Here is an interesting article surrounding the accusations that an artist believed to have worked alongside Andy Warhol may not have existed causing the postponement of a high profile auction.
Works by Pietro Psaier have appeared at sales all over the world, including several held by Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams, attracting prices of up to £14,000. They were given added kudos by the claim that Psaier worked in Warhol’s studio, the Factory, and that the pair were friends who collaborated on several pieces.
However, officials at the Andy Warhol Foundation have come forward to say they have never heard of Psaier, and suggested that the whole relationship may have been a hoax. The auctioneer John Nicholson, of Fernhurst, Surrey, the leading Psaier dealer, is trying to prove his existence and has even hired a researcher. In the meantime, he has been forced to delay the latest sale of Psaier’s work, which had been scheduled for tomorrow.
The artist is said to have been born in Italy and lived a nomadic life before he was killed by the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004, although his body has never been recovered. There are also few official documents and witnesses to help prove the story. However, the main supplier of Psaier’s works, Peter Psaier, who claims to be the artist’s son, has sent a signed notarised statement to Mr Nicholson, confirming who he is. A psychiatrist in Madrid has said he treated Psaier, whom he described as “an accomplished artist” who had a working relationship with Warhol.