The Art Angle Podcast: The Scandalous Rise and Fall of Art Dealer Inigo Philbrick

This week, a look inside the courtroom where the disgraced art dealer was sentenced.

Inigo Philbrick was sentenced to seven years in prison for his crimes.
Inigo Philbrick was sentenced to seven years in prison for his crimes.

Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join us every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more, with input from our own writers and editors, as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.

 

Not too long ago, Inigo Philbrick was one of the best-connected dealers in the art world. The son of a museum director and the protege of legendary gallerist Jay Jopling, he was often spotted at VIP previews of major art fairs and in a prominent seat at auctions around the globe.

Then, in late 2019, he disappeared.

Inigo Philbrick's arrest on the front cover of the Vanuatu newspaper, The Daily Post

Inigo Philbrick’s arrest on the front cover of the Vanuatu newspaper, the Daily Post.

As it turns out, Philbrick was the subject of mounting civil lawsuits and, ultimately, a criminal case that found he conned clients out of $85 million. Prosecutors say he committed “one of the most significant frauds in the art market in history.” He stood accused of selling artworks he did not own, falsifying contracts, forging signatures, and inventing fictitious clients. In November, he pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of wire fraud.

Last week, Philbrick’s case finally came to a close when the former wunderkind was sentenced to seven years in jail—one of the harshest sentences we’ve seen for an art-fraud case. Artnet News senior market reporter Eileen Kinsella has followed this case from the very beginning, and was on the scene reporting from the courtroom. She spoke with executive editor Julia Halperin about Inigo’s extraordinary rise and fall.

 

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