Peter Max in Hot Water Over Corvettes, “Ghost Painting”

Peter Max, Statue of Liberty. Photo: artnet

Legendary Pop artist Peter Max has been slapped with a lawsuit over absurd sounding but possibly true charges such as “ghost painting” and swindling two men out of Corvette sales commissions.

According to the New York Post, Jeff Wallner and Kenneth Simmons are suing the artist and his agent, Larry Moskowitz, for $1 million in a dispute concerning a 10 percent commission they allegedly never received after selling off a trove of Corvettes for him. Max’s Corvette collection was well known—he owned 36 cars, one from every year of manufacture up until 1989.

According to the report, the businessmen are also upset about a dispute with a collector who was sold one of Max’s Statue of Liberty paintings for $500,000. When the unnamed collector learned the artist himself “had not painted in years,” and the work was produced with the help of “ghost painters,” she had to be appeased with a Marilyn Monroe original and four other pieces by the artist.

According to the Post report, an attorney for Wallner and Simmons says he has email and text message documentation to prove both of these claims. “It’s a shame that people don’t live up to their commitments,” he commented.

Max’s attorney Eric Hellige told the New York Daily News that the claims are “utterly false. [Max] is in the studio virtually every day. We disagree with all these claims and intend to vigorously defend the action.”

Perhaps the Corvettes in question were simply swallowed up by some kind of giant sinkhole. It wouldn’t be the first time (see “Corvette Museum Embraces Massive Sinkhole“).

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