Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bernard Ewell - Dali Authentication

We promised when we had signed documents on the appraisals or authentications from the professionals hired by Park West Galleries, we would print them. We have also attached Fine Art Registry's comments for you to examine and judge for yourself. While ArtTrak certainly does not profess to be a Dali expert or fine that matter an expert in prints, we are interested in methodology. It is somewhat puzzling to me as an appraiser and authenticator how this one document could be the only substantiating  reference for authenticating such a valuable work. We note this is page 2 of 6. We ask our readers to send us the rest of the package if we have unfairly represented  Ewell's efforts. JB

"Analysis of Flawed Provenance and Ewell's Cookie Cutter Authentication Reports and Opinions

Ewell claims in scores of his cookie cutter authentication reports he prepared for Park West Gallery that he "discerns from the information, [Dali] prints and research all clues as to authorship, authenticity, originality, and condition." We find this statement amazing, considering Fine Art Registry has evidence that in all cases we have reviewed (and we have reviewed a great number of Ewell's opinions - in fact, if you've read one, you’ve read them all), Ewell did NONE of these things.
A Sherlock Holmes he is not when it comes to "discerning" much of anything regarding the Dalí prints at issue - except to simply sign off on them for Park West Gallery and collect a check. Not only did he not discern clues as he certainly should have relating to the Dali prints other experts have inspected - he altogether ignored gigantic red flags that should have been enough to stop any competent expert. Assuming Ewell independently investigated any of the "information", "prints", "research" or "clues" as they relate to "authorship", "authenticity", "originality", or "condition", he certainly missed or outright ignored (or was told to ignore) obvious clues such as the poor condition of many of the prints Ewell claims are in excellent condition, serious gaps in, or non-existent provenance in the "line of descent" of the prints, strange documents and proven data forgeries used to support the authenticity of the prints, and sketchy documentation that is quite obviously not related to any specific prints in any way, as well as documents that have clearly been manufactured on demand. One only has to look at the set of Divine Comedy prints that were sold to Sharon Day and Julian Howard for nearly $500,000, in addition to others we have reviewed to see the pattern of deception as it relates to the Park West Gallery Dalí provenance documents.
Fine Art Registry will go into a great deal more detail regarding the Park West Gallery wildly distorted and counterfactual provenance in a separate article (see below), but it is interesting to note that throughout the entirety of our over two and half years of investigation into Park West Gallery Dali prints, Park West has never readily made these provenance documents available to prospective buyers for inspection IN ADVANCE of purchase. Why? Because if everyone with even a modicum of sophistication regarding art collecting got hold of the Park West Gallery so-called provenance in advance, it wouldn't take them long to discover exactly what Fine Art Registry has found.
There are many, many other "clues" that Ewell missed as to the inauthenticity of the Dalí graphics we have reviewed that will be addressed in another in-depth investigative article we will publish soon. The article will focus on the Park West Gallery provenance in particular and how it is non-existent and unavailable, unless and until one of its customers demands a refund. Once a refund is demanded by a victim (and especially if it is for a substantial sum) suddenly, the victim is papered to death with all manner of documents in French, Italian, Spanish and, if Park West could get away with it, in Swahili too. In nearly every case, none of it is translated into English and none of it is in any way specific to the victim's print or prints at issue. Doctoring and manufacturing provenance is an age old deception in art fraud and art crime. In our next article, we will go into great detail regarding the tricks of the trade. How criminals use provenance to fool the unsuspecting collector, buyer and art professional."

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