Monday, March 26, 2012

Follow-Up: How Does Gallery On Baum Feel About PSP Forgery Investigation? A Sockpuppet Speaks!

You may recall the terrible Ernie Bushmiller forgery I wrote about at the beginning of my investigation of the many, many fake drawings sold by the Gallery on Baum. Shortly after my point-by-point breakdown of why the drawing is not genuine, in which I used multiple techniques to prove that 1. the drawing was traced, and 2. the drawing was not traced by Ernie Bushmiller, a Pony Pal contacted the GoB through eBay, and very shortly thereafter the listing ended under mysterious circumstances.Suddenly, the auction was over, two days early, and the drawing was sold (as well as a particularly bad Popeye drawing which I criticized in the same post), even though it hadn't been a "buy it now" listing. I immediately suspected that the drawing had "fake sold" in order to get it off eBay without it appearing as if it had been withdrawn.

A decent interval later, the "buyer" left feedback on the dubious purchase, which allowed me to see who the buyer was. To backtrack a bit, lately I've been using eBays feedback pages to contact buyers of some of the confirmed fakes sold by the Gallery on Baum, alerting them to the nature of their purchases. These buyers were alarmed, generally, but thanked me and contacted Gallery on Baum for refunds, which were immediately given with no questions asked.

Just for fun, I thought I'd send a similar message to the "buyer" of the Bushmiller fake, knowing that I was probably writing to the Gallery on Baum themselves. One of the best pieces of evidence that this buyer was also the seller is that this same buyer recently purchased a "Spy vs. Spy" rough sketch which, shortly afterwards, ended up on sale in GoB's listings. So anyway, well aware that I was wading into unfriendly waters, I sent my message:

I just thought you should know that the Ernie Bushmiller drawing you recently purchased from Gallery on Baum is a forgery. Please see here:
You may wish to Google "Gallery on Baum" and "fake" to learn a lot more. I'm not saying they make the forgeries themselves, but a large number of the drawings they sell are fakes. I'm an expert on Ernie Bushmiller's work, and I can assure you that he did not draw that picture.

Now like I said, I've contacted several people who have purchased fakes from the GoB, and they've all gotten refunds, so Tony Greco must be pretty angry at me these days, so I was hardly surprised by the fury in the response from the fake buyer of the fake Bushmiller:

First, after I had received the Sluggo piece, I was pleasantly surprised that it was in better condition than I'd anticipated.

Then, after receiving your email I decided to do my own research. I showed it to two of my own experts in the field and both confirmed it was definitely authentic. I value their opinion much more than yours. First because each of them actually closely examined the piece in person. Secondly, these are two gentlemen, residing in Palm Beach, FL. who, in the past 25 years of authenticating as well as purchasing several pieces of art through auctions on my behalf, have never steered me wrong.

I then researched Greco and found he has many different interests and also has appeared on various shows highlighting his numerous collections. You do not speak of any of these positive aspects of Greco and his Gallery, only negative remarks based solely on your opinion. He must have some credibility knowing Heffner [sic] so well and frequenting the Playboy Mansion.

I also discovered he has a very large Munster collection. I don’t understand why one would jeopardize their gallery, reputation, and collections by selling inexpensive “fake” artwork. I've come across many forgeries in my lifetime, but on a much larger scale.

I then read through your blog. This confirmed that you speak negatively regarding mostly everyone. Making fun of how people dress? Not very positive and a bit insecure on your behalf I might add.

I should report you to EBay for contacting me and making false accusations without substantial evidence other than your self-proclaimed expertise, as well as causing an added expense on my behalf in authenticating the item.

After I stopped rolling around on the floor in fits of laughter, I simply responded:

Well then, I'm glad you're happy with your purchase.

Ha ha ha. In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, ain't I a stinker?


Anonymous said...


Lulu Maude said...

Pity he never got to the hairdos.


Matty Boy said...

Oh, you wicked, immature and non-positive brute! Shame, I say, and shame again!

HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

Translation: Waaaaaaaaah! You are MEAN for calling me out. Waaaaaaaaaaah!

The Cat's Meow said...

As Bugs Bunny also said, "Hoboken, I'm dyin'." Great stuff! But I don't get Mr. Greco's (OOPS! I mean the fake buyer's) reference to Hugh Hefner. What's up with that?

Muscato said...

What could be a more definite indication of one's steadfast honesty than the possession of a large Munster collection? I'm convinced!

Add to that the acquaintance of perhaps the world's best-known geriatric pornographer (albeit not to the point of actually correctly spelling his surname), and you really ought to feel ashamed at impugning such a sterling reputation...

The Cat's Meow said...

Oh, I see now. Collecting Munsters memorabilia and palling around with the misspelled Mr. Hefner are PROOF that Peteykins is engaging in character assassination. Thank you!

Actually, though, the fake buyer's rant reminds me of Corky in "Waiting for Guffman," with his "Remains Of The Day" lunchbox.

Anonymous said...

This whole blogline has building up to this point, and I have been so eagerly awaiting this development! Guess I'll run out and get the Fantagraphics Nancy book to celebrate.
Thanks, Peteykins!
Mr Bad Trash

Alex said...

"...he has a very large Munster collection" really sounds like some sort of euphemism, though I'm not sure what for.

Peteykins said...

Hooray for Mr. Bad Trash!!!

Actually, I keep thinking that this series is building towards a climax which has yet to come. Hopefully it won't involve thugs waiting outside my apartment with baseball bats.

Rosa S. Levi said...

This may be the exception that proves the rule, but you have never ever said a bad word about our beloved Ursula Plassnik!

Peteykins said...

Or Cindy McCain!

smapdi said...

I'm sure a plucky reporter at one of Pittsburgh's fine network stations could straighten this all out.

Anonymous said...

A Pittsburg paper wrote up Greco two years ago:

A recurring theme seems to be Munsters and Hef.

A former hairdresser dissing PSP--that ain't right!

Peteykins said...

Yes, I pointed out the Post-Gazette's article earlier. I corresponded a little with the reporter, and showed her what I had been posting, but she didn't seem all that interested in following up on the story.

drew in sf in pgh said...

I'll have to try to stop by again. That gallery never seems to be open!

You might think about contacting city paper rather than a 'traditional' news outlet. for instance.