The Los Angeles Times reports that on March 17th, the relatively new Perry Rubinstein Gallery in Hollywood filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, leaving a slew of upset creditors and unresolved lawsuits in its wake. According to papers filed in California Central Bankruptcy Court, the gallery has assets totaling between $500,000 and $1 million, and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million.
Among the gallery’s creditors, the Times reports, are some of the world’s most established names in the art and entertainment arenas: former Walt Disney Company President Michael Ovitz, world-famous Dutch photographer Iwan Baan, German sculptor Georg Herold, and L.A.-based artist Shepard Fairey, whose portraits of President Obama played a pivotal role in the 2008 presidential campaign.
According to the list of creditors in official court documents filed last week, sculptor Georg Herold is owed nearly $364,000, while Fairey is owed about $159,000 and Dutch photographer Baan is owed nearly $180,000.
The failed art gallery’s creditors also include the IRS, the Los Angeles County tax collector, and California law firm Browne George Ross.
Adding to the gallery’s misery are two lawsuits filed against it in the last 6 months; in November of 2013, creditor Michael Ovitz sued the gallery for breach of contract after failing to receive payment of almost $1 million when the gallery sold two of his works. Additionally, Ovitz claims that one of the pieces, Nobody’s Home by Richard Prince, sold for $475,000, well below the $575,000 minimum asking price Ovitz had confirmed with the gallery.
Art Advisory Limited, an art consulting company and the buyer of that piece, is also suing the Rubinstein Gallery, claiming they were unable to acquire the piece after their purchase.
The gallery opened in a posh, 9,500 square-foot space on Highland Avenue in June 2012, and drew in plenty of celebrity firepower when it opened with a brand new Helmut Newton photography exhibition. However, after less than two years of alleged mismanagement and financial troubles, bankruptcy seemed to be the only recourse for the struggling gallery.