An Alphabetical Glossary – of terms you need to know to understand the Hoax
Aldergrove, BC – (Aldergrove Conspiracy; AKA Aldergrove Conspiracy Theorists) – The old hydro building in a rural part of this small town east of Vancouver, deserves a Canadian Heritage Designation, as the spiritual home of an all-white rump of conspiracy theorists who claimed to know of a so-called syndicate of diabolical forgers – they accuse numerous First Nations artists – who they say created thousands of forged Norval Morrisseau paintings, and were selling them to unsuspecting collectors, fine art retailers, and Canadian and American museums.
Art Cartel – a group of white business men, who starting in 1989, gathered around Norval Morrisseau to take charge of his affairs. The cartel would direct his life, his art, his business, for the next 18 years, till he died in 2007, and after…
- a combination of independent commercial or industrial enterprises designed to limit competition or fix prices
They dealt exclusively with “direct from the artist” sales, from which Norval – and they – would get profits, not the secondary market of some 9,000 works that Norval had painted and sold many years before, and from which neither he, nor cartel members, would get any money whatsoever.
Almost immediately the cartel set in motion a variety of strategies, designed to deliberately promote Norval’s moribund painting career, and boost prices for art he had for sale, across Canada and the world. From then on, Norval took a back seat to cartel founding members who set out control supply and demand.
Norval Morrisseau signed, titled, and dated, in black drybrush paint, many hundreds of these in the 1970s after his brother Wolf, who was his business advisor and manager at the time, urged him to start the practice to benefit sales overseas, in Germany and Japan etc., where people would understand his English writing on the back, but not his syllabics on the front.
For the record his Principal Morrisseau Dealer, Donald Robinson, has claimed emphatically in courtoom testimony, that Norval positively “never,” painted a BDP or signed his paintings like that, “ever.” Why he would do that is hugely problematic for him, because three top Canadian forensic document examiners and handwriting analysis experts have independently, at different times, found that over 70 BDPs, many of which Robinson himself claimed were “very bad fakes” were, in fact authentically signed by Norval Morrisseau, with DNA certainty. And that no one else could have done so.
In fact the very DNA that Robinson says Norval never ever deposited on his canvases, has, with independent scientific certitude, undermined his entire credibility as an expert on the entire 1970s BDP period of Norval Morrisseau’s career.
Cheques – Cheques for business transactions – those that were issued, as well as those, that were mysteriously “Missing,” are vital to understanding the story of the Morrisseau forgeries. The documents speak for themselves.
“Invalid Period of Painting” – This refers to the period of Morrisseau’s life when the quality of his painting started to decline because of physical and mental deterioration caused by a lifetime of tremendous overindulgence in drinking booze and alcohol-based liquids, and drugs and sex of all kinds. He complained, as early as the 1970s, of growing sexual dysfunction. By the 80s he was in worse shape, and so was his painting. Lloyd Comber, an old friend, reported Norval had “lost it” by 1987. Most experts stop buying his work after the late 80s because of all that.
By the early 90s numerous physical afflictions, multiple heart attacks, and severe Parkinson’s, had him permanently tied to his wheelchair. His son Christian said his painting career effectively ended in 1995. Norval’s business managers said balderdash, Norval was mentally and physically in great shape, and painting up a storm till 2001, and producing some of his best work ever.
Norval Morrisseau (1932-2007) – is Canada’s most famous Aboriginal painter who established a totally unique style of “ethno-cultural” painting for First Nations artists, called the “Woodland” or “Anishinaabe” school, that comes from, and reflects, uniquely, the “Indian” experience in Canada. It is a given that no white man can legitimately paint in the “Anishinaabe” or Woodland style. It would clearly be art forgery if he did so, and tried to sell the stuff, and he a forger and fraud artist.
Primary & Secondary Market in Morrisseau Art – When Norval painted and sold a work on the market place for the first time, that is the primary market, the direct-from-the-artist sales from which he and his business managers take all the money.
The supply of paintings available is very, very small because the artist has to paint them one at a time, in order to get something to sell. Which of course, is an even bigger problem if the artist is in physical and mental decline, as Norval was during his “Invalid Period of Painting.”
When someone bought Norval’s work from him, it became part of the “secondary” market, effectively entering the “used” or “second-hand” market. In fact by far the overwhelming majority of Norval’s paintings – some 10,000 or more – were in the secondary market. And most of these, during the 1980s and 90s, were rolled up under beds or in storage.
Norval got not a cent from any sales in the secondary market.
It gets worse. Norval’s business managers got not a cent from sales in the secondary market.
It gets worse. When a painting in the secondary market changes hands, and jumps from $50 to $5,000, neither the artist nor his business managers get a cent from the resale. It’s enough to make you gnash your teeth…
It’s worse than that. Secondary market sales hugely undermined Norval’s ability to sell his own work, as buyers – every buyer – would rather pick a good Morrisseau they like from 10,000 that are “out there,” than that last ugly, jiggly thing Norval had to get help with as he painted in his wheel chair, in between heart attacks.
Norval’s business managers found it more and more difficult to keep market share, with their “Invalid Period” paintings.
Norval’s new “direct-from-the-artist” stuff faced a constant battle with his old paintings – from his glorious periods: the 60s, 70s, 80s – from the secondary market.
And the competition got steadily worse as Norval’s fame grew, and hundreds of his old secondary market paintings were retrieved from garages, attics, barns, storage sheds, fish camp walls, all over northern Ontario, and southern Manitoba, by owners hoping to capitalize and get a grand or two, for stuff they had only paid $20 or $40 bucks for, years before.
And now Norval’s business promoters, like Donald Robinson in 1999, found themselves, cheek to jowl, and elbow to elbow, at auctions, fighting other passionate collectors to get at the mother lode of old Morrisseaus starting to flood the market.
Now do you see why Norval – well, actually not so much – but especially his white business managers, absolutely hated the secondary market with a passion? And they seemed to have no way to control it.
All white artists – especially – hate the secondary market. They pretend to be flattered by people gushing all over them as “owning” their art. In fact the gusher probably paid the money to an art wheeler-dealer to get the painting in the first place; none went to the artist. Hell, the secondary market doesn’t pay the artist’s bills. And the gushers have already used up their wall space and won’t buy other works by him. And if they do, they’ll buy from someone else, who offers more choice than any artist can.
I well recall overhearing AY Jackson (McMichael Gallery 1972) loudly railing against the huge amounts of money people were making reselling his art. In a rant he had made a thousand times, about the unfairness of the art market for an artist – the genius who created the work – he crossly bellowed: “Nobody gave any of us money like that when we sold our stuff.” There was more than a tinge of bitterness that he and his colleagues got peanuts for masterpieces that were making art wheeler-dealers rich, from their talent, creativity, and hard work.
Protégé – Norval was an astonishingly aggressive homosexual, whose unquenchable appetite astonished even Jack Pollock who himself was part of the mad “bathhouse” scene in Toronto in the 1960s and 70s, and shockingly described it all in “Dear M,” his letters to his shrink. Norval seemed to be trailing young “apprentices” wherever he went; he claimed in his book to have had some 150 of them in all. In court testimony in 2012 Wolf Morrisseau said his brother called all his young assistants “protégés.” No doubt part of Norval’s wild and wicked sense of humour. Dr. Robert Hare OC, of the University of British Columbia says that “protégé refers to the more passive member of a homosexual pairing.” (Dr. Robert Hare Ph.D. “Without Conscience: the Psychopaths Among Us,” p. 11, Guilford Press, 1993.)
Proxy – Conspiracy Theory (CT) Proxy – To promote their claim to thousands of forgeries and umpteen forgers, the Conspiracy Theorists have acted whenever possible through proxies – either neophyte art collectors, uncritical journalists, panic-stricken elders, celebrity musicians, etc. – in the media, and especially the courts where they can get the proxy to pay the legal bills. Nice… They share a number of characteristics: they are clueless, uninformed, easily influenced and led astray, and have no idea what they have let themselves get involved in, or the awful price they will pay for not practicing due diligence. They all will end up wishing they had never become involved in a Conspiracy Theory, that fewer then ten people – worldwide – believe in.
Randy Potter Auctions – Randy Potter, of Port Hope, ON, more than any Canadian auctioneer in history has been the totally innocent victim of the unprincipled and unsubstantiated attacks by Conspiracy Theorists. Donald Robinson has maliciously defamed him, repeatedly, as some kind of fraud artist, claiming that every Morrisseau Randy ever auctioned off, of some 2,000 or more, was a fake.
- And this despite the fact that not a single Morrisseau has ever been brought back for a refund, even by Robinson, who for some utterly inexplicable reason, kept his supposed 28 Potter “fakes.” And never asked for a refund; and never complained to Randy…
- And this despite the fact that every Randy Potter Morrisseau that has been sent for testing by three of Canada’s top forensic document examiners and handwriting analysis experts, has come back testing positive, with DNA certainty, as having been signed by Norval Morrisseau, and that no one else could have.
I’ve been to a hell of a lot more antique and fine art auctions than anyone you know – many, many hundreds, over the past 15 years, and watched the antics of scores of auctioneers whose work I know intimately, and often, not very favourably.
If I was asked to pick my candidate, for that utterly elusive animal so beloved by all auction-going fanatics, “the last Honest Auctioneer,” I have no hesitancy whatsoever in putting Randy Potter at the top of that list.
Richard McClintock, Canadian Master Forger – Richard McClintock is a Canadian professional art forger, who was caught in Montreal when he tried to sell two forged Canadian paintings – a fake Borduas and a Riopelle – to an art dealer. He was arrested, charged, taken to court, and a judge sentenced him to eight months of house arrest and prohibited him from entering an art gallery for two years for trying to sell two forgeries.
SLAPP Suit – The Attorney-General of Ontario defines SLAPP suit as follows:
“Definition: Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) has been defined as a lawsuit started against one or more people or groups who speak out or take a position on an issue of public interest. The purpose of a SLAPP is to silence critics by redirecting their energy and finances into defending a lawsuit and away from their original public criticism.”
- (ed: In other words, to shut them up and prevent them from giving people alternate, important, true, and relevant information the public needs, to arrive at a fair and free evaluation on a matter of national importance.)
“Concerns have been raised that SLAPPs also act as a warning to other potential critics. The effect of SLAPP suits is to discourage public debate.”
- (ed: This diabolical tactic is used because it often works. They can force people to spend their life saving on lawyers just trying to defend themselves against malicious and defamatory attacks that have no substance in truth or reality.)
“The Ministry of the Attorney General wants to know how the Ontario justice system should be designed to prevent the misuse of the courts and other agencies of justice without depriving anyone of appropriate remedies for expression that goes too far. That is the task of the Advisory Panel on Anti-SLAPP legislation.” (Attorney-General of Ontario)
- (ed: So, it’s a way to use the courts to shut someone up whom you’re upset with, and whose voice you don’t want the public to hear.)
SLAPP suit Target Ugo Matulic of Calgary, Alberta, outside Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries, is famous in Canadian history as the first person ever taken to court by the Morrisseau Conspiracy Theorists.
Though they have had 13 years to take “thousands of forgeries and umpteen forgers” to court they have never done it, even once, knowing full well they have no believable evidence, of any kind, that will hold up in any court.
Instead Donald Robinson, the Principal Conspiracy Theorist, and Paul Robinson, the Junior Morrisseau Conspiracy Theorist, who work inside this gallery – alongside the Principal Blogging Conspiracy Theorist, John MacGregor Newman – have targeted Morrisseau researchers and investigative journalists, to try to shut them up, and stop them from exposing what has been called “the greatest fraud in Canadian art history.”
Matulic is paying the price for having amassed what can only be called a stunning collection of compromising documentary evidence that catalogues the history of the biggest hoax, as well as the biggest act of cultural genocide, in Canadian history.