Never fails to amaze that there are super-rich people out there willing to shell out millions of dollars for "newly discovered" works by famous artists, even when the providence is so shaky. In this case, they were told the paintings came from an anonymous private collector referred to as "Secret Santa" or "Mr. X."
Of course, now the artwork of Pei-Shen Qian, who's alleged to be the actual painter, should go up dramatically in value.
Struggling Immigrant Artist Tied to $80 Million New York Fraud
Over a period of 15 years, court papers claim, the painter, working out of his home studio and garage, churned out at least 63 drawings and paintings that carried the signatures of artistic giants like Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell and Richard Diebenkorn, and that Mr. Bergantiños Diaz and Ms. Rosales boasted were authentic. They were not copies of paintings, but were sold as newly “discovered” works by those artists.
Ms. Rosales told the dealers that the vast majority of the paintings came from a collector who had inherited the works from his father and adamantly refused to be identified. Over time, this anonymous owner came to be referred to as “Secret Santa” and “Mr. X.”