At a $190,000 asking price, a lavish 996 painting called “Sea and Mirror” by contemporary artist Ross Bleckner was sold to none other than controversial Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin. The “30 Rock” star had his eyes on this particular painting since 2006, due to its unique and captivating beauty. However, the art piece at Manhattan gallery owner Mary Boone’s shop may have been a counterfeit, and now Baldwin is coming after Boone with a lawsuit.
Originally, the painting was not for sale at the Boone Gallery. Despite this, four years after the 2006 show Boone wrote to Baldwin about the painting’s information and said she could obtain it fro the original owner for him in exchange for a $15,000 fee. Baldwin obliged. When Baldwin received the painting though, the Emmy Award winning actor wrote to Boone that the painting “appeared brighter and smelled different than he would have expected.” Boone’s claim is that she had the painting professionally cleaned, since the last owner was a heavy cigarette smoker.
Years went by with Baldwin proudly showcasing the painting to guests, celebrities and art experts. Last May, some experts took particular notice with the painting, questioning its authenticity. They also told Baldwin that it’s unusual “for a gallerist to clean a painting before delivering it to a purchaser” since such a cleaning may damage or alter the painting.
Soon after many more examinations and angry emails from Baldwin, Boone revealed she scammed the actor. She had sold him a copy of the painting, not the original piece. Baldwin is now suing for damages equal to three times the value of the painting, plus additional costs. Maybe next time liberal actor will double check before spending such money freely.
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