Mary Boone Hits Back at Alec Baldwin—Again

Baldwin has accused Boone of making a fraudulent sale.

Mary Boone. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

New York art dealer Mary Boone is hitting back at Alec Baldwin in what is fast becoming a full-blown feud.

On Thursday, Boone’s lawyers filed a motion in New York State Supreme Court in an ongoing dispute involving a Ross Bleckner canvas. The dealer is accusing Baldwin of “failing to pay sales tax,” according to the New York Times.

Boone alleges that Baldwin avoided paying the standard tax on purchases in the city of New York by having the painting shipped to his home in Los Angeles, then shipped back to his apartment in New York.

“As the documentary evidence makes clear, Baldwin sought relief from the New York state and city sales taxes—$16,625—by causing the painting to be shipped momentarily to his California residence, with the instruction that the painting remain in California only long enough for his assistant to sign for it,” Ted Portez, Boone’s lawyer, said in court documents, as the New York Times reports.

Ross Bleckner, Sea and Mirror (1996). Courtesy Artnet

Ross Bleckner, Sea and Mirror (1996). Courtesy of artnet.

John Hueston, the lawyer acting for Baldwin, claims that the suit is intended as an attempt to detract from Baldwin’s own lawsuit against Boone regarding the sale the painting in question, Sea and Mirror (1996) by Ross Bleckner.

“That is just a blatant diversionary tactic and an attempt to distract from the fraud she is not denying,” Mr. Hueston said according to the NYT. “We will not dignify that allegation with a response.”

In a dispute that broke out earlier this year Baldwin claims he had bought what turned out to be a later version of the work of the same name from Boone for $190,000 but maintains he thought he was buying the original piece from 1996. Boone claims he knew the painting was a later version all along but Baldwin alleges that when he pointed out that the works smelt strangely new Boone retorted that it had been cleaned.

In a sworn affidavit, Boone said: “I respectfully submit that Baldwin cannot connive an elaborate scheme to evade sales taxes and yet claim that there are any circumstances under which he is entitled to punitive or exemplary damages in connection with the same transaction.”

This latest action by Boone can be seen as a retaliation against Baldwin, who has, according to the NYT, compared Boone to an armadillo stating that she was used to “blasting [her] way out of corners like this on more than one occasion.”

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
  • Access the data behind the headlines with the artnet Price Database.