Another suit against the Warhol Authentication Board–using remarkably similar language to previous suits–by an owner of one of the disputed red self-portraits was filed recently
Susan Shaer claims that the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board routinely defaces authentic Warhol artworks with a “DENIED” stamp, thereby creating “artificial scarcity” and inflating the value of the art owned by the foundation. […] Shaer claims a conflict of interest exists because the foundation employs authentication board members and owns $500 million worth of Warhol artwork. By falsely declaring certain works as inauthentic, the board can “systematically exclude Warhol from the marketplace,” Shaer says in her 43-page complaint. Shaer says that without the board’s intervention, independent sales would compete with the foundation’s holdings in auctions and private sales. Shaer says board members feel “free to abuse the authentication process in pursuit of their naked self interest.”
What makes the claim interesting is the fact that we know Warhol’s market is not based upon scarcity but abundance. Whatever the merits of the Warhol board’s vendetta against this series of works, it cannot be based upon a desire to increase the value of the foundation’s holdings because the art market has provided ample evidence that a greater number of works transacting in the marketplace has been a boon to the value of all Warhol works.
Warhol Foundation Accused of Defacing Art to Create Scarcity (Courthouse News Service)