robinson and Norval again DID NOT choose to mention the name of Sinclair even once in the updated 2005 book, slightly renamed as “Return to the House of Invention 2005.”
Making it a home run… Ritchie Sinclair is never once mentioned in any Morrisseau academic literature (book, article, interview etc.) or gallery catalogues from 1950 to 2015, which is astounding proof of a life lived truly wasted, in well deserved anonymity, in the nether fringes of the Canadian art scene.
Norval finally died in 2007, never having named or mentioned Ritchie Sinclair even once in any of his published writings, books, or interviews.
The utter anonymity was all too much for Ritchie Sinclair, who, a year after Norval was safely dead, suddenly decided to launch himself, with a vengeance, into the public eye as “Norval Morrisseau Protégé Ritchie Stardreamer Sinclair.”
In a private correspondence that Sinclair had with longtime Calgary Morrisseau blogger, Ugo Matulic, in 2008, Sinclair confesses that the ploy to do so is a deliberate attempt by him to try to restart his floundering art career as an unsuccessful artist, at age 51, by deliberately riding on Norval’s coattail. A man who had never acknowledged having any kind of relationship with the fawning celebrity-chasing Sinclair.
Why, you ask yourself, would Norval not mention the importance of Ritchie Sinclair in his painting career in his book “Travels” in 1997 and “Return” in 2005?
Sinclair might tell you: KRG did it out of spite for a person they regarded as a nobody that no one had ever heard of. Sinclair testified, in court, in a wildly narcissistic flight of fancy, that Kinsman Robinson Galleries had never given him a show because they regarded him as “competition to Morrisseau.”
Oh, and Norval only “forgot” to mention him because of advancing Alcohol Dementia and Dementia/Alzheimer’s.
The Infamous Fakes Norval and Robinson put in “Travels to the House of Invention” 1997
After his brief appearance in the “Goofy Bear Dance 1997” video, at Kleinburg, and at the 1997 KRG book launch, Sinclair disappears back to the black hole of anonymity from whence he had suddenly sprung to surprise the perplexed Donald Robinson. For ten years… waiting for Norval to die. Because he had a plan to do a make-over he couldn’t pull off, as long as Norval lived.
A rebirth as an Indian imposter/impersonator and protégé of Norval Morrisseau.
In fact one of the very first things Sinclair did when he embarked – resplendent in his Davy Crockett costume – on his make-over into becoming a “Norval Morrisseau protégé” in 2008, was to attack as FAKES AND INFERIOR FORGERIES, five different paintings that Norval and Robinson had featured as full pages in “Travels to the House of Invention 1997” in 1997.
“Travels to the House of Invention 1997” was Norval’s own book. The pretence is that Norval personally selected all the images that were in the book, or Donald Robinson picked the images, and Norval approved them for inclusion.
Ten years later, in 2008, Sinclair announced that five of those images are total forgeries, and has had them posted on his website as lousy fakes for the past 7 years.
The conclusion from Sinclair’s allegation is inescapable; it is an indictment of Norval Morrisseau’s mental state in 1997. When Norval supposedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997” he was incapable of remembering which pictures he had painted and which ones he had not. He couldn’t tell a real Morrisseau from a fake, on five different paintings. And that includes one in the collection of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
Which is, of course, completely understandable, either because, he had painted from 10,000 to 15,000 paintings over the past 50 years, and/or because, from a life-time of over-the-top alcohol and substance abuse, over the same time period, Norval had simply fried his brain and hopelessly damaged and disabled his body.
Another Possibility – A real possibility may be that Robinson put the book together himself, without bothering to involve Norval – because of his mentally-debilitated state and had shown Norval only the finished book. Norval may have blown up and said “Where the hell did you get those pictures from. I never painted this one, or this one, or that one, and not that one, or that one.” Alas, it was too late to change in “Travels” in 1997, but not in “Return” in 2005…
In 1997, did Norval just not recall his earlier paintings, a foreshadowing of 2001, when Norval actually confessed to his brother Wolf that he was incapable of remembering any more, which paintings he had painted and which he had not?
There had been a very similar, even earlier incident in the KRG gallery during a Morrisseau show on May 7, 1994, only three years before, when a buyer, asked Norval to sign a painting he had recently bought there. According to an onlooker, Karl Comete, Norval blew up and startled everyone in the gallery by shouting loudly that “I didn’t paint that.” Robinson, in a panic, apparently rushed in to quiet the turmoil.
But it raises the question, was Norval just mentally “out of it,” anymore, or did he just catch Robinson at his well-known habit of sneaking into his gallery a secondary-market painting (real or fake) which he had acquired, for KRG resale, at an auction, and thereby upset Norval with a competing sale for which the artist received nothing and in fact, took away income from one of his direct-from-the-artist works that Robinson was supposed to be promoting?
So, was Norval lying or was Robinson lying, in trying to sell a fake?
In fact Robinson did exactly the same thing in 1999-2000 when, on the sly, he bought 31 secondary market Morrisseaus – the Wanker 31 – without telling Norval, but – you won’t believe this – then actually stock-piled them in the KRG basement, while Norval was propped up – as the “disabled body with a pulse” – upstairs promoting a KRG gallery show of his art. (Robinson confessed to his unethical behaviour in court.)
So, while the mentally-debilitated Norval was promoting sales for KRG, Robinson was sneaking out at night, behind his back, buying up secondary market Morrisseaus for sales that undermined Robinson’s own gallery artist, Norval, for whom he and Kinsman Robinson Galleries were supposed to be working, in good faith.
Or in 1994, was this just an earlier example of how seriously memory-challenged and mentally-disoriented Norval was already, four years before he allegedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997?”
Which is the only explanation for why Norval would include five fakes in his own book, as alleged by Sinclair in 2008, all five of which are still maintained to this day in 2015, on Sinclair’s malicious and defamatory website, labeled as fakes and inferior counterfeits.
It can be the only explanation for the egregious inclusions of fakes in “Travels to the House of Invention 1997.” Paintings chosen by Norval for his own book as genuine original Norval Morrisseau works of art.
And Robinson, the self-styled “world’s top Morrisseau expert” was no better at telling real Morrisseaus from fakes. It was he, after all who had overseen putting no fewer than FIVE of the Sinclair targeted fakes in the book. Norval’s transgression is easily explained because of his advancing Dementia/Alzheimer’s and Alcohol Dementia affliction which robbed him of his memory, as well as his physical and artistic dexterity.
And Robinson? One must conclude his error was just dumb, for failing to catch and correct Norval’s mistake – actually 5 (five) mistakes. So Sinclair would probably argue.
We can do better than that, and quote Robinson himself who testified in court, that in this period, in 1999, when he was telling everyone within earshot that he was the “world’s top Morrisseau expert” he was, in actual fact, just a 10% expert on Norval Morrisseau.
Smirked a clearly disdainful lawyer, Brian Shiller in cross-examining Donald Robinson aka “Mr. 10%” before Judge Martial:
“Donald Robinson – “… if you rate the knowledge I have now at 100 and what I would’ve had back then it’d be probably 10-20 or something like that…
Brian Shiller – So it is your evidence that, basically, in 1999 you weren’t an expert on Morrisseau at all?
Donald Robinson – I wouldn’t say – yes, I think that’s a pretty fair statement as to this point in time.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 p 23)
So, two or three years earlier, when he ended up putting fife fakes into “Travels” Robinson’s excuse would carry weight that he was only Mr. 5% at the time…
In a private email Sinclair sent at the time, he sternly reminds Ugo Matulic he’s totally serious about his allegations of fakes in Travels by Norval and Robinson, suggesting that he, as an artist, was on Norval’s side, during the “money wars,” in which the debilitated artist had been manipulated by Robinson for self-interest.
“Shouldn’t the fact that in my opinion these paintings are fakes and yet I’ve taken them out of KRG’s book tell you something Ugo? I’m on Norval’s side… (sic) unlike others money has not clouded my judgment.” (Ritchie Sinclair to Ugo Matulic, Apr 1, 2009)
Of course, the only other conclusion is that Sinclair doesn’t have a clue of what he is talking about and his dangerously overblown narcissism simply refused to allow him to back down and remove the embarrassing errors from the pages of history. Now it’s too late for them all.
NOTE: Because now thousands of people will look up the subject fakes on Sinclair’s website and marvel at the idiocy of all concerned: Donald Robinson, Paul Robinson, John MacGregor Newman, Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Norval Morrisseau, and KRG Staff Enforcer Ritchie Sinclair.
Presumably Sinclair must have, sometime, pointed the fakes out to Robinson – the “man who wrote the book on Morrisseau” – whose publishing negligence must have nagged him over the following years, because in his 2005 re-edit of “Travels to the House of Invention 1997” now re-issued as “Return to the House of Invention 2005,” Robinson unceremoniously deleted all five pictures that Sinclair, later (in 2008) declared he found so offensive and posted as Fakes and Inferior Forgeries on his website.
His action was a Robinson acknowledgment that in 1997, when Norval supposedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997,” the artist was severely impaired, not only by a ruthlessly advanced Parkinson’s Twitch, but also by mentally-debilitating Dementia/Alzheimer’s and Alcohol Dementia. And goofed big time in putting five fakes in his signature book.
In a further embarrassing acknowledgment, Robinson has never, in the past seven years demanded that Sinclair remove the offensive images from his malicious and defamatory website or sued him to get them removed.
All five 1997 published book images remain on Sinclair’s website in 2015 as mute testimony to an artist who was mentally deficient in 1997, and to his dealer’s incompetence as a Morrisseau authenticator.
A Private Deal: But it’s quite obvious that Robinson and Sinclair reached a private deal about the five fakes in Robinson’s book. As a courtesy to a man he refers to as “My Mentor,”*** Sinclair has removed any and all links to Donald Robinson, the Kinsman Robinson Galleries, the name of the book “Travels to the House of Invention,” or to Norval’s part in the fiasco. He also published no picture of the book cover. Lack of transparency and academic non-disclosure are repeated sins Robinson and Sinclair both cling to with a passion. (*** In Queen v Otavnik)
To the casual surfer of the malicious and defamatory Sinclair website the five fakes have their totally compromising and notorious history completely expunged and hidden by Sinclair. But they remain flagged, for the past seven long years as fakes and inferior counterfeits, though leaving no tracking evidence of any kind, either the “Travels” book or to the Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrel – It is not a publishing courtesy Sinclair extended to the Elmwood Spa Gallery when he similarly viciously attacked the paintings in Sherry Brydson’s Morrisseau book, as being lousy forgeries. (Terror at the Elmwood Spa)
Sinclair publicly outed the name of the Brydson book, lampooned it as full of fakes, published a picture of the book cover, and loudly and brashly mentioned its ties to the Elmwood Spa, etc. listing after the gallery dozens of vile words all associating and demeaning the gallery and the owner as purveyors of lowlife forgeries.
The way Sinclair has totally differently handled identical claims he makes about fakes in books, shows how malicious, devious, and how totally unreliable he is as a believable and credible reporter on any level.
Exactly like what multiple judges have ruled.
Ritchie Sinclair aka “The Goofy Dancer”
and His #1 Fake
Only two years after the 1997 “Travels to the House of Invention 1997,” book launch Kinsman Robinson Galleries held another show for Norval in Toronto, in September 1999. The gallery arranged to have Norval, who was perpetually humped over in his wheelchair, with his tongue now constantly drooling out of his mouth, to be carted in as a business prop to attract buyers.
Norval’s physical demise, as filmed in 1997, in Sinclair’s “Goofy Bear Dance Video 1997,” and his mental decline, as reflected by his gross misstep – according to Ritchie Sinclair – at having put five fakes in his 1997 book, “Travels to the House of Invention 1997,” had not at all improved in the two years. In fact things had gotten worse.
On the way to Kinsman Robinson Galleries Norval first made a stop of several days at the Nimkee Gallery on Manitoulin Island, run by Aboriginal artist and art dealer, Blair Debassige who arranged to have the locals honour Norval with the presentation of an eagle feather.
Norval then proudly posed – or was propped up, take your pick – alongside the buyers, in front of his paintings which the gallery had for sale.
One such photo features Norval posing beside a beaming Josie Schywiola, a professional businesswoman, and the proud new owner of the painting on the wall behind them, “Arrangement of Underworld Spirits 1980.”
In 2015, Schywiola’s “Arrangement of Underworld Spirits 1980” has been featured, for years, on Ritchie Sinclair’s malicious and defamatory website as his “#1 Fake and Inferior Counterfeit” of many hundreds he lists after that as forgeries.
Sinclair claimed – and he has been supported by Kinsman Robinson Galleries whenever he attacks similar 1970s era BDPs – on numerous postings, that Blair Debassige had taken advantage of a gullible and unaware (read Dementia/Alzheimer’s, and Alcohol Dementia-debilitated, and mentally vacant Norval Morrisseau) to prop him up in front of fake paintings as a lowlife sales gimmick. And that Norval subsequently confessed at being angry at what he was being forced to do. That the paintings were all fakes.
But there are seven huge compromising problems for Sinclair’s and Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ allegations about fakes at the Nimkee Gallery.
First – Nimkee Gallery owner Kathleen Debassige wrote an angry note saying that at no time did Norval, or his business manager Gabe Vadas, who accompanied Norval, claim any of the Nimkee Gallery paintings were fake, and at no time did either of them claim Norval was being manipulated. That the Debassiges, Norval, and Vadas, all parted on the best of terms, as they left to go to the Toronto show at Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
Second – And you won’t believe this – after the Toronto show, Norval and Vadas returned to the Nimkee Gallery, where according to Sinclair and Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ charges, Norval had supposedly been grossly exploited, abused, and victimized, to spend even more days of private time being guests in the Debassige house and gallery…
Would any ripped-off artist – any human being victimized this way – do such a ridiculous thing? Would Vadas – of sound mind at the time – have allowed his artist to be re-victimized? Would you, if it happened to you?
Which raises the obvious question: did Norval really tell Robinson he was ripped off and posed in front of fakes, or did someone in the basement at Kinsman Robinson Galleries just make this up, in later years to embellish the HOAX they were inventing and spreading?
And then it gets worse, much worse… for Sinclair and Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
Third – Forensic tests on Josie Schywiola’s “Arrangement of Underworld Spirits 1980” – remember this is Sinclair’s alleged #1 Fake – and under which she posed with Norval, was confirmed as absolutely signed by Norval Morrisseau, with DNA certainty by a top Canadian hand-writing expert.
Fourth – Forensic tests on another huge Nimkee Gallery mural Norval was photographed in front of, was also authenticated with DNA certainty.
Fifth – In a DNA forensic Doubly Whammy, BOTH Nimkee Gallery paintings were confirmed not only as absolutely signed by Norval Morrisseau, but further, that no one else could have made those huge black BDP signatures.
Sixth – These two paintings were NOT picked because, out of the alleged dozen or so alleged fakes Sinclair and KRG said were in the gallery, they had the highest probability of being forensically certified. Leaving the KRG come-back, well, the rest are fakes anyway.
In fact both paintings were picked completely at random for forensic examination from the many for only one simple reason. Years later they were the only two still traceable to their new owners, who agreed to have the forensics done.
Seventh – And again, the thousands of dollars for the forensics for the two paintings in the Nimkee Gallery, alleged to be fakes by Sinclair and Kinsman Robinson Galleries, WERE NOT sought or paid for by the owners of the paintings, but were funded and carried out by an independent publicly-spirited individual who realized the paintings had a unique position in the history of the HOAX.
In fact all of the first 17 Morrisseaus that Sinclair (and KRG) calls fakes on his malicious and defamatory website, have been authenticated in the same way by various Canadian forensic scientists. To date some 70 in all…
So, whether Norval was manipulated, as either a semi-comatose, cold-hearted photo prop, or as an aware and proud and willing parent of the paintings, is immaterial.
Whether Norval agreed to or not, and regardless what the art terrorists Sinclair and the Robinsons say, Norval was photographed in front of TWO genuine Morrisseaus.
Both conclusively authenticated by a top Canadian forensic scientist and handwriting analysis expert.
Which is exactly why BDPs are so important. The signatures are your best insurance of authenticity because Norval – and the businessmen around him – lied a lot, just to make a buck or ruin things for others.
And no malicious nay-sayer, not Robinson, not Sinclair, not even Norval Morrisseau with his Alcohol Dementia and Dementia/Alzheimer’s-debilitated mind, can claim anything other than the paintings are real. The paintings are 100% genuine Morrisseaus, with DNA certainty, thanks to those BDP signatures.
It is NOT something you can do with “Child With Headdress 1997.” All you have is Donald Robinson’s word. And really now, how good is that?
End of story.
So much for Ritchie Sinclair’s malicious and defamatory #1 Fake on his malicious and defamatory website, where in 2015, in spite of the forensics he still viciously flags both paintings prominently as his first line of fakes.
Among the many hundreds of similarly fraudulently posted images, some 70 others of which have also been authenticated by three of Canada’s top handwriting analysis experts.
And not to mention the many other Morrisseau BDPs he has attacked that are in major museums and public galleries across Canada and the US, like in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Sinclair, with his few years of high school, sneers at the batteries of highly credentialed curators and art specialists that major institutions use to vet their art collection.
And so much for Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ claims and constant support for the worst art terrorist in Canadian art history.
But let’s just continue with Sinclair’s characterization of Norval as little more than a crassly manipulated “disabled body with a pulse,” because Norval was then shunted off for his next appointment as a photo prop, at Kinsman Robinson Galleries in Toronto.
Disclosure: I consider this repeated use of Norval, the Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s-debilitated “disabled body with the pulse,” as a crass sales prop, as the worst case of elder abuse of a celebrity in Canadian history.
But then white men coldly and crassly exploiting an Indian for private advantage is as old as the history of Canada itself.
The “Body With a Pulse” Upstairs;
the “Body” in the Basement
In fact – I kid you not – at the exact, very moment that Donald Robinson was displaying “the disabled body with a pulse” upstairs in his Kinsman Robinson Galleries (September 1999), he was in the basement stocking up, and deliberately hiding from Norval, Morrisseau BDP paintings he was buying at auctions.
And so beginning to launch his public career as the world’s lousiest art authenticator of all time, in the process becoming the laughing stock of the art world by completely reversing himself and claiming paintings he called authentic one minute he suddenly turned into fakes the next.
Always targeting the same 1970s style BDP paintings. The paintings from the high period of Norval’s best and most prolific decade of painting.
And targeting hundreds of paintings. And his son Paul, was doing the same thing, all the while feverishly issuing Appraisals of Authenticity – for big bucks – for the exact type and style of BDP paintings, from the same source, and at the very same time his father was calling them all utter, and total fakes in the national media.
While Norval was sleeping or in his wheelchair parked in his hotel, Robinson went on completely secret nighttime excursions. Keeping it a complete secret from Norval, Robinson went on an auction buying spree to pick up dozens of Morrisseau paintings, and secretly stored them in the Kinsman Robinson Galleries basement. He testified to this in court. All bore the 1970s era BDP signature on the back.
Why the secrecy? Because he knew Norval would have been pissed off to find that the “Principal Morrisseau Dealer” was in fact the “Principal Double Dealer” and competing with his secretly acquired secondary market paintings bought at auction, against the new direct-from-the-artist paintings he was supposed to be selling in good faith for Norval.
Robinson bid on 90 lots over five auctions from September 1999 till March 2000, ending up with 31 BDPs for $54,000. Inexplicably, a year later “the world’s top Morrisseau expert,” would do a sudden about-face, and call them all fakes, not just his 31 BDPs but many hundreds of others that some 200 top Morrisseau dealers and collectors turned up to bid for and buy at Potter Auctions.
The flood of genuine Morrisseaus – almost all being 1970s era BDPs – in the late 1990s came from several huge Thunder Bay area collections, built up over many decades when Norval was peddling his art by the thousands for $20 or $30 each to people who often didn’t want them but were trying to help out a down-and-out Indian. Hundreds, they just shoved under beds, in attics, or rolled up in the garage, or in storage lockers.
Robinson asked Judge Martial to believe that he was not a scam artist, as lawyer Brian Shiller characterized him in court, but that he was just a really lousy art authenticator back in the 1990s, when “Child With Headdress 1997” was ostensibly painted by Norval Morrisseau, saying he was probably only a 10% accurate Morrisseau expert at the time.
Which means, exactly what I’ve been saying all along that there’s a 10% chance that “Child With Headdress 1997” was painted by Norval Morrisseau, anywhere anytime. And we have Donald Robinson’s own court testimony to prove it.
Would you buy anything from a man or a gallery that can promise a track record of an authenticity rating of 10% back in the 1990s?
Put another way, would you fly with a pilot who can promise you a safe landing, perhaps 10% of the time?
Even though, at that time, he had been selling Morrisseaus for some 15 years, went around bragging that he was the “man who wrote the book on Morrisseau,” and claimed to be the world authority on the artist.
And then it gets worse.
Suspicions about Mr. 10% confirmed…
The Hon Justice Murray Alexander Mogan Speaks
Only a few months before Donald Robinson had published “Travels to the House of Invention 1997,” and Norval was supposedly busy painting “Child With Headdress 1997,” the Hon, Justice Murray Alexander Mogan had taken the measure of the man in the Tax Court of Canada. (Court File Nos. 92-423(IT)G, 92-424(IT)G)
Robinson had been asked to provide an expert report for the Tax Court of Canada on the quality and value of 216 Morrisseau paintings donated by two Thunder Bay lawyers to various galleries for a tax credit. The paintings had all been bought, in the mid 1980s, directly from Norval Morrisseau and his agent Gary Lamont over several years in Thunder Bay.
Note: Lawyer Ken Whent said Norval Morrisseau verified that each painting was by him and genuine. This was a “lawyer thing,” not a fakes thing, because in the early 1980s there was no talk anywhere – there wouldn’t be for 17 years – any mention or accusation let alone “discoveries” of Morrisseau fakes of any kind by anybody. It’s, of course, a ludicrous topic; only an idiot would forge art when originals were dirt cheap and easily had. The forgery claims, ultimately fed to a compliant and gullible press, didn’t start till Donald Robinson invented the HOAX in 2001.
Robinson said that, in his expert opinion, the 216 Thunder Bay Morrisseau paintings were worth $1.2 million dollars.
Justice Mogan howled in protest and set out to investigate the basis for Robinson’s valuations.
And howled again.
He found that Robinson had invented – out of thin air – his claims based on totally non-existent sales records for the years 1984, 1985 and 1986, for which the court had asked him to report.
That Robinson had also deliberately ignored the fact that prices in those years had actually drastically plummeted when Norval had no dealer and was selling his paintings cheap in the streets of Thunder Bay. Mogan began to suspect that Robinson was being less than honest with his valuations.
Furthermore Mogan was incensed that Robinson had enormously inflated the supposed prices for the period, when based on an honest factoring in of the evidence, he had all the proof he needed to have substantially decreased them instead. He accused Robinson:
“Any fully informed owner of a retail art gallery would know or should have known in 1984, 1985 and 1986 that the artist’s new works were being sold by his friends and relatives on the streets of Thunder Bay at bargain prices. That knowledge would affect the prices which the owner of a retail art gallery could charge for new works in those years.” (Judgment July 12, 1996, Ken A. Whent v the Queen)
What Mogan was incensed at, is that having expected Robinson, as an honest broker would be expected to do, to lower price estimates in his “expert report” for the court, instead, found that the “Principal Morrisseau Dealer” had unforgivably jumped the prices on his valuation report skyward…
And instead based his valuations on Robinson’s own “wish list” for prices, for later years, by sneakily slipping in price valuations he and his gallery wanted to establish for the Morrisseau market.
After investigating Robinson’s documentation and claims, a clearly incensed Justice Mogan scorched him in judicial language, and then CUT ALL HIS VALUATIONS IN HALF, from $1.2 million to $660,000. As well as denouncing him for fabricating, he repeatedly centered him out for special opprobrium issuing the ultimate condemnation for an art dealer:
“Mr. Robinson’s close association with Morrisseau is both an asset and a liability… It is a liability in the sense that he has a hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective about the quality or value of Morrisseau’s work when he is currently the exclusive distributor for Morrisseau’s new works in Ontario.”
Justice Mogan said, point blank, that Donald Robinson could not be trusted with regard to the quality (authentication) and valuation (authentication) of any Morrisseau art. That he was self-interested and self-serving to a fault.
Mogan accused Robinson of being single-mindedly “hypnotized by his 1990 price list.”
Mogan clearly smelled something but didn’t know the list was the one Robinson made up after signing a deal the same year (1990) at the Aldergrove Summit, where he promised Morrisseau and Vadas he would raise (fix) prices, if they hired him as Principal Canada Morrisseau Dealer, because he told them, Norval’s valuations were too damn low.
That’s how he came up with valuations of $1.2 million that Justice Mogan howled about.
As if he had just caught a fox in the hen house Justice Mogan sternly admonished the Robinson research and assessment for the Ages: “I will place very little reliance upon Mr. Robinson’s appraised value…” (Justice Murray Alexander Mogan, Tax Court of Canada, Whent v Regina, p 24, July 12, 1996.)
He pointedly noted too, that of all the Morrisseau experts he consulted, Robinson was, tellingly, the only one who could never find anything negative to say about any Morrisseau painting.
And this mindset of which Justice Mogan complained, in 1996, was the same one that animated Robinson, only a few months later when he set out to gauge the “quality” and “value” – indeed the “provenance” – of the alleged Morrisseau painting, “Child With Headdress 1979.”
And then it gets worse…
The Hon Justice J Edgar Sexton Speaks
At the very same time, September 1999, that Norval – the “disabled body with a pulse” was crassly and unceremoniously displayed as a sales prop at the Nimkee Gallery on Manitoulin, and then later at the Kinsman Robinson Galleries in Toronto, two other justices of the Federal Court of Canada were pondering the fate of Donald Robinson’s expert report and his credibility and expertise.
The lawyers, including Ken Whent, who had hired Donald Robinson because he told them he was an art expert and the “Principal Morrisseau Dealer,” only to see him slapped down as anything but, by Justice Mogan in the Tax Court of Canada, appealed to the highest court in the land, the Federal Court of Appeal.
Whent had taking exception to the fact that Robinson, who had probably told him he was, with 100% certainty, the world’s top Morrisseau expert, only to see him slapped down as – at best – a 50% expert. And his claims, and valuations only right half the time… at best.
That he was really no reliable “expert” at all. Anybody can be right half the time, just in saying “yes” or “no.”
The Hon. Justice J Edgar Sexton went over Justice Mogan’s scorching judgment, looking for faults. He reviewed the documents submitted by Robinson and reviewed Mogan’s assessment of them, and agreed totally that Robinson’s evaluations could not be trusted since he, as Justice Mogan found:
“has a hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective about the quality or value of Morrisseau’s work…”
In December 1999, only two months after Robinson sent Norval – “the disabled body with a pulse” – packing back to the Nimkee Gallery, Justice Sexton, in Ottawa, also dismissed the Robinson valuation for $1.2 million and agreed with Justice Mogan’s slashing of it in half.
Ken Whent must have wondered what kind of Morrisseau expert Robinson really was?
The lawyers lost, in the highest court in the land, the Appeal that questioned the dismissal of their Morrisseau expert, and his credibility and believability.
Justice Mogan’s trenchant analysis and scorching assessment of Robinson as unreliable as an evaluator of quality and value of Morrisseau paintings, and totally compromised by self-interest was totally vindicated, after a review by another one of Canada’s top justices.
And then it gets worse…
The Hon Justice Julius A Isaac Speaks
Top Appeal decisions by the Federal Court of Canada are always reviewed by another justice to make doubly certain that no errors were committed.
Reviewing the Sexton Judgment fell to one of Canada’s most eminent justices, the Hon Justice Julius A Isaac, the first black person to ever sit on the Federal Court of Canada, and who was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court by Brian Mulroney in 1991. He examined the Sexton judgment of the Mogan finding on the Robinson “expert report” and valuation.
And concurred wholeheartedly with the Sexton – Mogan judgments.
Can you name another member of the Canadian art community whose judgment as a credible Morrisseau art evaluator has been so triply scorched by three of Canada’s top justices?
Mr. Preposterous – You won’t believe this but Donald Robinson, far from hiding his face in shame, actually promotes himself, every place he can, as a Morrisseau and art expert who has been “repeatedly relied on by the courts as an expert witness.”
Which is, of course, as far from the truth as it’s possible to get, in this world, or the next.
The fact is: every time he has made a court appearance he has been ignored, dismissed, rejected, shamed, or discredited, big time. Without a single solitary exception.
Three eminent Canadian justices, in the 1990s, have ruled that Donald Robinson cannot be trusted to be an honest broker about the quality or value of Morrisseau paintings.
How likely is he then to being able to be reliable about the quality, and the value – in fact the very authenticity – of a painting like “Child With Headdress 1997?”
In fact, by 2015, no fewer than six judges, justices, in a startling variety of courts in the land, from lowest to highest have been unanimous in expressing their views that Donald Robinson is not believable, does not have the requisite credentials, or relevant expertise, to pomposit the way he does on Morrisseau art, its authenticity, or value, and is wholly unqualified to spout on about anyone’s handwriting, syllabics, or document examination.
They have heard him, as I have heard him, as he often seems to have numerous strategic memory losses at the most inopportune time, flips about his facts in midstream, or just makes stuff up out of thin air, if it will advance his personal, family, business, or financial interests to do so.
Which is essentially what the Hon Justice Murray Alexander Mogan said, when Robinson first stepped on the world stage, professing to be an “honest broker” and expert about Morrisseau paintings.
Justice Mogan was less than impressed…
His warning has proved prescient for what was to come in later years.
Judge Martial in 2013 – upheld by Justice Sanderson in the Appeal – would go on to cite Donald Robinson’s overwhelming self interest as influencing his supposedly impartial testimony in that trial.
(Though I’m certain that Martial never saw the infamous “buddy” picture for which the so-called “expert witness” in his court, posed for outside his courtroom, featuring the Plaintiff, and her only two witnesses in the case (Robinson and Sinclair), with their arms around each other.)
Donald Robinson has subsequently submitted at least four of his expert reports, some of which, he claims, took six months to research and write – all free of charge, out of altruism he says – to courts or in aid of lawsuits.
In fact ALL Robinson’s “expert reports,” without exception were, either totally ignored as not believable (Mogan, Sexton, Isaac, Godfrey), dismissed or rejected outright (Martial, Sanderson) or trashed (by CTVglobemedia’s top Canadian lawyer Peter Jacobsen who took one look at Robinson’s expert report alleging Michael Moniz’s “Father and Son” was a fake, and immediately advised his client the Toronto Globe conglomerate to pay off Moniz with $25,000 for falsely libeling him and defaming – regardless of what Robinson maintains in his report – Moniz’s genuine Morrisseau paintings).
Moniz’s paintings, defamed by the Globe and its chief Arts journalist Val Ross, upon the clearly false and malicious recommendation of lawyer Aaron Milrad, and Gabe Vadas, had all been authenticated by a top Canadian forensic scientist and handwriting analysis expert. And Jacobsen and the Globe chose to believe Moniz and his scientist, and turn their backs on shamefully “outed” Milrad and Vadas.
In the Morrisseau art “expert report” business Robinson – and his cohorts – are batting 100% – in total failures.
He’s clearly not setting a very good example for his son.
I have seen Robinson testify in multiple court cases; in every case his testimony fared no better, in the eyes of the judges, than his phony self-serving expert reports.
So how good is Robinson’s word on Provenance & Authenticity of “Child With Headdress 1997?”
Add that to the incontrovertible certainty that the completely and utterly Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s-debilitated Norval Morrisseau was very obviously utterly incapable of signing or painting “Child With Headdress 1997” in 1997, or in the years before and after.
“Child With Headdress 1997” was offered for sale, in the Kinsman Robinson Galleries 2012 Morrisseau Retrospective, as a “Direct from the Artist” Morrisseau, with a price tag of $30,000.
It did not sell, then or in the years that followed but is still posted in 2015, as for sale.
Whereas at one time Kinsman Robinson Galleries salesmen bragged of supposedly having “sold-out” shows on opening day, with their increasing notorious public behaviour and statements to the media and on their blogs, they are succeeding only in keeping thinking clients away.
Which is why they have unsuccessfully offered many of these “new” Morrisseau paintings aka Burrowsseaus, like “Child With Headdress 1997” for sale for many years.
The Court of Credibility Speaks
You might be interested – and no doubt surprised – to know that neither Donald Robinson or Kinsman Robinson Galleries have ever, in 15 years, taken a single forgery to court, not a single forger, and not even a single seller of forgeries. Ever. Not once.
Wouldn’t that have been the principled thing to do? To prove in an independent and trustworthy forum their claims about numerous forgeries “out there?”
Not if you don’t have a single shred of believable proof – which they don’t of course – that anyone, even with borderline brain power, would buy into. Hence 15 years of malicious and irresponsible slanging, instead of principled litigation where you have to convince a judge.
So they have accused many decent people, in the media and in court – clearly without proof – for being involved in making and selling forgeries. Thousands of them…
Now how credible are they? What kind of integrity and ethics are involved here?
What could be a clearer confirmation that what the Robinsons and Kinsman Robinson Galleries want is not an honest publication and settlement of the evidence on the issue, but a reign of art terror to rule and disable the Morrisseau art world of their business competitors?
What could be more damning proof that they have no credible evidence that they would ever dare to put in front of a judge. If they did, they know they would face huge and total condemnation and expensive public and publicized penalties for the wild claims they’ve made.
BUT THEY HAVE attacked investigative journalists – the informed people who publicize behaviour and evidence – with cyber attacks, legal threats, and launched SLAPP suits against anyone who wants to inform the public about the HOAX.
Again, not a single one of which has ended up in court before the KRG operatives, because they realize they can’t scare people who know their stuff and can meticulously document it all. Instead, they just fold like a cheap suit and return to the Kinsman Robinson Galleries basement to plan the next cyber attack or SLAPP offensive.
In 2013, Donald Robinson, Paul Robinson, and Kinsman Robinson Galleries, who had launched a million dollar SLAPP suit against Ugo Matulic a blogger for libel and defamation, totally folded without a single gain after their own lawyer ominously warned them, after the first day of Discovery, they had better not go further, after she saw the evidence amassed against Donald Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries and their manipulation of the Morrisseau art market.
Then ask yourself – better yet, ask Donald Robinson, ask Paul Robinson, ask John MacGregor Newman, ask the Kinsman Robinson Galleries cleaning lady – “Why are all you guys publishing such totally misleading and unbelievable provenance about “Child With Headdress 1997?” Are you just manufacturing provenance to get a sale?”
And how many other paintings – of the many hundreds you’ve sold – have you misled people on, about their origins and just manufactured the provenance for, so you could entrap gullible and trusting customers into buying one of your questionable, latter-day “Morrisseaus,” or “Burrowsseaus?***”
***Burrowsseaus are paintings after 1990 when master artist Karl Burrows claims he was recruited, by Gabe Vadas and Morrisseau, with increasing frequency “to fill in for Norval” when his Parkinson’s Twitch increasingly interfered with his ability to draw curves, straight lines, dots, or sign his name. Karl, a great and healthy artist in his own right, could do it all well. In the end he says he painted complete canvasses, often added Norval’s syllabic name on the front, and shipped them off to BC’s Coghlan Art Studio and Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries, both of whom he declared, gladly sold countless numbers of his Burrowsseaus, uncontaminated by Norval’s signature, the touch of his brush, or afflicted with the frenetic jiggle of his Parkinson’s Twitch.
I, anonymously, toured Bryant Ross’ Coghlan Art Studio in 2005, specifically to look at his brand new Morrisseaus which he had on several floors of his old hydro plant studio. I did not like the looks of any of them. They must have been some of the many Burrowsseaus which Karl Burrows said he had supplied to Ross. Ross did assure me, that whatever kind of Morrisseaus I had at home – he hadn’t seen them or seen images of any of them – that THEY WERE FAKES AND HIS WERE GENUINE…
I found his claims questionable, especially when Bryant Ross claimed Norval Morrisseau had painted some of these typically huge canvases, when it was obvious from the available pictures and videos I had seen that a mentally and physically debilitated and disabled artist in a wheelchair could not have been capable of painting them.
Having watched Bryant Ross’ Morrisseau-related antics over the last decade, the last place on earth I would ever consider buying a painting hoping to get honest-to-goodness provenance is the Coghlan Art Studio, in Aldergrove BC.
Well, actually, the second last place…
How well does all that speak of where “Child With Headdress 1997” comes from?
Remember, it’s got no Norval DNA on the back.
Collectors are in big trouble when the only proof of a painting’s authenticity that Kinsman Robinson Galleries, or Coghlan Art Studio has, are their own gallery label possibly stuck on by the cleaning lady or a relative…
And its word as a reputable, professional, dependable art gallery, and Morrisseau experts…
And the entire Canadian art community knows what that’s worth in 2015.
Your Final Test:
The Morrisseau Twitch Test
aka “The Jonathan J Sommer Replication Test”
On Feb 3, 2014, lawyer Jonathan Jerome Sommer, told National Post writer Tristin Hopper, who quoted him several times, that Morrisseau’s work “was not terribly difficult to replicate.”
A Cautionary Tale: I question whether Hopper should really have quoted Sommer on something related to the art of Norval Morrisseau, and whether you Dear Reader should take Sommer seriously on the topic either. After all, Sommer was still reeling from three huge judicial/lawsuit defeats, in quick succession, in the Canadian court system, all dismissing utterly and discrediting entirely his claim that there are Morrisseau fakes, and his claim that he has the proof…NOT!
Within a period of only 9 (nine) months he had suffered three total and disastrous dismissals of his attempt to prove a couple of genuine Morrisseau paintings “fakes.” He had managed to dig up 2 (two) people for the court, who claimed they had proof there were Morrisseau forgeries “out there, ” thousands of them. Unfortunately they were the same two discredited sources so repeatedly dismissed by forensic experts, and court judges and justices, Donald Robinson and Ritchie Sinclair. And this hapless team hugely failed to prove either of two alleged “fakes” they defamed, in any court.
Far from it; one judge refused to rule the one a fake – so confirming its status as authentic (Godfrey on “Jesuit Preist 1974” in Otavnik v Sinclair.) Two other judges (Martial, Sanderson) ruled the other one “Wheel of Life 1979,” absolutely authentic. And in a third bogus allegation of a fake they were discredited not by a judge – it never got that far – but, not so astonishingly, by the owner (John McDermott) of the painting itself, who, having been originally pushed into a lawsuit, refused to “push forward,” preferring his expensive nightmare – he had to pay Sommer big legal bills – to die and just go away . In fact long after McDermott had effectively abandoned it, his lawsuit was still being promoted in the media as “active,” by clearly desperate sounding Sinclair and Sommer in various papers.
Eye-opener – I watched, in interminable agony, over many hours and hours, as two judges, were bending over backwards to accommodate lawyer Jonathan Sommer who was clearly struggling in trying to give it his best shot, in displaying his so-called proof and so-called witnesses to the court. With disastrous consequences to the case he presented, in both Small Claims Court and in Ontario Superior Court.
I watched him struggle in his agony from only ten feet away, during all the hours he presented, over six days, in two courts, before two judges, over a three year period.
Only one person exhibited more growing distress during the trial, than Sommer, and that was his client, the elderly Margaret Hatfield, whom I watched, over three years deteriorate into a constantly quivering mass of despondency, because she knew full well – like everyone else in the court before the judge even ruled – that her lawyer had disastrously failed to make his case and that she had lost the lawsuit and some $50,000 of her paltry pension to her lawyer’s inability to prove a single point of what he and his two witnesses were claiming about her genuine Morrisseau being a fake.
The lawyer and his two witnesses, disastrously, couldn’t even prove the existence of a single Morrisseau fake even when it was a painting of their own chosing.
I watched as they gleefully defamed a painting “Wheel of Life 1979,” which Hatfield had once loved, but thanks to her lawyer and his witnesses, she now, no doubt, loathed with a passion.
After all, one of them, Donald Robinson testified, that the painting, which she has spent $10,000 to buy, was a worthless fake, not worth a cent, and had “zero” value. He was assuring her that she had just “burned up” $10,000 of her paltry pension.
Add that to the $50,000 her legal fees were going to cost her (for those with poor math skills, she’s now at $60,000 and counting), and her fast disappearing retirement nest egg looked like a disaster that would blight her final years.
No wonder, that at the end (over the years I always sat only some seven feet behind her), that she was reduced to a quivering mess in constant distress. (All day, during the Sanderson Appeal I sat beside her.)
Well wherever she ended up, at least she still had her painting to look at…
The Jonathan J Sommer Morrisseau-related Reverses in 2013
1) The Stunning & Total Martial Reverse: March 25, 2013 – Judge Paul J Martial – after the longest fine art trial in Canadian history ruled that Jonathan Jerome Sommer’s client’s allegations claiming her subject painting was a fake, and the testimony, the credentials, and the truthfulness, of Sommer’s only two witnesses, Donald Robinson and Ritchie Sinclair, were ALL “rejected” as unbelievable.
And though Judge Martial WAS NOT required to do so – as noted by Justice Sanderson some months later – he gallantly threw down his gauntlet at the Plaintiff’s feet, by helpfully going out of his way to assure the clearly panicked, worried, and distraught retired school teacher that the painting Sinclair and Robinson had persuaded her was a fake was, to the contrary, 100% genuine and signed by the artist and by no one else.
2) The Stunning & Total McDermott v McLeod Abandonment
November 14, 2013 – A celebrity client, singer John McDermott, on whose behalf Jonathan Jerome Sommer had penned a vicious Plaintiff’s Claim against a respected Morrisseau art dealer, I believe, bailed out on his lawyer almost as soon as he had penned the unsubstantiated allegations.
So ended that lawsuit, within only a few weeks after it had been launched with lots of public hoopla in the media. There was no private deal of any kind involved, and no penalties or concessions demanded or granted. Sommer’s client just, holus bolus, dumped the lawsuit in the trash, and apparently accepted that his painting was genuine after all, not at all the fake Sommer’s Plaintiff Claim alleged.
The court – purely as a routine house-keeping measure – finally declared the McDermott Claim “abandoned” some eight or nine months after McDermott himself, I believe, dropped it.
And the only documents filed in that case – I’ve been to the court to review the official records – is the vile and false Plaintiff’s Claim that libeled and defamed Joe McLeod. And the court’s own notices to Sommer to do something to follow up or back up with action the inflammatory things he alleged in his Plaintiff’s Claim. Sommer did nothing, I believe, for a simple reason: he had nothing, no evidence, no substantiation, no proof, no believable witnesses. And no client willing to pay him a nickel more to carry on this travesty of a bogus court case.
It is a sickening reality of the Canadian judicial system that you really don’t need any proof in order to defame or vilify someone with vile accusations in a Plaintiff’s Claim.
Postscript: It is a further sickening reality, in the Canadian legal system, that a lawyer can immediately take a libelous and defamatory Plaintiff’s Claim to the media, with all its malicious allegations published – without any proof necessary – against a decent person or reputable business operator. This will tarnish the Defendant for months or years before he gets a chance to tell the truth in court. Tainting the jury pool is the obvious reason this is done.
“The real problem (in the Canadian judicial system) is that anybody with $180 and an axe to grind can go to the media with a statement of claim and assassinate anybody’s reputation.” Ron Fine, and “… by using the media to spread lies.” (Alex Shnaider, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Jun 17, 2013 p6.)
And that if the Plaintiff then decides, almost immediately, to drop the whole thing completely – as happened in the McDermott case – the lawyer does not need to publish a public retraction or apology for slanging someone and then refusing to “push the case forward,” in effect to either “put up or shut up.”
The lawyer does not even need to alert the media that his client has quit the lawsuit.
In the McDermott case, Jonathan Jerome Sommer, launched his Plaintiff’s Claim on Oct 17, 2013, and immediately arranged to contact James Adams of the Globe who published the libelous and defamatory allegations with gusto on October 25.
(It is a fact that the overwhelming number of Plaintiff’s Claims never see the light of day in any publication. They, like the Defences filed, remain unseen, unheard, private papers exchanged by two people. The only ones that get media publicity are those pushed into public view by a litigating lawyer, for reasons that are best known to him.
We can find no evidence that Sommer informed Adams that his client had, I believe, almost immediately, refused to go along with the lawsuit anymore and effectively killed the case “literally in the womb” as early as November 14, but certainly by December 2013.
After the Claim was filed on Oct 17, there is not even one single further document in the file indicating John McDermott’s willingness to “push the case forward,” after that date. Not one. And Jonathan Jerome Sommer very well had to have known it. Because his client would have told him.
We can find no evidence that Sommer informed Adams or any other journalist that the court had finally declared the McDermott case “abandoned” in June 2014.
It was not till October 2014, that Adams discovered – he had to discover it himself – that the McDermott case, which he had launched to the public with such malicious vitriol, a full year before, in October 2013, had been dropped long ago, had in fact, I believe, been sabotaged by John McDermott himself who refused any longer to dignify a malicious libel and defamation and allegations of fakes with his participation.
Heinous Beyond the Pale – What malicious and irresponsible journalists have always tried to do is make the Accused art dealer look as if they did something crooked and creepy, that they had better try and have a good excuse for.
“Look here Mabel! The Globe has another article on a crooked art dealer! Hope they nail his hide to the wall…”
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH or more maliciously false.
Joe McLeod does NOT have to prove he’s honest, that he’s reputable, that his painting is real, which is the slanging slant malicious, and ignorant journalists like to give the story. Hinting, broadly, that until he clears his name, the Defendant is under a cloud, and that smart consumers had better beware of Morrisseau paintings.
IN A CANADIAN COURT, IT IS UP TO THE PLAINTIFF – THE MUSICIANS HEARN AND McDERMOTT AND THEIR LAWYER JONATHAN JEROME SOMMER – WHO HAVE TO PROVE THEIR ALLEGATIONS, IN COURT.
IF THEY SLANG SOMEONE, LIBEL SOMEONE, SLANDER SOMEONE, IN THE MEDIA, OR IN A PLAINTIFF’S CLAIM, THEY BETTER HAVE PROOF FOR THEIR MALICIOUS AND VILE ALLEGATIONS TO SHOW A JUDGE… OR THEIR OWN REPUTATIONS WILL BE DAMAGED IF THEY CAN’T PRODUCE PROOF FOR A COURT.
THEIR REPUTATIONS SHOULD VERY WELL SUFFER, IF, AFTER PUBLISHING VILE AND MALICIOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AN INNOCENT PARTY, THEY JUST DROP A CASE BECAUSE THEY ARE ASHAMED OF LETTING A JUDGE SEE, AND RULE, ON THEIR SUPPOSED “PROOF” FOR THE PUBLIC SLANGING THEY ARE DOING.
“Trial by media” is not a legitimate judicial process recognized in Canada.
The Canadian sense of decency and fair play, and Canadian judges and courts, frown on public slanging, and demand. “Where’s the beef?”
SOMETHING LAWYER JONATHAN JEROME SOMMER HAS REPEATEDLY AND SPECTACULARLY FAILED TO DO, IN ALL HIS PREVIOUS APPEARANCES IN VARIOUS COURTS TRYING TO PROVE FAKES – HELL HE HASN’T EVEN BEEN ABLE TO PROVE A SINGLE FAKE!!!
Not in a single Canadian court, and not in a single lawsuit, ALL OF WHICH HAVE RESOUNDINGLY GONE AGAINST HIM AND HIS BOGUS ALLEGATIONS AND HAVE ENTIRELY DISCREDITED THE WITNESSES HE USED.
Though of course, he’s made a good living doing it…
It’s worse than that. Judge after Judge has told Sommer the painting he calls fake is 100% authentic beyond a shadow of a doubt. And furthermore that the signature he calls fake is also genuine beyond a shadow of a doubt.
And Brian Shiller the winning lawyer on all the lawsuits and court cases which Jonathan Sommer has lost, told the National Post in Feb 2014, that he had asked Sommer for his so-called proof of forgeries many times. And Sommer had failed to provide any of it…
Now why would that be?
Is it because Sommer is making a living flogging a dead horse? And getting away with it…?
Those truths are what James Adams has repeatedly and spectacularly avoided telling his readers. All part of the Globe’s lingering resentment at having had to pay Micheal Moniz $25,000 for the Globe and Adams’ predecessor wrongly libeling and defaming Moniz and his genuine Morrisseau paintings in 2007. At the urging of the same malicious and completely discredited Conspiracy Theorists as are behind Hatfield, Hearn, and McDermott.
Meanwhile over the past year, the vile Plaintiff’s Claim was damaging Joe McLeod’s reputation 24/7 in the Globe archives.
And of course, with its vile allegations of Morrisseau fakes, continuing to maliciously destroy the art heritage of Norval Morrisseau.
Both the lawyer and the journalist get equal credit for a tawdry chapter in the Morrisseau Hoax and for setting out to slang and defame Joe McLeod without a single iota of evidence.
3) The Stunning Total Sanderson Dismissal
December 17, 2013 – The Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson in Ontario Superior Court brusquely dismissed all Sommer’s claims of some 35 alleged judicial mistakes by Judge Martial, and upheld in totality Martial’s scorching judgment dismissing all allegations of forgery, and dismissing the expertise, credentials, credibility, and believability of Sommer’s only two witnesses.
So in all of this three Morrisseau-related outings in the courts by Jonathan Sommer, he was batting 3 and 0 – that’s three failures and zero wins… Perhaps, in future, Sommer should choose better informed clients who’ve done some basic research before they file a spurious claim and waste tens of thousands of dollars on dead-end lawsuits.
So Sommer, who has said in the media and in the courts that there are thousands of Morrisseau fakes out there that the public should beware of, he has spectacularly failed – in all three of his attempts – to prove even 1 (one) genuine Morrisseau a fake – and that’s even one of his own choosing…
Not only in Small Claims Court but in Ontario Superior Court before one of Ontario’s top justices.
We now invite you to do the “Jonathan Jerome Sommer Replication Test.”
OK, Dear Reader, following a suggestion from lawyer Jonathan Jerome Sommer, who says this is easy and simple for anyone (Morrisseau’s art “was not very difficult to replicate,” Sommer to Hopper, National Post, Feb 3, 2014) now take a copy of this painting and take it to your relative or neighbour – you know the one who’s suffering from Alcohol Dementia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s (according to the Alz website, 80% of Parkinson’s patients end up with it) – and have him/her attempt to make a faithful copy of the “Child With Headdress 1997” as an exercise.
I really don’t care what degree of Parkinson’s etc., they have. It will be, frankly, far too difficult anyway, to find someone who has as severe a Parkinson’s Twitch as Norval had in 1997, when he allegedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997.”
Remember, for this test, just about any old “twitch” will do.
The test will – trust me – work just as perfectly with a person with any degree of Parkinson’s.
Now, with “Child With Headdress 1997” on one side, see how well they can line up the dots and lines on a fresh piece of paper.
Can they do it as well as “Norval” who allegedly painted “Child With Headdress 1997?” I can guarantee – even though their Parkinson’s is far less severe than that which totally and violently disabled Norval’s painting arm in 1997, they cannot…
It’s the final indictment of the claims of the Robinsons and Kinsman Robinson Galleries…
And raises the legitimate question that many knowledgeable and dumbfounded experts have asked in private, for years:
If the Robinsons and Kinsman Robinson Galleries are just so totally wrong on “Child With Headdress 1997,” just how many of their other “Morrisseaus” aka “Burrowsseaus” are they just as wrong on?
You know the hundreds and hundreds of paintings they have sold with no testable signatures or DNA on the back…
Where did the hundreds of canvases come from, who painted them, and who painted Norval’s syllabic signature on the front?
When he was obviously long past being able to do any of it himself. And Kinsman Robinson Galleries continued to sell new Morrisseaus at a brisk rate?
More than one skeptical Canadian art expert wondered out loud, just where the hell are those huge new canvases coming from – some featured at the Retrospective at the National Gallery in 2006 – that are credited to a comatose artist who’s been a crippled wheelchair invalid for over a decade, and could hardly lift his hands for the last decade of his life?
And no… backdating them does not make them any more believable…
I leave you with a cautionary from Toronto lawyer, and international fake art sleuth Bonnie Czegledi who said:
“Over a period of a few years, I discovered that the business of art is one of the most corrupt, dirtiest industries on the planet. There are no regulations… It’s not pretty. The patina of loveliness that most people associate with art didn’t exist in the reality that I found. It was filled with criminals – and a lot of different kinds.”
(Bonnie Czegledi, quoted, Hot Art, Knelman, p25)
Updated Jan 21
In 1965 Jim Rennie, a fourth year journalism student and I, then in the third year of Modern History at the University of Toronto, decided to go undercover, and infiltrate the founding meetings of the Canadian Nazi Party which made headlines that year.
It was an unnerving experience. I remember attending a meeting, late at night, behind shuttered curtains, in a run-down Toronto storefront, being isolated, surrounded by half a dozen scowling and threatening fanatics and John Beattie, only inches from my face, snarling at me, quite convincingly, that bad things would happen to me if I turned out to be a journalist and not a Nazi devotee. He made a foolproof argument. And thinking the better of it, we never went back.
As I grew older, regardless of what kind of Nazi threatened me with dire consequences, I refused to bend to such thuggery when it sought to intimidate honest and independent investigative journalism conducted with due diligence, in the public interest. Inspired by the Davy Crockett passion I picked up in 1956, when Davy advised youngsters:“First be sure you’re right; then go ahead.”
50 years as an investigative journalist and professional historical researcher has involved:
– going undercover in 1965 to infiltrate Nazi Party of Canada and John Beattie
– exposing Ipperwash, the worst anti-Aboriginal conspiracy of Canadian government, police, & media malfeasance in modern Canadian history IPPERWASH DISGRACE
– researching and establishing Canadian James Cooper Mason as the world’s very first genuine combat photographer MASON DSO
– developing the world’s first suggested academic nomenclature for classifying historic stone relics and rock memorabilia ROCK ME
– exposing renowned top Canadian pottery expert, Elizabeth Collard, as completely wrong in the professional literature. when she snorted, categorically, that the image transfer used on the famous J Heath “Ontario Lake Scenery Dinner Ware Service of 1845-1853,” was fake and fanciful, claiming that “No stretch of the imagination could credit (this) view to Canada.” Collard Heath
– publishing the largest exposé of fake combat photographs in history FAKE PHOTOS
– exposing Canada’s two most famous combat photos as fakes 7 FAKE CANADIANS
– publishing the world’s largest & most lavish internet museum – the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum MUSEUM
– providing genuine historical documents, photos, paintings to museums, publishers, and collectors around the world EXHIBITS ON TOUR
– exposing the worst case of historical publishing incompetence in Canadian history, done by the tax-paid staff of the Canadian War Museum, if you can believe FAKE BOOK
– carrying out the largest investigation ever taken of Canadian South African War sites in South Africa,
– so discovering, establishing, and publishing for the first time the existence of the Canadian guard room, the Canadian hospital, and Canadian rock inscriptions in Belmont, RSA, and establishing that no Canadian government signage was anywhere on any site WOW IN AFRICA
– personally responsible for having the Canadian government declare “Canada and the South African War an event of national historic significance” in 2005, so clearing the way – OK, so it is 115 years late –
– to have the war commemorated and its dates added, for the very first time on Canada’s National War Memorial in Ottawa, on Nov 11, 2014 and so
– clearing the way to put the very first Canadian government signage on Boer War sites in South Africa, the first it has ever placed on the African continent.
– exposing fakes, frauds and con men of all kinds in art, photography, militaria, and memorabilia collecting, especially the diabolical machinations of a tiny clique of crafty Conspiracy Theorists who claim that there are “thousands of fakes by umpteen forgers” out there, of the art of Canada’s top Aboriginal artist, Norval Morrisseau… TOTALLY CREEPY BUT SELF-SERVING BALDERDASH, of course. (ex FAKE BUGLES)
THE WORST ACT OF CULTURAL GENOCIDE
IN MODERN CANADIAN HISTORY.
Every single painting they have ever claimed is fake, has subsequently been authenticated, without reservation, by a top Canadian forensic scientist and handwriting expert, and/or various Canadian judges and courts, again without a single solitary dissenting finding.
And, for everything else you never wanted to know about other Canadian creeps, crooks, and con-men of all kinds, and the crooked things they do to conspire against you, so that you can arm yourself with knowledge before you buy into:
– art – paintings, pastels, watercolours, gouaches, prints, lithos, chromolithos, reproductions, etc. ART SLEUTH
– photos – originals, reproductions, fakes, etc. FAKE PHOTO DETECTOR
– militaria – bugles, hats, badges, uniforms, guns, ammunition, BUSTS
– memorabilia (wood, paper, metal, fabric, tin, parian, plaster, bronze, glass, leather, china, etc.) FAKE BRONZES or, worst of all
– lies and fabrications from a creepy politician or toadying media pundit, go to: THAT SISSY LESTER at:
The Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum – the largest and most lavishly illustrated internet museum in the world.
I am proud to announce that due to my passionate interest in the proper documenting of history, and specifically due to my lobbying to get the Canadian government to recognize the Canadian participation in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, the dates for the war have now been affixed – OK, so it is 115 years late – to Canada’s National War Memorial, in Ottawa, ON, where they were unveiled for the first time on Nov. 11, 2014.
Without my passionate and enthusiastic initiative it would never have come to happen.
OK, Tell me more…
Thanks, John Goldi csc
Calling All Canadians…
Call us immediately!!!
UPDATES MADE Dec. 2,2014
Or report to the authorities, if you have you seen the two men below, in your neighbourhood.
They are allegedly on a mission of destruction of genuine Morrisseau paintings…
According to the claims of a leading Ottawa, Ontario, art gallery curator***, Ritchie Sinclair and Bryant Ross, are on a cross-Canada tour of destruction. Based on what Sinclair allegedly personally told him, they are on a mission travelling across Canada to gather up and destroy genuine Norval Morrisseau art.
*** Yes I do know the name of the curator, but for the present will keep his identity secret. I have personally spoken to him at length about Morrisseau fakes. I believe that he is sincere in the allegations he makes about the Sinclair and Ross mission of destruction.
Which is why I am issuing this Amber Alert!
Have you seen either of these men, skulking around in your neighbourhood?
Have there been suspicious knocks on your door, late at night?
Are there Peeping Toms, creeping around your house in the dark?
Are there suspicious-looking men, in Davy Crockett costumes, accosting your children in the yard?
Are Morrisseau BDPs*** that were hanging in your living room, suddenly missing?
Have you seen smoke rising, from a suspicious fire in your back yard?
Protect yourself, your property, and do your bit to protect Canada’s Art Heritage, and the artistic legacy of Norval Morrisseau from the willful destruction of these two malicious vandals. Report to us any such destructive activity related to Morriseau BDPs that you become aware of.
*** Black Drybrush Paintings: Sinclair and Ross have both, for years associated themselves with targeting as so-called “fakes,” 1970s style Norval Morrisseau paintings from the famous Aboriginal artist’s “high period,” when he routinely signed, titled, and dated the backs of thousands of his paintings in Black Drybrush Paint (BDP), so producing a distinctive and large BDP signature, and the attendant HOAX, which is what my blog is all about.
Specifically, according to the Ottawa gallery curator, Sinclair told him that he and Bryant Ross are reported to be:
– travelling across Canada on a hunt for BDPs in private hands,
– ferreting out and contacting any people who have Morrisseau BDPs in their homes, offices, collections, etc.
– convincing them that they are some kind of art experts, and longtime associates of Norval Morrisseau,
– telling them they have been authorized to target BDPs as worthless forgeries, that have zero worth or value,
– that they have been delegated to find all such BDPs, confiscate them, and destroy them, and
– convincing people they have a duty to turn over any Morrisseau BDP art they own, to them, for safe-keeping, and authorized destruction.
Compromising Point of Interest: If there are two more discredited people, than Sinclair and Ross, in the Canadian Morrisseau fine art market, they do not exist, except as business associates and promoters of these two longtime cultural vandals.
In 2010, Ross became famous as a slash and burn artist when, in public, before the television cameras, he painted a destructive X across “Water Spirits 1979” a genuine Morrisseau BDP. In fact he had previously been vainly trying to sell if for years, for $12,500, on his corporate website, on ebay, and at Seahawk Auctions, as one of his “directly from the artist” acquisitions.
And then it gets worse… In fact in December 2007, when Ross had the painting up for sale, Sinclair wrote an effusively praising comment about “Water Spirits 1979,” by email to a Morrisseau website.
“And a beautiful Morrisseau it (“Water Spirits 1979”) is – so embued (sic) with Vision!” (on Dec. 24, 2007).
A year later Sinclair requested that his praising email be expunged from the public record in the archives of the website. The webmaster refused.
OK, you say, we’ve all got ex-wives we were once smitten with, and now wish would just go far, far away. Fine. But public decency – oh and the law – dictates that you are not allowed to publicly defame them, or abuse and desecrate them with paint, or burn or otherwise destroy them, just because you’ve had a change of heart. They may have value to someone else.
Where did these two malicious art vandals get their idea for their incendiary, slash and burn mission of destruction?
No doubt from the notoriously spurious and destructive Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS), set up by Donald Robinson in 2005, as a branch plant operation of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
I reported, almost two years ago, that the NMHS, I believe, under instructions from Donald Robinson, has probably – almost certainly – burned – or deliberately caused to disappear, permanently from the prying eyes of experts – the highly important Wanker 16*** – all of which I absolutely believe to be genuine 1970s style Morrisseau BDPs, authentically signed, titled, and dated on the back, with Norval’s signature Black Drybrush technique.
*** The Wanker 16 (an acronym for WANGKR from Wang and Kinsman Robinson Galleries) refers to 16 of 31 genuine Morrisseau BDPs that Donald Robinson bought from Randy Potter auctions in early 2000, for $54,000.
Then, mysteriously and inexplicably, a year later, he suddenly started to call them all fakes, but did NOT return them for a refund. Why not?
(At the time he bought the Wanker 31 Robinson claimed to me personally – and to many others at the auction – to have been the world expert in Morrisseau paintings, that he vetted them as authentic, that we could trust his verifications, that “he wrote the book on Morrisseau,” had been dealing in his paintings for at least 15 years, and passed himself off as the Principal Morrisseau Dealer.)
Robinson sold half of the Wanker 31 – he told Judge Martial, for “a small profit,” which at KRG usually involves a mark-up of 555% to 595% – to unsuspecting buyers and gave the ones he couldn’t sell to the NMHS to use as “fake detectors.”
Robinson even had a nerdy statistician, Professor Wang, ensconced deep in the bowels of the far off Pennsylvania State University’s statistics lab, where they don’t have a clue what goes on in the outside world, let alone in Canada, devise a computer model of the so-called “fakes” Robinson put in front of him, to use as a supposed measuring stick for detecting supposed future fakes. They were, you guessed it, 16 Morrisseau BDPs – now you’re beginning to catch on – the Wanker 16.
So, what the well-meaning, but gullible professor, and his nerdy mathematician cohorts inadvertently ended up devising, of course, was a computer model of a genuine Morrisseau BDP, NOT of a Morrisseau fake at all, which Donald and Paul Robinson had told the Wang crowd they were supposedly working with.
Wang published a report full of enough signs, co-signs, tangents, graphs, to make anyone’s head swim, but not the photos of his source paintings. And these, despite repeated calls for academic transparency, and disclosure, he kept totally secret. He clearly had his orders from the contracting client, Donald and Paul Robinson, of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries to shut up.
Clearly the good Dr. Wang had no intention of losing the tens of thousands of dollars KRG had paid him to produce the spurious “fakes” computer model. Just because of a little thing like academic transparency and research data disclosure.
But let’s not be too hard on the professor. I am certain he had no clue what was going on or what his lab was really being asked to produce, when KRG and Donald Robinson came knocking on his door with a pile of Morrisseau paintings asking him to “digitize these – this half is real; this half is fake – measure them up separately, and give me a print out.”
I am certain Wang had never even heard of Morrisseau before. But I can hear Donald Robinson assuring him. “Oh, don’t worry, my associates and I will give you all the “input” you will ever need.”
Wang credited his input sources: Donald Robinson, his son Paul Robinson, one of their business associates, the stockbroker John Zemanovich, the Kinsman Robinson Galleries – that’s the Robinson shop -, and the members of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, an organization Robinson had set up and picked the members for.
Queen of a Day – In fact years later Zemanovich was picked as an NMHS member until this blog and Ugo Matulic’s pointed out the unethical and clearly conniving business connection. Zemanovich was delisted within hours of our posts.
Remember the golden rule of all good computer modelers that terrorizes hones researchers: “Garbage in; garbage out.”
Now do you see why Donald and Paul Robinson, and the NMHS have resolutely refused to make the raw data available to us, or to other outside experts, of the so-called “fakes” they gave to the gullible professor. And why they have refused, repeatedly and utterly, to provide high res photos of the front and back of the paintings which the Robinsons (father and son) had provided to the blinkered Professor Wang.
I challenged, long ago, both Robinson and/or the NMHS to prove me wrong in public, by producing the Wanker 16 for me to examine, or by making high definition photos of the fronts and backs of the paintings available to me and other experts.
They have resolutely refused to do so, tellingly preferring to hide from, instead of cooperating, with art, forensic, and Morrisseau experts, to provide academic and ethical clarity on what I consider the worst art scandal, and biggest art HOAX, in Canadian history.
Why do they persist in their refusal and obfuscation? If there is better proof for the fact they have burned the compromising Wanker 16, to remove possibly devastating and compromising evidence of an art scam, I have not seen it.
The offer is still active in 2015. I’m not holding my breath… because I smell smoke… and a rat.
What you should know, before you open the door to Sinclair and Ross:
– not a single Morrisseau forgery has ever been found, or proven, by any Canadian court, judge, forensic scientist, or recognized genuine Morrisseau expert,
– in the two biggest court cases alleging a Morrisseau forgery (before Judge Martial in Small Claims Court, and the Appeal before the Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, in Ontario Superior Court) both judges not only resoundingly dismissed the claim of forgery and rejected the competence, expertise, and claims of the two witnesses (Sinclair & Robinson), but went on to pronounce – which Madam Justice Sanderson acidly noted was NOT a requirement of Judge Martial – that the paintings were genuine, and authentically signed by the artist,
– every allegation by anyone, of a supposed Morrisseau forgery, resulting in a lawsuit (in: Otavnik v Vadas, Otavnik v Sinclair, Moniz v Globe, Hatfield v Artworld, Hatfield Appeal v Artworld, McDermott v McLeod, etc) has been completely discredited as false, a malicious fabrication, or settled with the painting found to be completely genuine, and authentically signed by the artist,
– every single court action launched by anyone claiming a Morrisseau forgery, has been dismissed by judges as bogus, been abandoned as ludicrous in view of the mountain of countervailing evidence, or resulted in huge cash payouts for defamation,
– the credibility, expertise, and trustworthiness of every single witness involved in making allegations of forged Morrisseaus in court (including Ritchie Sinclair, and Donald Robinson) have been totally and hugely dismissed by judge, after judge – Mogan, Lederer, Godfrey, Martial, Lacavera, Sanderson, etc.) who found that they do not have the credentials or expertise to make their allegations, and that their testimony is not credible, and is self-serving, and not believable.
– the Thunder Bay police, and the RCMP (across Canada) both investigated the allegations of so-called forgeries (as claimed by Ritchie Sinclair and Donald Robinson) and ended up NOT identifying or charging a single forger, a single forgery, or a single person as a seller of supposed Morrisseau forgeries,
– IN THE 15 YEARS SINCE DONALD ROBINSON INITIATED THE HOAX – neither he nor his Kinsman Robinson Galleries, nor Ritchie Sinclair, nor Bryant Ross or any of their Conspiracy Theorist associates, like Aaron Milrad, have ever launched a single lawsuit alleging forgery against any of the people they claim to be making forgeries, or selling forgeries. Not even once… THEY ALL HAVE RESOLUTELY REFUSED TO PUT THE ALLEGATIONS AND ACCUSATIONS THEY BANDY ABOUT, WITH RECKLESS ABANDON IN FRONT OF THE GULLIBLE MEDIA, BEFORE THE DISCERNING AND WITHERING GLARE OF A SINGLE JUDGE.
From the beginning, this has all been about art terrorism, scaring the bejeesus out of their main business competitors, and threatening them with lawyers and lawsuits, behind the scenes, to get them to buy Morrisseau product only from Donald and Paul Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
FINALLY – Count on the DNA to Clinch the Deal: In fact the BDP – that black drybrush signature on the back of your painting – is your very best insurance that you have a genuine Morrisseau from Norval’s 1970s high period.
Regard it as Norval’s DNA on the back. You can compare yours with the many forensic reports published on the internet that give huge and definitive pictorial details, from Canada’s top forensic handwriting signature analyst, on exactly what to look for.
If you do have BDP DNA on the back, and don’t trust your powers of observation, take it to a forensic handwriting expert to do it for you.
Save Your Bucks: 99% of the time it’s probably not worth spending the money on an expensive scientific analysis. And you can thank Donald Robinson of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries, and his business associate Ritchie Sinclair, for saving you all the moolah…
Here’s why: they are both adamant – and Robinson said so in court – that Norval NEVER EVER signed, titled, or dated, the back of any painting in Black Drybrush Paint.
In short a genuine Morrisseau, he claims, is ALWAYS blank on the back. Without any of the DNA commonly found on thousands of genuine BDPs.
As Robinson testified in court: “Never once have I ever seen it.” His quote was acidly noted by the Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, in her biting finding on the Hatfield case Appeal, and on Robinson’s testimony about Norval’s BDP signatures, where this single Robinson statement was the only quote of anyone’s that she copied into her finding from the 750 pages of the Hatfield transcript that she reviewed.
Madam Justice Sanderson, commented acidly – I heard her in court; Robinson chose not to attend – when she noted that Robinson had bought 31 of these very paintings (BDPs signed, titled, and dated in black drybrush technique by Norval) for some $54,000.
Robinson and Sinclair are so absolute, that a Morrisseau painting MUST be blank on the back to be genuine, that you can be certain that if you have a BDP, you have a painting they will hate, and call a fake.
And want to burn… to, you guessed it, hide the evidence…
So, the same DNA – as this blog has proven over two years is Norval’s and only Norval’s – and which you can take to the bank, serves according, to their discredited claim, as the DNA of the forger, and a certain sign of an alleged fake.
If you have such DNA – a Norval Morrisseau 1970s style BDP – right out the gate, you have a valuable painting by Norval from his “high period” of painting.
Because in every single case where such a signature has been tested by a forensic scientist, it has been found to be genuine. In over 70 cases, and counting.
So, keep it away from Sinclair and Ross’s match; keep it away from Donald Robinson’s match; keep it away from the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society’s match.
Aaron Milrad: In fact it was lawyer Aaron Milrad who originally started out as the culprit in the search and destroy mission of genuine Morrisseau paintings, when he was quoted in the media in 2005, as ready, willing, and able, to destroy Morrisseau paintings he and the NMHS hated. Milrad was one of the group of white businessmen, who clumped around Norval’s wheelchair, and helped kick-start the Conspiracy Theory of “thousands of fakes by umpteen forgers” which I call the biggest Hoax in Canadian history.
Is it any wonder that none of them has ever taken a single painting to a forensic scientist to verify and prove their claim. And that when others who disagree with them do, the forensic report always come back as positive, with the painting and the signature as authentic.
The Conspiracy Theorists prefer to make up the science themselves in the basement of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
And that is exactly why the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society has probably burned the Wanker 16, and why Sinclair claims that he and Ross are on the search and destroy mission to get rid of Norval’s DNA, wherever it can be found.
They are all trying to legitimize the many paintings their business associates have, claiming they are Morrisseaus, when they have NO NORVAL DNA OF ANY KIND ON THE BACK.
Your Proper Course of Action
Be on the lookout for Morrisseau pyromaniacs…
NOTE: Sinclair may very well be in one of his disguises. In court he always shows up in a suit and tie.
Everywhere else he prefers parading about in “faux buckskins,” I believe made by underage children in some sweat shop in downtown Bangkok…
Though Sinclair is lily white in his DNA, he is much more famous as Canada’s leading Indian imposter/impersonator, and prefers to wear a Davey Crockett or Daniel Boone buckskin costume (the experts are still out on which one it is), and is much given to flicking about a large white turkey feather as he talks.
So Sinclair may very well be wearing this disguise when he comes calling.
(See Sinclair’s disastrous performance on the CBC “Four Rooms” program where he was in full flight as an Indian imposter/impersonator resplendent in a Crockett/Boone jacket and endlessly flicking the turkey feather about. The experts there also told him he was unlikable and that his painting looked like “a bad Morrisseau.”)
So if you have been approached by Sinclair and/or Ross, or one of their collaborating associates, like the notorious and foul-mouthed Mark Anthony Jacobson, I advise you to:
– protect your art and your family,
– bar the door,
– don’t let them get their hands on any of your art,
– hide your daughters, pets, or farm animals,
– take photos of them posing with you, or your art.
Send us any information you may have about this Amber Alert.
– where and when you were approached by the dastardly duo,
– send photos of the paintings they saw and said were fakes, and should be destroyed
– notify the police
– alert John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted”
This gross act of Cultural Genocide must be stopped, immediately, to protect, not only Norval’s art heritage, not only Canada’s Aboriginal art heritage, but the overall cultural heritage of Canada.
22 Telltale Signs of Reckless, Malicious & Deliberate Editorial Fabrication
Since January 2013, a period of 16 months, I have published a mountain of carefully researched and thoroughly documented, independently assembled documentation exposing the greatest Hoax in Canadian art history, which I have dubbed the Morrisseau Hoax, namely the false and unsubstantiated allegations that there are “thousands of fakes by umpteen forgers” of works by Norval Morrisseau “out there” being sold by reputable auctions, art dealers, and galleries.
You’d hardly think so, by reading the National Post, which has, once again, given the fabricated, false, and totally unsubstantiated “allegations” of fakes – instead of identifying it as the HOAX that it is – front page and feature section prominence around the world, in both its newspaper and on its internet portal.
Flashback Alert: In fact the National Post was the original creator and publisher of the ludicrous fabrications and unsubstantiated allegations in May 2001, when a self-interested businessman fed a naïve and gullible National Post journalist, Murray Whyte, self-serving information meant to destroy the reputation of his business competitors by saying they were all selling fake Morrisseaus. He sucker-punched Whyte who, without due diligence or following basic journalistic responsibility just ran off and published the allegations, as if they were real, instead of doing proper research and checking, and recognizing it as the lowlife Hoax it all was.
Now in Feb. 2014, the National Post was at it again, with another negligent journalist so driven by a mad rush for a publishing deadline that he just blatantly ignores doing basic due diligence before rushing off to publish.
So thirteen years later, a different National Post reporter, Tristin Hopper, again fell for the Hoax hook, line, and stinker, and failed to do any research or due diligence to verify the story before rushing off to publish and promote a totally fabricated and unsubstantiated story for which he had no independently verifiable proof of any kind.
And this despite a mountain of documentary evidence that had been unearthed in those years, by judges, police, and forensic scientists all, entirely discrediting the totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations at the heart of the National Post story.
The entire page 2 of the National Post’s main news section, devoted to “Art Fraud…” was totally fabricated, designed, and laid out, with singular malicious intent to:
– deliberately misinform Canadians that art forgery is a huge problem in Canada,
– deliberately misinform Canadians that art forgery, specifically of Morrisseaus, is a huge problem,
– create in people’s mind a false connection or parallel between real forgeries, of a high value painter in Europe, with cheaply priced and easily available genuine Morrisseau art in Canada,
– create the impression in people’s mind that there are a lot of art forgeries – especially in Morrisseaus – when the truth is, that not a single one has ever been proven to be fake, not by any judge, any court, any local or national police force, or any forensic scientist,
– create an impression in people’s minds, with the National Post’s totally unsubstantiated claims, that can only have one malicious end in view, which is to devalue people’s genuine Morrisseau’s paintings, both directly and indirectly,
– to push as “News” and factual, the totally fabricated and unsubstantiated claims of the two people referenced in the article, Ritchie Sinclair and Jonathan Sommer, both of whom are trying to get the art forgery Hoax established in the public consciousness for personal and business reasons and are the driving force behind this article, and this publication of the Hoax.
By recklessly – without following Due Diligence – and just publishing an article that demonstrated a clear and multi-layered disregard for the truth, making allegations for which there is no evidence, proof, or substantiation, the National Post editors very well knew, or ought to have known, that their actions would have devastating consequences for genuine Morrisseau art and destroy the valuation of genuine Morrisseaus in the hands of countless thousands of collectors across Canada and around the world.
MALICIOUS ALERT: Before a reader even starts to read and examine the article, alleging Morrisseau fakes, written by Hopper, it is clear that going out the gate the National Post editors deliberately set out, in an incendiary manner, to recklessly, maliciously, and irresponsibly slant the feature article alleging Morrisseau fakes, to give it all the powers of presentation a newspaper editor can muster, to give its readers the idea that the National Post is going to expose fakes and forgeries so that Canadian consumers of art can be on their guard against the frauds.
Sensationalism has always been the “cute” school of supposed journalism.
Forgetting that, if it often crosses the boundaries from fact to fiction, like in this article, when it maliciously destroys the art valuations of people’s genuine Morrisseaus, then legal liabilities are consequent.
The many creative ways the National Post editor maliciously skewed the Morrisseau article include:
1 – National Post Headline – First, by publishing, LITERALLY OUT OF THE BLUE, a story that is NOT at all a “news” story, or “au courant” in any way, that is patently not projected into the public consciousness by a “breaking news” event, and secondly, fabricating a malicious unresearched and unsubstantiated article, OUT OF THIN AIR, and publishing it, in the National Post.
There was no external reason whatsoever, like breaking news urgency, or timeliness deadline, for publishing this article at this time. Or for publishing it in a hurry without researching or confirming the credibility of any of the information fed to the National Post reporter by Sinclair and Sommer.
So the story the National Post published was not daily news pushed or motivated by a current event; so it was not “newsworthy” by any stretch. In fact, the story of musicians suing about Morrisseaus was old hat, and very old news, with the Hearn case filed on June 8, 2012 – a year and a half before – and the McDermott case filed on Oct. 17, 2013 – five months before… And nothing new had transpired in either of those cases in the interim, to warrant publishing an update of any kind on Feb. 3, 2013.
So why was this ludicrous story with its false claim and the defamatory and totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations put in the story then published on Feb. 3, 2014 as a feature item on page 2 of the main section of the paper?
Clearly the only explanation can be that someone at the National Post had an axe to grind, a malicious fancy they wanted to indulge, or they were responding to a “news tip” from self-interested and self-promotional parties, like from a lawyer with a personal agenda, or a businessman interested in promoting the scam.
The National Post openly solicits “news tips” from readers. (See 5 Below)
And the National Post compounded the infamy by running with it, without doing preliminary research and without practicing even minimal due diligence, or following the basic rules of responsible journalism, not only by publishing this as a “hot news tip,” but devoting a huge National Post feature page, passing off as “News” the false, totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations.
2 – Inside; Art & Fakes Front Page Link – On page one the National Post prominently flagged the story of “ART AND FAKES,” with an “INSIDE” link, alerting everyone to see a special feature on art and fakes, especially Morrisseaus.
Why this special page one reader alert? The National Post was determined to give their false and sensational story line every possible boost it could to attract the widest possible readership and spread its distorted and unsubstantiated story line so it would get maximum readership, and thus inflict maximum damage to the art valuations of Norval Morrisseau.
It is clear National Post editors were not after National Post readers but non-National Post readers, those who see the National Post at a newsstand, and would ordinarily never dream of paying money for it, or reading it, but might become intrigued with the loud front page flagging of “Inside – Art and Fakes.”
Since everyone loves crime, fakes and forgeries, and since the National Post seemed to offer the goods inside, non-National Post readers were suckered into buying, not only the National Post, but the false, and fraudulent article the National Post had prepared inside.
3 – Newspaper “Section A, Page 2” Prominence – The National Post put this malicious article, not on the “Arts Page,” but on the second “News” page of the main section of their “news”paper, signaling to readers that its editors considered the totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations and the story serious enough for such a high profile treatment. Rather than devoting a few lines to it, from a lower echelon celebrity chasing lifestyle journalist and putting it at the bottom of a back page of Section F, buried on a lifestyle, zoomer, or entertainment sidebar.
This ensures too that everyone who picks up the National Post will see it, as everyone turns to page 1 for a quick look at what’s inside, and discover there a huge, sensational, feature section and full page article pretending to expose art fraud, especially that which the National Post journalist alleges relates to genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings in the living rooms of thousands of Canadians.
4 – “nationalpost.com” virus spreading to the worldwide internet – To make sure of maximum readership penetration, so that the defamatory, unresearched, and unsubstantiated story line for its fabricated article, alleging non-existent fakes being sold by reputable art dealers and galleries, gets spread around the world and not just in its localized Canadian newspaper edition, the National Post put this article on its website, and repeatedly flagged its website address across the top of this page.
This internet article has been spreading its malicious mischief alleging Morrisseau art fraud, 24/7, day and night, for month after month, since it was originally published on Feb. 3, 2014.
The National Post spread the fabricated story about Morrisseau fakes to web surfers around the world thus ensuring that the prices for Morrisseau art are devalued around the globe and that no one can sell Morrisseaus anywhere because the bogus charges published by the National Post have deliberately caused widespread panic among art collectors.
This ensures that millions, in Canada and around the world, who never read the National Post or buy it, will be exposed to the false, malicious and defamatory article on the internet.
Deliberately Reckless and Malicious Internet Titles – The original malicious title, in the biggest and boldest type on the National Post’s hardcopy newspaper edition page, was “Lucrative ring of art forgers alleged in suits.” (See #14 below where it is dealt with)
This title was altered for the internet versions of this story.
a) Malicious & Defamatory Internet Title #1 – The original title on the internet version of the National Post article “Art forging ring alleged in lawsuit leaves authenticity of works by Aboriginal artist Norval Morrisseau in question” was deliberately damaging to Morrisseau art.
The National Post warned Canadians in no uncertain terms that “the art forging ring” allegations definitely “leaves authenticity of works by Aboriginal artist Norval Morrisseau in question.”
That is false. Just because the National Post decides to fabricate and publicize false and unsubstantiated allegations, does NOT change the validity or authenticity of my genuine Morrisseaus.
But it definitely DOES taint their value in the minds of every National Post reader. Which, of course, is the intention. And does significantly devalue my paintings – or those of anyone else – when they try to sell them.
b) Malicious & Defamatory Internet Title #2 – Within hours of internet publication, the National Post, probably aware of the defamation implicit in the first internet title, removed it and changed it to “Barenaked Ladies’ keyboardist suing in what may be the biggest art forgery case in Canadian history.”
In fact the Hatfield v Artworld trial and Appeal, over three years, is the biggest court case dealing with alleged fine art forgery in Canadian history. And concluded with two judges totally dismissing any and all allegations of Morrisseau forgery as unbelievable and totally unsubstantiated. In other words, absolutely no evidence was produced by the Plaintiff to support her claim that her painting was a fake.
The title is also NOT “NEWS” and shows how artificially trumped up and fabricated is the whole article about the “Barenaked Ladies keyboardist suing.” The reality is that Kevin Hearn had filed his lawsuit not a few days before, so making it “hot” news and a reason for publishing, but a full year and a half before, on June 8, 2012.
And there had not been a new development in the lawsuit whatsoever, or any move to push forward, in his case since then…
The titles, just like the article, proves what false and unsubstantiated information has been fabricated into a phony “News” story by the National Post.
5 – Titling a Demonstrable Fraud with a Factual “News” Headline – National Post Editors headlined the entire page dominated by Norval’s huge photo, as “News,” deliberately priming readers that this page A2 is concerned with truth, and factual information vetted by top journalists and editors, instead of just the wild rantings of some crackpot or scammer, or what this story was actually all about, a business scam begun by a couple of businessmen, and swallowed holus bolus by witless gullible and mindless journalists at the National Post.
National Post Editors headlined the entire page it devoted to a false and unsubstantiated story line about so-called “Art Fraud,” as “NEWS” when in fact, there was no news of any kind breaking in any of the Morrisseau content it was publicizing.
The dictionary defines “news” as “a report of a recent event; intelligence; information” or “the presentation of a report on recent or new events in a newspaper, or other periodical or on radio or television.”
The National Post article hugely, fails that test. What it published was ALL old hat, with no new developments in either the Hearn or McDermott cases, in a year and a half since the first case was filed.
Furthermore the story is not reality News of any kind, nor “intelligence” or “information” as defined by the dictionary above.
The entire storyline is a total and utter fabrication by a malicious two or three people who invented the scam that sucked in the gullible National Post journalist and editors who utterly failed to do journalistic due diligence and proper research. The National Post editor is trying – to attract gullible readers with a sensational and false story line – to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.
As written and presented by the National Post the story of Morrisseau fakes is false, unsubstantiated, libelous, defamatory, and a total invention of a malicious editor and writer.
This “News tips” line, and “firstname.lastname@example.org advertised underneath the NEWS header, of course, offer a fertile field for malicious people to send in a “news tip” that is born of malice, and make false and unsubstantiated claims, hoping some gullible dupe at the National Post will bite and publish, as happened in this case.
A malicious caller, making a simple phone call or sending an email, cleverly passes the buck of legal responsibility on to the mainstream news outlet – in this case the National Post – which, in this case, ever hungry for salacious and sensational stories, went ahead without doing even elementary due diligence, and just published the unsubstantiated drivel.
In doing so, the complicit National Post which was the successfully “sucker-punched” media outlet in this case, takes over the responsibility of legal liability for libel, defamation, etc., from the “call-in” mischief maker.
6 – Giving Exclusive Full-Page Prominence on Art Fraud – The National Post deliberately decided to devote the entire second “news” page of its main A section to “Art Fraud” to alert Canadians that the National Post considered art fraud a huge problem that Canadians should become aware of.
There was no other feature or story in the entire paper which was centered out and featured with a complete exclusive full page promotion like this.
The National Post also flagged incendiary words all over the page including: “art fraud,” “fake ordered destroyed,” “lucrative ring of forgers,” celebrities “suing,” “bringing out the truth” about fakes.
By its huge spread on art and forgery covering the entire page two of its newspaper the National Post editors deliberately tried to create the idea that forgery was a huge, important problem that Canadians should be aware of, especially if you own Morrisseaus.
In fact the truth is that art forgery as publicized by the National Post is virtually almost entirely unknown in Canada.
In all Canadian history I have found only one Canadian art forger – one Richard McClintock – who has ever been caught, charged, and sentenced for art forgery. He was found guilty of making and trying to sell two (2) paintings he forged of high priced Quebec artists.
Yet the National Post article did not mention McClintock, but devoted a huge majority of its feature page to alleged Norval Morrisseau forgeries, not one of which has ever been found, and no forger charged, either by a judge, a court, a police investigator, or a forensic scientist. Exactly what you’d expect if it was, as I say, all entirely a HOAX to begin with.
In 13 years that the false claims of some 4,000 alleged Morrisseau fakes have been made, not a single forger has ever been accused, charged, or taken to court. And every judge and forensic expert who has examined the case for Morrisseau forgeries, and examined specific paintings alleged to be fakes, have found, to the contrary, that they are authentic without a single exception or qualification.
Canadians should sue the National Post for its totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations that deliberately set out to specifically target and devalue the Morrisseau paintings in their living rooms.
7 – Sensational “Art Fraud” Header – After the “News” header the National Post editor recklessly added a teaser headline that loudly announced, “ART FRAUD” though he never went on to prove it or disclose evidence for the sensational headline.
It was clearly and deliberately designed to be a show stopper for any reader looking for crooks in the art world.
8 – Morrisseau “art and fraud” Centerpiece – The editor deliberately and recklessly set up the entire page to feature the supposed Norval Morrisseau fakes as the centerpiece, the focus, the featuring infamy, of his storyline on a page he chose to devote to lowlife art fraud infamies that apparently plague modern civilization, devoting some 75% of the page’s column space to alleged Morrisseau fakes.
NOTE: The National Post editor deliberately and recklessly hid from his readership the huge mountain of published and available evidence that proves incontrovertibly that what the National Post alleges was not only false, but maliciously so. And while he also gave the website address of the chief scammer and perjurer behind the totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations, he recklessly and deliberately did not offer the website addresses of the two biggest blog sites that show, with a mountain of independently verifiable and well documented evidence and proof, what an utterly false storyline the alleged Morrisseau fakes is all about.
It’s a deliberate and malicious information cover-up that has no place in any decent publication that claims to be a modern mainstream newspaper, and is utterly unbecoming to anyone who dares to call himself a reputable journalist.
To attract the attention of the reader and deliberately influence his beliefs, the editors tarted up the article of the supposed Morrisseau fakes with the biggest illustrative picture by far on the page, the largest and blackest headline, and the most sub-headers of any article on the page.
When there is not a single fact to substantiate any of it, and he very well knew it, or ought to have known it, had he practiced even minimal due diligence in researching the totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations, and followed the elementary rules of responsible journalism, before maliciously creating this infamous feature page showcasing Norval’s art as a main problem area for Canadians.
9 – Huge “Stretched” Morrisseau Photo – The five column photo of Morrisseau was made huge to dominate, and dwarf anything else into insignificance on the “Art Fraud” page. It was deliberately used as the flagship pictorial to anchor the story of the National Post’s “Art Fraud” page.
This photo of Norval in front of a genuine Morrisseau painting was also deliberately stretched, placed and designed by the editor to head up, all the stories of fakes on the page, including that of Chagall which dealt with genuine fakes, but which Morrisseau had nothing to do with.
The editor, if he was not malicious, but responsible, and honest, would ethically have reduced the size of the photo of Morrisseau and restricted it to head up the three columns dealing only with him. Expanding its use, to dominate the page, and to further “embrace and serve as cover” for the columns dealing with the real Chagall fakes is deliberately defamatory in intent and an unforgivable breach of the layout protocol followed by reputable editors.
10 – Wheelchair Invalid Morrisseau Photo – The editor picked a full-body wheelchair invalid photo of Norval, instead of a bust only smiling face of the artist. The intention is clearly to show Norval as a helpless wheelchair invalid, obviously very easy prey for forgers. So giving more credibility to “Morrisseau forgeries” before anyone even starts to read the Morrisseau story itself.
Funeral homes in their obit columns feature a healthy cheery photo of the subject, never, ever a photo of them in their wheelchair, or in their hospital beds. For obvious reasons.
The editor clearly also knew this but was determined, with his photo choice, to prime the reader to think, “Oh, boy! Here’s another old codger ripped off by crooks. Clearly another case of elder abuse. Damn those criminal rip-off artists…”
NOTE: If the journalist had done due diligence and proper research, he would have known the reality was that the people preying on the aging, and Dementia-debilitated artist, were his two closest “handlers,” his primary art dealer, Donald Robinson, and his close companion, and self-designated inheritor, Gabe Vadas.
11 – Irresponsible, Suggestive, Reckless, Incendiary Photo Title – Why would an editor who deliberately makes a connection with “Morrisseau” and “lawsuits” in the title, and labels a picture with “His work is the subject of two lawsuits that allege a Toronto gallery sold fakes,” and references nothing else, when in so doing, whether maliciously or negligently, or both, he deliberately and completely ignores the FIVE far more important lawsuits that have already been settled. And which have resoundingly pronounced on and settled the false allegations, presumably once and for all.
These previous cases clearly give a devastating indication of what the likely outcome will be for the lawsuits launched by the musicians. They will almost certainly waste scores of thousands of dollars pursuing a predictably doomed litigation.
The National Post editor deliberately and maliciously completely ignores five huge previous judicial proceedings on the same topic with the same totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations and proof from the same people including:
A – the landmark lawsuit Joe Otavnik won in 2008 vs Vadas and Morrisseau, who had falsely alleged Otavnik was trying to sell Morrisseau fakes, to a Heffel (Vancouver, BC) auction, and then, when Otavnik sued them, were afraid of going before a judge, and begged him to settle out of court. They paid Otavnik off with $11,000 for falsely and maliciously calling his Morrisseaus “fakes.” The paintings in this case had come from the same source, were of the same age, and from the same period of the artist’s work (1970s) as the Hearn painting, featured in the National Post article.
NOTE: Forensic authentication of the signature, by handwriting expert Brian Lindblom, who had spent decades working for the RCMP, caused Vadas and Morrisseau to abandon their defamation of a genuine work by the artist and ask for an out-of-court settlement.
NOTE: But Ritchie Sinclair, in 2014, still publishes the paintings as forgeries on his malicious, false, libelous, and defamatory website.
Yes, the very same malicious website recklessly recommended by the National Post journalist, who recklessly ignored and refused to mention the two carefully researched, well documented countering blogs that reveal that Sinclair is one of the people currently at the heart of the biggest fine art Hoax in Canadian history.
B – the landmark lawsuit Michael Moniz won in 2009 vs CTVglobemedia, whose feature Arts journalist, Val Ross, alleged, in a Globe article of Feb. 2007, that Moniz had and was selling Morrisseau fakes, and that there were many more “out there.” And then, afraid of going before a judge, CTVglobemedia begged Moniz to settle out of court, and paid him off with $25,000 for recklessly libeling him and wrongly defaming and devaluing his genuine Morrisseau paintings as forgeries.
The Globe had recklessly and maliciously illustrated the article with a picture of one of Moniz’s genuine Morrisseaus. Moniz sued the Globe, whose lawyers advised the paper to ask for an out-of-court settlement when Moniz produced a forensic finding from a scientist that the painting was genuine, not a fake as the Globe and its lawyer-sourced article claimed.
NOTE: The salient parallel here is astonishingly and eerily similar to the 2014 National Post article, in that the false info in the Globe article of February 2007, and the false fakes caption on the genuine Norval Morrisseau painting the Globe used to illustrate the story, were also referenced to another lawyer, Aaron Milrad, acting on behalf of one of the self-interested businessmen surrounding Norval Morrisseau’s wheelchair, Gabe Vadas, one of the originators of the Morrisseau Hoax.
Vadas had been using the Dementia-debilitated artist’s Power of Attorney since 1990 – seventeen years – and called himself the sole inheritor of the artist’s estate, and Milrad openly fed the totally false, fabricated, and unsubstantiated allegations about three specific supposed Morrisseau fakes belonging to Moniz, to a gullible, and negligent journalist, Val Ross, who mindlessly went ahead and published false allegations without doing basic follow up research or due diligence. With expensive consequences to her and her paper.
When forensic analysis authenticated the defamed paintings as genuine Morrisseaus – not fakes as alleged by the lawyer Milrad, and the Globe journalist Val Ross – CTVglobemedia’s lawyer advised his clients to cave in, quickly go to the bank and get $25,000 to pay Moniz off, with an out-of-court settlement for their witless journalist being railroaded into this fiasco by taking bad advice for a storyline, failing to do due diligence, and libeling Moniz and defaming his paintings.
Vadas and Milrad, their job done, with the publishing and widespread dissemination of the defamation alleging Morrisseau forgeries, ran, Scott-free for the exit as fast as they could…
NOTE: Forensic authentication of the signature, by handwriting expert Brian Lindblom, who had spent decades, working for the RCMP, caused the Globe and Mail, to ask for an out-of-court settlement, rather than face the wrath of a judge, and pay the huge financial penalty for their defamation of a genuine work by the artist.
NOTE: But Ritchie Sinclair, in 2014, still publishes the paintings as forgeries on his malicious, false, libelous, and defamatory website.
This false, malicious, and defamatory website was specifically and deliberately recommended by the National Post editors as a consumer’s alert site of record for people to use as a truthful reference when considering buying Morrisseau paintings, to ascertain whether they are genuine or not.
In spite of the fact that the National Post’s journalist and editors very well knew, or ought to have known, that Ritchie Sinclair who operates the defamatory website, had no credentials – either academic or in art – nor the requisite experience to back up the claims he makes.
And numerous judges have said exactly that.
C – the landmark lawsuit (in Ontario Small Claims Court before Dep. Judge Paul J Martial) which Artworld won in 2013 against Hatfield (Artworld v Hatfield), in the longest fine art court case in Canadian history, where Judge Martial heard the same totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations of forgery, and of a forgery ring, presented and alleged by the same people (including the same lawyer), who were the source of this National Post story.
Sinclair and Sommer had been, again, slanging the same art gallery owner and Morrisseau expert (Joe McLeod) as supposedly authenticating and selling alleged fakes. After which, Judge Martial just hugely, totally, and without a qualification or caveat of any kind, utterly dismissed all their allegations of forgeries as completely unsubstantiated and untrue.
Judge Martial found, in fact, that he “preferred” the testimony and credibility of Joe McLeod as a witness, the very man targeted by Sinclair and Sommer as a source for so-called forgeries, rather than the testimony of Sommer’s only two witnesses (Sinclair and Robinson), whom Judge Martial scorchingly dismissed as having no recognized credentials or expertise in the areas they were claiming to be experts in, and of giving totally unsupported and self-serving testimony.
In fact Judge Martial, also, went deliberately out of his way to say that the very painting maligned in Jonathan Sommer’s Plaintiff’s Claim and by Sommer’s only two witnesses, was authentic in the absolute. He further dismissed totally the testimony, the allegations, the credibility, the expert report, the expertise, and the testimony of the only two witnesses (Ritchie Sinclair and Donald Robinson) that lawyer Jonathan Sommer produced for the court as supposed proof for their totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations of forgery.
NOTE: Jonathan Sommer’s client was penalized with having to pay, the winning Defendant, Artworld, costs of $1,500. (Small Claims Court rules allow only a small part of the actual legal costs to be assigned to the losing litigant.)
NOTE: Forensic authentication of the signature, by handwriting expert Dr. Atul K. Singla, played a key role in convincing Judge Martial that “Wheel of Life 1979,” was not a fake as claimed by Hatfield, Sinclair, and Sommer, but a genuine work by the artist, and contributed hugely towards handing Sommer a landmark defeat in his court case alleging a fake.
NOTE: But Ritchie Sinclair, in 2014, still publishes the painting as a forgery on his malicious, false, libelous, and defamatory website.
Yes the very same malicious website recklessly recommended by the National Post journalist, who recklessly ignored and refused to mention the two carefully researched, well documented countering blogs that reveal that Sinclair is at the heart of the biggest fine art Hoax in Canadian history.
D – the landmark rejection (in Ontario Superior Court by the Hon. Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson) of the Appeal, won in Dec. 2013, by Artworld against Margaret Hatfield (in Artworld v Hatfield), where her lawyer Jonathan Sommer alleged some 35 judicial mistakes, and demanded a new trial.
Sommer’s claims and demands were totally, and brusquely dismissed, absolutely, in Ontario Superior Court by Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson who agreed completely with Judge Martial’s findings in the lower court, strongly supported his conclusions, rejected holus bolus, the credibility and testimony of the only witnesses (Sinclair and Robinson) who claimed the painting was a forgery, and affirmed therefore that the painting was authentic.
Madam Justice Sanderson brusquely, utterly and totally, dismissed Jonathan Sommer’s Appeal, handing him another landmark court defeat by saying there was no substantiation or proof for any of his Plaintiff’s or witnesses’ claims of fakes.
NOTE: Jonathan Sommer’s client was once again penalized with having to pay the amount (in this case $7,500) agreed on by both sides to be awarded to the winning side in Ontario Superior Court.
This brought the total legal costs of Sommer’s client, Margaret Hatfield, based on billing documents Sommer provided to the court, to an estimated $57,000. Leaving her case for forgery, as presented by her lawyer Jonathan Sommer, utterly discredited in two courts, her paltry pension devastated, and leaving her with a painting which she now no doubt hates.
NOTE: In spite of the landmark trouncing of the Sommer Appeal of the Martial judgment, by Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, Ritchie Sinclair, in 2014, still publishes the painting as a forgery on his malicious, false, libelous, and defamatory website.
This is the website – and the only one – that the National Post recklessly recommends to its readers as a credible source for information on Morrisseau fakes.
E – the landmark rejection of Ritchie Sinclair’s claim and testimony in the Queen against Joseph Otavnik for assault and Criminal Harassment.
I also draw attention to another parallel and devastating court case – over a two year period, in which Sinclair had gone to the police and sworn out multiple false allegations in order to charge and accuse Joe Otavnik of Criminal Harassment and Assault. (Otavnik is the Morrisseau collector who won his landmark libel case against Vadas and Morrisseau in 2008.)
The Hon. Justice Alphonse T Lacavera would go on to totally dismiss all charges citing his lack of trust in the credibility and believability of Ritchie Sinclair, and the testimony of his then lawyer Zak Muscovitch.
Justice Lacavera wrote a 40 page judgment in which he clearly indicated that:
1 – he found Ritchie Sinclair’s court testimony unbelievable,
2 – he found Ritchie Sinclair’s huge and detailed deposition to the Toronto Police completely unbelievable,
Justice Lacavera roundly found Joe Otavnik “not guilty” of all charges.
3 – Justice Lacavera also found, as a result of testimony from two strong witnesses, that the allegations about Morrisseau fakes, alleged by Sinclair, were also not believable.
Summary of the Five Previous Court Cases – The results of these five court cases was publicly available information posted on my blog site, long before the National Post published its totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations. My carefully documented blog makes it clear without a single caveat or qualification that every painting ever alleged to be a fake, in a lawsuit, by Sinclair and Robinson, was recognized by a judge or lawsuit settlement, and/or forensically verified, as a totally genuine work by Norval Morrisseau.
NOTE: In spite of the fact that three different top forensic scientists and handwriting experts have found that some 70 (seventy) different paintings, that were falsely slanged as fakes by Sinclair, Robinson, and Sommer, are, in fact, authentic and genuine Morrisseaus, with DNA certainty, Sinclair still maliciously publishes them as forgeries on his false, libelous, and defamatory website.
Yet in spite of this the National Post maliciously and irresponsibly chose to use the utterly discredited Sinclair as its sole recommended source of reference for its proof of authenticity of the so-called allegations behind its article.
12 – Priming the Fakes Pump with a Chagall Forgery – Immediately after the huge dominating picture of Morrisseau the editor immediately moves the reader to a story of an actual fake, a forgery of a Chagall that was uncovered and ordered destroyed.
The editor put a true story of a Chagall fake in the lead column under the Morrisseau photo, and noted in the headline that this infamous fake was ordered destroyed. So the reader’s eye follows Morrisseau down to the story of crooks in Europe forging Chagall paintings.
So readers were assured that fakes are a dastardly reality and given to wonder about the “Canadian connection.” Which the editor was pleased to present in the adjoining column. Morrisseau fakes coming up; thank you.
13 – Photo of Fake Chagall Painting – The editor published a picture of a painting that was a real forgery and ordered destroyed to give the Chagall story more power. The editor made the picture of a Chagall fake the second largest on the page.
And deliberately set up a parallel presentation with the Morrisseau spread. First let’s see how crooked and greedy forgers are painting fakes to make a bundle. Then let’s look at what’s going on, in this department, in Canada, and with Morrisseau… And who gives a damn if there’s no evidence whatsoever? Hell, it makes for a good storyline… Right?
14 – Loud & Domineering Title “Lucrative ring of art forgers” – The editor devoted the largest typeset on his page to bannering his idea that lots of money is being made by art forgers. And he put that incendiary, malicious, false, and defamatory banner as the feature title on the page, right under Norval’s wheelchair picture.
This time dealing with Canadian not European fakes.
In fact that header should have been over the Chagall article, where it is a well-known reality that international art forgers make fakes of Chagalls because they are valued in the hundred millions of dollars.
No forger would be stupid enough to fake a Morrisseau when the artist, for decades, gave away his paintings for food, a cab ride, a bottle of booze, for $30 or $40 or a sexual service. Especially since Norval Morrisseau works were in fact, still selling for only a few hundred dollars as late as 2002.
The National Post editor’s wrong-headed but clearly intended message: “there’s good money to be made in forging Morrisseau art, especially if you can find an artist who’s too helpless to know what’s going on because he’s a disabled elder in a wheelchair.”
There is no proof for any of that. Not that there is a ring or that what the non-existent elves are supposedly doing, is lucrative… Furthermore the claim belies even basic common sense of what motivates every forger who ever existed.
There is no proof either that the non-existent art forgers are wearing suits as the editor claims. In fact the more likely scenario for someone faking Morrisseaus is that they are naked… It’s a fact that they couldn’t make enough money doing that to clothe themselves.
Did the editor, by mistake, put the wrong headline on the Morrisseau article, or was he just plain ignorant? You figure it out…
Before the reader even reads the first line in the story, the editor has put the reader right where he wants him, propagandized in 22 major editorial ways, to be primed to accept Morrisseau forgeries as a reality. Even though there has never been one proven.
15 – Major (Canadian) Celebrity “suing Toronto Gallery – In an inset headline the editor wants the reader to think, “Hey this is serious stuff when a major Canadian celebrity goes to sue somebody!” Which clearly was the intention of the editor.
The editor is trading on the public perception that celebrities – their “betters” who supposedly know something the rest of us don’t – are on to something on a plane of understanding and experience that those of us with less money don’t really understand… So, what have they learned that the rest of us should know and beware of?
Well the National Post editor is going to fill you in, big time, on what you, also, should beware of, if you’re even thinking of buying a Morrisseau painting…
16 – Playing the Celebrity Card as “bringing out the whole truth” – Very cagily the editor has flagged another inset header, slyly intimating that the celebrity is “committed to bringing out the whole truth.” The truth about what, is left dangling, deliberately.
But the reader is no fool; he knows already what the editor and the National Post are talking about, right Dear Reader?
First the attempt is to use the “celebrity card” to back up the story, trying to bamboozle the countless millions of the hoi polloi who believe if a celebrity is suing, there has got to be something to it. Celebrities are so much smarter than the rest of us… right?
“Of course! It’s all about those Morrisseau forgeries, ripped off from an elderly wheelchair invalid, by cold-hearted crooks running a lucrative forgery business. You know, like in France with that Chagall guy. They should just burn all those Morrisseaus too. And they can start with that grotty little thing Hearn was bamboozled into buying…”
REALITY CHECK: In fact the editor produces no evidence that he even interviewed either Hearn or McDermott, as authors of the phrase of “bringing out the truth,” or anything else in the story.
17 – Photo of “piece thought to be by Morrisseau” – Where in God’s name is there a picture of a fake Morrisseau on a feature page devoted to “Art fraud,” and more specifically Morrisseau art forgeries.
Both the huge Morrisseau behind Norval’s wheelchair, and the small image below it, are genuine Morrisseaus, one vetted by Norval, the other by Joe McLeod, Canada’s senior and most reputable Morrisseau art authenticator, who has had connections, he has maintained to this day, with Norval’s family and art, since 1960.
It is utterly false for the National Post to claim that “the authenticity of the painting is in dispute” anymore than “the world is flat” just because one idiot claims it is, and the National Post prints it.
Journalism by the Lunatic Fringe – Anymore than just because a third Holocaust denier has chimed in – in this case the National Post – would that make their anti-Holocaust claims any more credible, or undermine the authenticity of that historic event. Would the National Post champion that parallel asinine lunatic fringe minority claim and consider it worth airing as a feature page in a National Canadian mainstream media outlet?
It alone is proof that the National Post was malicious and didn’t give a damn about the damage it was doing to genuine Morrisseau paintings everywhere with its ludicrous, false, and totally unsubstantiated allegations.
Why could the National Post not get Sinclair or Sommer to provide them with a single image of a proven Morrisseau forgery to illustrate its article? When both claim there are literally thousands of them out there…
Because every time they bring one of their so-called fakes to court a judge soon sets them straight and tells them their proof is twaddle, and that they are in fact defaming a genuine Morrisseau.
Tellingly, the National Post couldn’t even find one to illustrate its article. And neither could its two sources provide them with one. So it had to malign a genuine painting to fill in.
They found an illustration of a fake for the Chagall article; they could not, by hook or by crook, find a fake by Morrisseau. And they should have scotched the article of Morrisseau art fakes right there and then. Instead they maliciously carried on anyway. They were not going to let a lack of facts, a lack of fakes, hamper a good story they wanted to tell.
Clearly it is the intention of the editor, in publishing a photo of a fake Chagall, that some of the smut from the Chagall fake will rub off on the nearby genuine Hearn Morrisseau.
By the time a National Post reader had scanned the page, and ends up seeing the grotty little image of the alleged fake involved in the case the reader already is primed to believe that:
– it sure looks like a fake… by God, it is a fake!
– it should be burned like the Chagall forgery
– and maybe the gallery of the guy who dared to sell it
Even though the dealer involved – Joe McLeod, now at age 84 – has for decades been Canada’s senior and most respected Morrisseau expert since he started dealing and selling with the artist and his paintings in 1960, and has, in all that time, never ever, even once, been caught with a fake, or even accused of having a fake, by anyone. Let alone proven to have a fake.
And to the contrary, has repeatedly served as a respected consultant regarding Morrisseau and Aboriginal artists, to public galleries, museums, and universities all over the country.
In fact one of the Morrisseau paintings he evaluated – “Wheel of Life 1979” – just came out of two Canadian court rooms (Martial, Sanderson), with resounding approvals from two judges as it being a totally authentic Morrisseau painting without a qualification, or caveat of any kind.
But the National Post editor deliberately chooses to skip all that and does not even deign to caption it as a “painting,” preferring to just rudely dismiss Norval’s original work as a “piece,” you know, like in piecework done in a shop of diabolical forgers that it appears that a couple of celebrity musicians, Hearn and McDermott, have apparently discovered hard at work making fakes.
18 – Incendiary Title – A reckless title, claiming that “The authenticity of this piece, thought to be by Norval Morrisseau, is in dispute.”
“… thought to be by Norval Morrisseau” is NOT a classification type recognized, used or endorsed by anyone in the Canadian or international fine art community.
It is a caption totally fabricated by the National Post editor to advance his malicious, false, and defamatory allegation that there are Morrisseau fakes out there that have been found, and proven. Nor has any evidence, let alone proof of that, by the National Post journalist or anyone else. In fact, not a single Morrisseau fake has been proven, not by any court, nor by any forensic expert.
Where are the pictures of proven Morrisseau fakes, to illustrate a page and a story the National Post devoted to and exposure of Morrisseau fakes? Both pictures the National Post used, are genuine Morrisseaus, and proven to be such by experts.
NOTE: Presumably, the National Post editors knew that the last time a newspaper – the Globe & Mail – labeled a picture of a Norval Morrisseau painting as an example of a Morrisseau fake, the owner successfully sued the paper and won $25,000 as a settlement for libel and defamation.
It is clearly the intent of the editor to downgrade the painting as not being authentic and pass on the information that it was only hearsay about the painting being genuine in the first place, like in a passing thought…
In fact the subject painting was verified as an authentic Morrisseau by Canada’s most senior and most credible Morrisseau authenticator who has been doing it since 1960. The editor did not report that vital information, choosing to slang the painting as a passing thought and its claim of authenticity a figment of someone’s imagination.
19 – Reference to Jacquie Miller of Compost Media – The editor credited files for this story to Jacquie Miller, the Assistant Arts editor of the Ottawa Citizen, another Postmedia “family” newspaper.
So the National Post editor cannot use ignorance as a fallback position for his malicious posting. He consulted the Miller story and may have even talked to her about it, asking her what she knew – you know as part of his due diligence before rushing off to publish something so sensational…
Because Jacquie Miller very well knew that the whole story alleging Morrisseau fakes – she’s the Assistant Arts Editor at the Ottawa Citizen – is a Hoax and a lowlife business scam by a couple of two or three people.
I told her so, and corresponded with her by email.
If Miller was a credible journalist – are there such beings working for Compost Media? – she should have told Hopper and the National Post editor to KILL THIS PIECE – THERE IS NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OR PROOF FOR ANY OF IT, FROM ANYONE CREDIBLE, AND THAT ALL THE EVIDENCE FROM A VARIETY OF CREDIBLE SOURCES (COURTS, JUDGES, FORENSIC SCIENTISTS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS WHO HAVE STUDIED AND GATHERED DOCUMENTARY PROOF OF THIS FOR YEARS) IS THAT IT IS A BUSINESS SCAM.
THAT IF THERE IS A STORY HERE, IT IS THE STORY OF A HOAX, ABOUT A FORGERY SCAM THAT NEVER EXISTED…
The truth is that Jacquie Miller, as the Assistant Arts editor of the Ottawa Citizen, very well knew, is that every court had dismissed the charges alleged in the National Post article; she knew every forensic expert had fully authenticated every so-called fake; she knew my blog and all the documents and court testimony it contained proved without a shadow of a doubt that the totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations of fakes was only a business scam carried out by a handful of cronies to enrich themselves and their art gallery at the expense of their business competitors.
Jacquie Miller, whose April 8, 2013 Ottawa Citizen article was nothing if not a crass job ad for lawyer Jonathan Sommer, who spoke out loudly, and was quoted in the headline, in a story in which he dissed the judge (Judge Martial who had handed him a disastrous defeat by dismissing not only his case but the believability of the only two witnesses he produced) dissed the judgment, dissed the legal process and assured Canadians that the fakes were a reality regardless of what Judge Martial said.
It was nothing if not a crass extra-judicial attempt by a lawyer to use the media to try and overturn a judicial decision made by a conscientious judge in the longest fine art trial in Canadian history.
Sommer brashly – which, in my view, publicly demonstrated professional misconduct – told all Canadians, through a mainstream media outlet, that they can just ignore Judge Martial’s ruling, that in spite of what he said in his judgment, countless Morrisseau fakes were a stark reality, and implied that he was open for business to take on new lawsuits alleging more Morrisseau fakes.
NOTE: The lawyer always gets very well-paid, whether he wins or loses. But then you already knew that.
What Sommer deliberately chose not say in that article, however, was that even though the collaborators claimed there were some 4,000 fakes out there, that not a single fake had ever been found by any judges, any lawyers, any police forces, any forensic scientists, etc. in the 13 years that the bogus allegations have been self-servingly slanged about by Kinsman Robinson Galleries personnel and presented by Sommer’s only witnesses in court.
The whole thing is being perpetuated without any substantiation whatsoever, as purely a money-making “scam,” as lawyer Brian Shiller told Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, in Ontario Superior Court, on December 6, 2013.
Sanderson agreed, and gave Jonathan Sommer his second disastrous rebuff in his case alleging fakes. She dismissed his Appeal, refused to give him a new trial, dismissed Sommer’s allegations of 35 Martial judicial errors, and brusquely affirmed Judge Martial’s judgment in resoundingly rejecting Sommer’s case, the credibility of his only two witnesses (Ritchie Sinclair and Donald Robinson) and their totally unsubstantiated allegations of forgeries.
Madam Justice Sanderson therefore soundly supported that the painting, called a fake by Sinclair and Sommer, was absolutely authentic. In fact she loudly reiterated what three previous judges (Lederer, Godfrey, Martial) had ruled, that there was no credible evidence of any kind produced by Sommer or Sinclair that proved that the totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations of Morrisseau fakes had even a smidgen of evidence or proof to any of them.
Sanderson found Sinclair specifically “unreliable” as a witness, echoing Brian Shiller’s claim that Sinclair was a perjurer, for which he said Judge Martial had ample proof.
NOTE: In fact this was an eerie, but entirely predictable, echo of the findings, a few months earlier, of the Hon Justice Alphonse T Lacavera who totally dismissed a court case Sinclair had started by alleging to the Toronto police that Joe Otavnik had assaulted and criminally harassed him. In short, Justice Lacavera apparently found it impossible to believe a word Sinclair said in court or had reported to Toronto police in a sworn document.
Lacavara also found that according to the testimony of witnesses in his court there was no evidence of any Morrisseau fakes or forgeries as alleged by Sinclair. (See item # 11E above)
All this information has been published on Dec. 17, 2013 and has been on my blog since then where Jacquie Miller had read it all.
The National Post editor, who listed Jacquie Miller as a source, therefore knew, or ought to have known, the “facts,” but deliberately, just opted for “sensationalism” choosing maliciously to publish and just blithely ignore the facts that were out there for all to see.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since I posted, in the summer of 2013, that the Miller article alleging Morrisseau fakes in the Ottawa Citizen, was, from the headline on down, nothing but a crass job ad and what I consider a display of professional misconduct for lawyer Jonathan Sommer, someone has totally purged this article from the archives and from the internet where it was previously displayed and reference by other web sites. It has been totally obliterated from them all.
You will not find a trace of it left on Compost Media, or anywhere else.
Now who and why would someone, go so out of their way, to do this huge journalistic erasure and cover-up of an extra-judicial attempt to reverse the public’s perception and understanding of a learned judge’s considered judgment and ruling, in deliberately going out of his way to rule that an alleged fake, was, in fact, a totally authentic Morrisseau, front and back, no ifs, ands, or buts?
And just what did Miller tell the National Post editor and writer Hopper about the whole thing when they came calling, you know, with their fake story on the fakes, preparatory to researching their own sensational and unsubstantiated article on exactly the same topic using the same discredited (by multiple courts and forensic scientists) and totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations, presented by Ritchie Sinclair and Jonathan Sommer?
Luckily for posterity and for legal cases I have a screen grab, which I have published, illustrating the entire shameful publication, deliberately expunged by Miller and Postmedia.
20 – “alleged in suits” – The National Post editor very well knew, or ought to have known that everything he was posting was false and designed towards an end to distort the truth to a foregone conclusion that Canadians should beware of Morrisseau forgeries.
So he lamely pulled out his totally discredited and totally inapplicable “allegation” defence on a couple of his sensational and false titles.
The editor brazenly, recklessly, deliberately, and craftily tried to mask his malicious editorial fabrications by adding the “allegation” defence as an excuse to his outrageous false, incendiary, and unsubstantiated opening phrase “Lucrative ring of art forgers….”
Just adding “alleged” as an afterthought – when people have already stopped reading the end of the heading – instead of titling it properly, as an “Alleged ring” of “alleged art forgers” involved in an “allegedly lucrative” enterprise, since each one of these words is a supposition totally invented by the editor and for which there is no evidence or documentary support at all, of any kind.
The editor has falsely posited that a “ring” is involved, working as “art forgers,” and that what it is doing is “lucrative.”
When in fact not a single one of these totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations is even marginally true, or proven, or has any documentation of any kind to support the claims.
Tagging false, defamatory, libelous, unresearched, and unsubstantiated statements by just appending “the allegation tag” is a gross abuse of responsible journalism, and is not a recognized or allowed defence according to Canadian law established by judicial decisions.
It also does not qualify as a “free speech” right, any more than do the outrageous claims of Holocaust deniers, or Donald Sterling’s racist anti-Black tirades.
21 – The Editor’s Freudian Slip: False Cover with “Allegations” – The editor prominently – right beside the head title of “ART FRAUD” again, tried to mask his malicious intentions by adding the “allegation” defence as an excuse or afterthought, after opening with a boisterous, prominent, and incendiary “Art Fraud…”
Totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations, if they deliberately ignore a mountain of independently collected and published documentation, are not backed up with definitive, substantive, and documentary proof, and are attributed to an expert without proper credentials, recognized expertise, and who has a long and documented track record for lying and perjury, are libelous and defamatory.
In fact in this case the “rumours” do not, and have never existed, at all, among experts in the some 40 odd galleries selling Morrisseau art across Canada. The totally fabricated and unsubstantiated allegations are totally fraudulent and have been dismissed by police investigations and judged as such by numerous courts and forensic experts.
22 – “Stifling free speech” Defence – To cover his sorry ass the editor decided on one final creative ploy: to add a first column article about unrestrained restrictions on free speech. In short, excusing any unsubstantiated drivel you want to bandy about in a newspaper as a “free speech right.”
You know, appropriating the same defence – for his false, malicious, and defamatory page on art fraud – which Holocaust deniers regularly use as an excuse to publicize their version of “truth.”
He very well knew, or ought to have known, full well that he had crossed every reasonable journalist boundary in his layout, in favour of maliciously promoting what is demonstrably nothing but a total business scam (the existence of so-called Morrisseau fakes) as if it were a reality, when he had not even one scrap of substantiation for any of it.
He was clearly hoping that journalism means that you should be allowed to say anything as a journalist – no matter how false, how unsubstantiated – all for the good of the democracy, the People’s Right to Know, and the journalist’s right to publish any drivel no matter how sensational, unproven, and unsubstantiated, and to be utterly dismissive, and in spite of, a mountain of documentary proof to the contrary.
And so making a desperate ploy that journalists are entitled to strategically forget or just maliciously ignore the fact that Negligence and Failure to do Due Diligence apply to journalists digging for dirt merely to attract readers.
And that you cannot recklessly invent, out of thin air, without substantiation of any kind, a malicious defamation that destroys the values of people’s genuine works of art.
All of these editorial sleights of hand are deliberately aimed at skewing of the truth and the reality before the reader has even started to read the first line of the Hopper article.
The journalist tried to pretend that he was doing “balanced journalism” by going to “both sides.”
To that end he contacted Brian Shiller, the winning lawyer in both the Hatfield v Artworld case, and the subsequent Appeal of that judgment before the Hon. Madam Justice Mary Ann Sanderson, in the Ontario Superior Court, for a response, since Mr. Shiller is also the Defence lawyer for Joe McLeod, the art dealer targeted in both the Hearn and McDermott cases.
So far so good; and then it goes all to hell…
Shiller told him two vitally important things:
A – the paintings alleged to be fakes, in the musicians’ cases, are, in fact, both genuine Morrisseaus and forensically verifiable,
B – that Mr. Sommer, the lawyer for both Plaintiffs, and the source for the National Post’s story, has never produced any evidence whatsoever to substantiate his claims of a ring of forgers or any forgeries, even though Mr. Shiller had, several times, without luck, asked for the evidence from Sommer.
So the journalist was fully primed, with information from an unimpeachable source, a two-time winning lawyer on the matter, before two separate judges, in trial and Appeal that went on for three years in Canada’s longest fine art court case.
But, after being supplied with such powerful information that totally undermined the thesis of his article and the credibility of his two “sources,” did Hopper go back to either Sommer or Sinclair, in light of such damning new information, and demand corroborating evidence for what they said?
And did he reevaluate the wisdom of publishing their allegations in light of Mr. Shiller’s obviously devastating information?
No, Hopper and his editor did not hold back before publication.
They and the National Post obviously had the story line they wanted and they had no intention of changing any of it, just because it wasn’t true…
Why did Mr. Shiller’s warning information not serve as a clear wake-up call to the lax, negligent journalists employed on this story by the National Post?
It seems incredibly beyond belief that the journalist, the editorial staff, and their legal staff at the National Post, who presumably vet all articles before publication, could possibly pass for publication, something that was obviously maliciously designed to devalue genuine Norval Morrisseau art by multi-millions of dollars.
To devalue art that hangs in countless living rooms of thousands of Canadians across the country.
22 Telltale Signs of a Malicious and Purely Sensational Editorial Fabrication
The National Post fabricated a patently false story line for which there is – has never been – any evidence, let alone proof, that it ever happened. And need we add, the Post produces none, and compromisingly and tellingly, deliberately ignores the facts and evidence that do exist because they counter the sensational editorial viewpoint preferred by the Post as damningly displayed on this page.
The Post editor deliberately ignores a mountain of contrary evidence including numerous judicial findings and judgments and forensic reports proving exactly the opposite: that the fakes alleged in the Post article are non-existent, that the man the Post promotes and asks readers to consult, as an alleged Morrisseau expert, has been dismissed and discredited by judge after judge, and proven, in court after court, to be a serial liar and perjurer, and that the claims are nothing but a lowlife business scam designed to devalue genuine Morrisseau paintings.
And the Post is aiding and abetting the Hoax, thereby devaluing the Morrisseau paintings hanging in your living room.
NOTE: All this deliberately reckless, incendiary, and malicious fabrication is done to trap your mindset into “buying into” the reality of a supposed Morrisseau art fraud long before you read even a single line in the Morrisseau article…
Can you guess what the 22 diabolical fabrications are?
I will publish the key shortly.
“Who are you, other than a figment of your own imagination…?”
Peter Jacobsen, speaks about Ontario Conservative Leader’s Hudak’s statements for which Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says, she’ll take him to court for libel and defamation.
“… making false and extremely damaging statements and I think that is where the line is drawn between free expression in our society and defamation. I am a tremendous advocate of free expression, but I think that where it can do a lot of harm to the whole concept of free expression is if we’re going to allow people, with impunity, to make statements that are blatantly untrue, and they won’t back them up…
“There is nothing to substantiate these (Hudak’s – ed: substitute “Sinclair’s”) statements, that we know of.” (CBC, The Current, April 1, 2014)
Jacobsen might much more correctly have been talking about Ritchie Sinclair, and his totally wild, false, and unsubstantiated claims of fakes, that have been completely rejected by numerous judges, and top forensic scientists.
But Sinclair’s wild rantings, have, by one estimate, been destructive of Norval Morrisseau’s art valuations to the tune of some $100 million, and have cut a destructive swath through the art valuations of all First Nations artists.
Four judges (Lederer, Godfrey, Martial, and Sanderson) have all rejected Sinclair’s claims as unproven and without evidence to back him up.
Six judges have impugned, or “rejected” outright, in specifics, the integrity, the expertise, the expert reports, & the claims of Sinclair and Robinson (Mogan 1996, Lederer 2008, Godfrey 2011, Martial 2013, Lacavera 2013, & Sanderson 2013)
In 2008 The Hon Justice Thomas R Lederer, after reading Sinclair’s Defence against a multi-dealer lawsuit, wrote tellingly, in what would always be a familiar refrain, in court after court:
“The defendant in this case (Sinclair) says he will defend the action by claiming the defamatory statements are true. No demonstration of the basis for this defence has been produced to this point.”
And more even more damningly:
“The (Sinclair) website suggests that a large number of the pictures to which it refers are ‘stolen, forgeries, counterfeit or otherwise inauthentic.’
“ It is difficult to believe that the defendant has had an opportunity to examine all the images referred to on the website against the list of factors to which he refers. Moreover, the website does not demonstrate or discuss any specific evidence demonstrating the failure of any image to satisfy all of these factors. There is nothing but the bald statement that they are frauds or counterfeits.” (The Hon Justice Thomas R Lederer, Dec. 4, 2008) (ed: my underlining)
Indeed, nothing would ever change, over the next six years. to alter the telling accusation and validity of Justice Lederer’s damning final sentence.
Three judges (Godfrey, Martial, Sanderson) in cases dealing with allegations of specific fakes, have ruled totally and entirely against the claims of Sinclair and Robinson, and totally in favour of ruling the paintings they slanged, as being, to the contrary, authentic, in the absolute.
Hundreds of pages of court transcripts document numerous lies, and acts of perjury by Sinclair, a habit for which he was deliberately cited before the Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson in Ontario Superior Court, on Dec. 6, 2013. In her judgment, she concurred when it was brought to her attention by, Brian Shiller, the winning lawyer in both the Martial trial and the subsequent Sanderson Appeal.
“I may suggest to you that the trial judge (ed: Deputy Judge Paul J Martial) could have easily condemned Mr. Sinclair as a liar, and chose not to… And I put it to you, as to your shaking your head that you’ve read this part of the evidence. It was crystal clear in my submission that Mr. Sinclair was caught in a lie.” (Trial & Appeal Winning Defence Lawyer Brian Shiller, during the Appeal before The Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, Ontario Superior Court, from personal notes: taken Dec. 6, 2013)
“The trial judge was entitled to reject the evidence of Sinclair and to conclude it was unsupported and unreliable. Sinclair could produce no documentary evidence to support his assertion that a well organized forgery ring painted the works auctioned by Khan Auctions.” (item 18, Ontario Superior Court 2013 ONSC 7801 Divisional Court File no. 209/13, the Judgment by the Hon Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, Dec 17, 2013)
Exposed: the Secret Life of an Indian Imposter
“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” WC Fields