Tony Shafrazi Getting Evicted From His SoHo Loft

Tony Shafrazi at the 2012 opening of the Keith Haring show at the Brooklyn Museum. Photo: Michael Anderson, courtesy Whitehot Magazine.

Art dealer Tony Shafrazi, who infamously spray-painted Picasso’s Guernica with the phrase “Kill Lies All” in 1974, may be getting evicted from the SoHo loft where he’s lived for two decades.

In response to efforts to force him from his home, Shafrazi filed suit for $8 million on Friday in New York County Supreme Court, accusing his landlords of breach of contract and fraud, as per Courthouse News. The Iranian-born Armenian art dealer, who in 2012 caused a stir at Art Basel when he filled his booth with his own artwork, also alleges he is the victim of racial discrimination. The suit names Jordan Wooster Street Associates, Schur Management Co., and its shareholder Larry Schur.

In July of this year, the landlord’s nephew, Billy Schur, took over management of the building. Schur abruptly informed Shafrazi that he was being kicked out, and his $15,000-a-month third-floor loft would be divided into two apartments, a far more lucrative arrangement. On September 12, Shafrazi was served with a letter informing him he had to move out by the month’s end. The landlords have refused to negotiate the lease, and have announced their intention to begin eviction proceedings.

When the 71-year-old dealer moved into the at 115 Wooster Street, “there was no air conditioning or heating system,” and “the elevator was manually operated and very dangerous,” Shafrazi alleges in his complaint. The gallerist claims to have spent $1 million of his own money redesigning the loft and renovating these issues, including updating the elevator following a fatal accident.

“The substantial expenditures incurred by Shafrazi were in response to his clear intent to live in the loft for a very long time, and his reliance upon the Schurs’ representations that he would be able to stay on the premises for as long as he wished—subject only to reasonable and mutually agreed upon rent increases,” the complaint reads, citing twenty years of cordial relations preceding this case.

The complaint also notes Shafrazi’s current quest to find a new space for his gallery (see “The Wrecking Ball Is Coming for Chelsea Building Housing Tony Shafrazi, Lehmann Maupin, and Stephen Haller“), and mentions that he has been dealing with a number of distressing health issues. Despite these problems, “I still feel 28—unless I have to run after a girl, or a bus,” Shafrazi assured Page Six.

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