THERE ARE NO FAKES: Morrisseau Art Fraud Updates
by Ritchie Sinclair, Feb 25, 2020
* VICTORY * First the really, really good news! Kevin Hearn appealed the Hearn v McLeod judgment and won a landmark victory! This precedent setting Appeal’s Court Decision places due responsibility for providing accurate provenance on the shoulders of art dealers. What an unexpected boon this is for Canadian artists and collectors! Justice E. Morgan was reprimanded by the appelant court for his erroneous judgment, attitude and actions. Judicial Complaints must be filed before June 2020.
* CATALOG * A federally-funded initiative to research and compile a catalog of authentic Norval Morrisseau artworks called “The Morrisseau Project” is now underway! The project team of a dozen or so researchers is led by Carleton University’s Carmen Robertson who provided an Expert Report and expert testimony in the Hearn trial. Word is, it will be several years before the project reaches fruition.
* Must See! * “THERE ARE NO FAKES” – The shocking documentary about the Norval Morrisseau Art Fraud which initiated an ongoing police investigation is now free to watch on Youtube or stream from the TV Ontario website in Canada. The film will be released in the USA on March 10th. Pre-order on iTunes: https://apple.co/3bMT17Q or buy a Blu-Ray /DVD via Amazon: https://amzn.to/32jw47T or Target: https://bit.ly/39ZWuhC
* BOB FOX * Robert ‘Bob’ Fox was a trusted friend to Norval Morrisseau during the 1970s. In the film, he details Norval’s time spent painting in a Kenora jail and dispels the clearly false story perpetuated on the uninformed about David Voss’ father working at the jail. In actual fact, Dieter John Voss (and variations of that name) were NEVER employed there as confirmed by government officials.
Unfortunately, Mr. Fox passed away just a few months before the film’s release but we can be most grateful that he shared his experience with Morrisseau on film and in testimony before moving on. He called a fake; a “fake”, and battled with honour to protect Morrisseau’s artistic legacy. May he Rest in Peace.
* POLICE RAID * There Are No Fakes is a film already rife with evidence of criminal behaviour yet this ever convoluting horror show continues to unfold. Largely sparked to life by the documentary’s revelations, law enforcement have launched an active investigation into the Norval Morrisseau art fraud. Finally! The investigation was confirmed publicly in a January 31, 2020 National Post article which states:
“police in Thunder Bay say they have now launched a criminal investigation into a possible art fraud ring involving Morrisseau paintings. Spokesman Scott Paradis said Friday investigators are “not prepared to speak about potential suspects or persons of interest.”
The seriousness of the investigation was made plainly evident after a September 2019 police raid of a Thunder Bay residence reportedly connected to “G.L” (Gary Lamont) which appears to have been fruitful after initial reports indicated that numerous items were seized including electronics, computers and other items of interest to police.
People looked for confirmation of Joe McLeod’s death as reported by his lawyer just before trial. They found no evidence of a funeral. In fact, no obituary or social media comments whatsoever. Complicating matters, McLeod wrote a 2006 novel, “Leerio my Deario is Dead”, wherein a Joe McLeod-like character fakes his own death to cover up his participation in art fraud. Additionally, a 2012 Criminal court proceeding also found that McLeod had provided inaccurate information both to the Court and Toronto Police Services in order to perpetrate a false complaint against Ritchie Sinclair. Mr. Strathman, Sinclair’s defense lawyer, made sure the plain truth was stated for the court record:
STRATHMAN: If I can just indicate for the record, it’s the defence position that Mr. McLeod committed a fraud on the police, and on the courts, and unfortunately it has finally been dealt with at this time.
THE COURT: Okay.
STRATHMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
Lastly, both the Appeal Court’s 2019 Judgment and a previously undisclosed 2015 Judgment found Joe McLeod guilty of fraud. It was recently confirmed that Joe McLeod did in fact pass away on May 22, 2017, and yet given the aforementioned, it was enough to make one wonder.
* GOLDIS * Former attack bloggers John and Joan Goldi and their company, Goldi Productions Ltd., were found liable for defamation in one of several lawsuits filed by Kevin Hearn lawyer Jonathan Sommer. Their loss includes potential exposure to a significant financial damages claim of over $1 Million and a permanent Injunction. Ever defiant, the Goldis now face a contempt of court motion for allegedly not complying with the Superior court Injunction issued against them. Nevertheless, as a result of the injunction, all malicious webpages published on their themorrisseauhoaxexposedblog.com website have been removed.
Using their blog platforms the Goldis and Ugo Matulic published defamatory material designed to discredit and demean Morrisseau legacy protectors. Matulic’s norvalmorrisseau.blogspot.com has also been removed by Google Canada as a consequence of the Goldi injunction so hundreds of fake Morrisseau images formerly available on Google image search no longer appear. This is a significant and positive shift in the right direction. Ugo Matulic’s collection has a number of fakes which were identified as forgeries in an Affidavit sworn by the painter himself – artist Tim Tait, who made them for Gary Lamont before distribution to Matulic.
* BUYERS BEWARE * Most Morrisseau prints people currently see offered at charity auctions, grocery stores, Canadian Tire, Kijiji, Ebay, Maxsold, Facebook Marketplace, etc., are unauthorized reproductions and a hodge-podge of both authentic and fake Morrisseau imagery. The Estate are taking appropriate steps to rectify the situation, and will soon issue a press release to warn the public. Copyright-authorized, authentic Morrisseau prints which come from the legitimate Morrisseau Estate are available through Coghlan Art.
* GENUINE IMAGERY * For more than a decade it wasn’t wise to post previously unpublished Morrisseau imagery which would act as source material for the production of more forgeries. Now that the tide has turned in that regard a legacy Morrisseau facebook profile maintained as a hedge against fakes on facebook is now sharing legitimate Morrisseau images with the public. Also this wonderful compilation of historic Norval Morrisseau prints is now viewable online.
THERE ARE NO FAKES
A Cave 7 Production
114 Minute Documentary
Distributed in Canada by Mongrel Media
- Jamie Kastner – Writer / Director / Producer
- Laura Baron Kastner – Producer
- Mark Anthony Jacobson – Executive Producer
- Michael Hannan – Editor
- Kevin Hearn – Original score
- Derek Rogers – Cinematographer
- Jane Jankovic – Executive Producer, TVO