I was brought on as a client of Galerie Jen-Art in March of 2009 by Gloria Prosterman, formerly of Galerie Concorde. Gloria had previously sold me three
prints by Peter Max and one other by Michel Delacroix while working for Galerie Concorde from the fall of 2007 through June of 2008. Throughout this time
I experienced only minor yet reconciliable differences with her and her employer.
Until this winter when she started working at Galerie Jen-Art.
On March 19th I was contacted by Gloria with an offer to purchase a Luis Sottil piece called "Captivating Harmony" which was described to me and later listed on my invoice as an original mixed-media on canvas. To acquire this "valuable" art I was to return an authentic print by Peter Max ("Lady Floating
Flowers"). Galerie Jen-Art gave me $8, 150 credit on the print leaving $4, 250 which was paid by personal check. I instantly liked the painting but was told not to fall in love with it as it was to be re-sold at a Paris auction this October (for upwards of $30, 000).
In June I was contacted by a broker new to me by the name of Neil Schwartz.
He had another hot deal for me and offered Luis Sottils' "Serene Power" for the sum of $13, 975. This would be paid by returning a second Peter Max print
"Roseville Profile II" and charging my credit card the $5025 balance to be paid in two equal monthly installments. He had also told me that "Roseville Profile II" had no buyer but they would graciously take it in trade. (Gloria had also used this ploy when asking me to send back "Lady Floating Flowers" as a partial trade on my first Sottil). Neil described this painting as a sister piece to "Captivating Harmony" which would increase the pairs' value when sold at the upcoming Paris auction. This deal was initiated on 6/25/09.
Later the next week, with Neil on vacation I received an offer to purchase ownership of highly sought after season tickets to a local college hockey team. The waiting list is decades long. At this point I realized I would have to terminate the transaction and called Neil to inform him as soon as I thought he had returned to the office on 7/6/09. I was shocked to be told by Neil that it was too late to cancel the order and that the painting was already in the "process of being shipped! " He also said that they had a buyer for "Roseville Profile II" only 12 days after telling me that there wasn't any buyer and probably would not be for months. The phone call ended with Neil stating that he would see what he could do a get back to me "later".
Neils' initial reluctance to refund my money concerned me greatly so I sent him an e-mail on 7/9/09 asking for an immediate refund to my credit card.
I expressed my confusion over his resistance in carrying out this request due to the fact that I had never had this kind of trouble before. (Galerie Concorde had cancelled an order in May of 2008 and granted a refund immediately upon my request). I also warned him I would have to seek legal intervention if Galerie Jen-Art and Neil failed to do as I asked. Neil was given two business days (untill the end of 7/13/09) to carry out a task that should never take more than one minute to complete.
The nex day on 7/10/09 Neil left me a voice message expressing his remorsefulness over the situation. He also assured me that he would process my refund on either 7/10/09 or by 7/13/09 at the latest. I waited until the end of the day on 7/13/09 to check my account and found that Galerie Jen-Art and Neil had not processed my request.
Since I had more than nagging concern by now I decided to do some quick due diligence (finally) and contacted an expert on Luis Sottils' work. I had earlier asked Neil about certificates of authenticity for the two pieces of "art" by Luis Sottil I purchased. He said there were none (for reasons I can't but should recall). The Sottil expert I had contacted now informed me that was due to the fact that "Captivating Harmony" and "Serene Power" were both genuine FAKES!
Suprisingly, I finally did receive a refund of my first installment of $2, 512.50 on 7/15/09. But by this time I realized I was a full fledged dupe having purchased a forged work of art by Luis Sottil. I am also still out the $4, 250 I paid for "Captivating Harmony" plus I am minus what I understand to be a genuine Peter Max worth $8, 150 that was quoted and credited to my account by Gloria Prosterman (who as I stated earlier had worked for Galerie Concorde).
In my quest for help on this matter (and a desire to vent a bit) I recalled this site and found other folks like myself who were contacted first by Galerie
Concorde and subsequently by Galerie Jen-Art. It appears that genuine prints are first sold by Galerie Concorde and then used as collateral (plus cash) to purchase forgeries sold by Galerie Jen-Art. There seems to be some sort of link between them because there are others in the same predicament I find myself in. I wonder how many others are out there who have been deceived in a similar fashion.
Something has to be done before they vanish.
I would like to speak with anyone who has had a similar experience with these two companies. Please contact me on this site. I would like to launch a class action suit against them and put an end to their deceptive and fraudulent business practices.