ALL HAIL, ALFREDO MARTINEZ . . the notorious Basquiat forger !!

the other, really relevant group of photos, posted on that . . artnet / ‘ART LOVERS NEW YORK – PHOTOS BY NANCY SMITH’ report – from FEB 2003 would be the ‘secret’ insider pix concerning the infamous, and entirely TRUE ALFREDO MARTINEZ phony BASQUIAT caper.
the Basquiats were fake, the crime was real, and it landed ALFREDO . . in jail for 2 years.


that’s LIO MALCA, second row down, 2nd in from the right-hand side.
Lio’s the guy who dropped the dime on Alfredo’s little money-making scheme.
he bought a few of those Alfredo-produced faux Basquiats, I can’t remember / or never knew (?!!) what made the deal unravel for him, but he got the Feds in on the crime, and they set up a sting, with a pretty girl, and a hotel room. lol !!
Alfredo never saw it coming.
turned out from Lio’s testimony in court, that he, Lio . . was, or had been, a coke dealer “who had paid his debt to society”.
which goes to show, the old adage: never rip off a drug dealer – is true.

this is the last group of photos on that report, it comes right after the ladies of Gee’s Bend, lol.
and, a motley crew if I ever did see one. the Alfredo – Josh Harris band, not the quilters !!

it was Nov 19, 2002 – the first day of Alfredo’s Phony Basquiat trial, and the crew was out to show their support.

that’s JOSH HARRIS, founder of Jupiter.com, and later Pseudo.com – and the subject of the Sundance 2009 award winning doc . . ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ – left, bottom row.
ALFREDO had a ‘big gun’ / ‘shooting’ gallery at ‘QUIET’, the JOSH HARRIS / million dollar, downtown hard-core artist / millennium party – that sparked ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’.

JEFF GOMPERTZ, to the right, bottom row . . built the infamous ‘bunker’ hotel, based on Japanese pod hotels, that housed the 99 artists, all wired-up for 24/7 surveillance – that was the spine of the ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ doc.

RIP – that’s my dear friend, MARK ENGER, master silkscreen printer, on the top row – at right.
he’s the drunken ‘cowboy’ in WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’.
he also silk-screened the ‘target’ circles on the Quiet crew’s uniforms.

the funniest part was, as you might gather from the center photo at the top, ALFREDO . . was a natural when it came to faking Basquiats, it was like he ‘spoke in tongues’.

they actually marched out some of his fakes in court, and placed them on a wooden artist tripod. they were pretty damn good. too bad their accompanying ‘letters of authenticity’ – were fictional.

for me, it was quite the day.
first, all day spent in court, downtown, with this crew, and then . . rushing uptown to catch the Gee’s Bend quilters . . opening – at the Whitney.

in some sense, both groups, art world . . . outsiders.

long live the REBELS !!!