38. Because of the fact that I am one of very few people who have worked alongside Norval Morrisseau and have been trained by him, I am in a unique position to be able to identify methods and aspects of paintings that have been attributed to Norval Morrisseau in order to assess whether they are genuine or not. I know things about his brush strokes, his use and choice of paint, his creation of lines, his selection of subject matter, and his basic methods, which all serve to distinguish genuine Morrisseau paintings from counterfeits.
a) Whether a photograph was ever taken of Norval painting a painting similar in style and subject matter to the one in question;
(b) Whether any book, catalogue, or other record of any kind from the period that the painting in question is attributed to, exists;
(c) Whether any public collection has a painting similar in style and subject matter to painting in question from that time period;
(d) Whether Norval Morrisseau himself has recognized the particular painting or painting style/subject matter, as genuine;
(e) Whether one of Norval Morrisseau‟s principal art dealers or a recognized curator has accepted the particular painting as genuine;
(f) Whether the particular painting has ever been sold by a dealer directly affiliated with Norval Morrisseau;
(g) Whether any person, such as a Morrisseau apprentice, affiliated art dealer, manager, or agent witnessed the painting in question being painted, or alternatively witnessed paintings of a similar style and subject matter being painted during the period when the painting in question was allegedly produced;
(h) Whether the painting in question has any credible provenance other than some connection to certain persons which are suspected and/or known to have counterfeited Norval Morrisseau paintings;
(i) Whether the painting in question appears to a person trained, knowledgeable, experienced, and disinterested eye, to be so different in style and subject matter from other paintings by Norval Morrisseau which are known to be authentic;
(j) Whether a “Jack Pollack” label from the Jack Pollock Gallery, originally on Scollard Street in Yorkville, Toronto (which was Norval‟s original exclusive art dealer during the 1970‟s) appears on the painting in question. Out of the hundreds if not thousands of the counterfeit paintings allegedly produced during the 1970‟s none bears such a label; and
(k) Whether the painting in question resembles in style and subject matter, any painting that was included in the National Gallery of Canada‟s massive retrospective exhibition in 2006;
40. The above factors were considered by me in identifying each of the counterfeits on Morrisseau.com. Many, if not most of the paintings that I have identified as counterfeits, will fail to meet any of the above-mentioned considerations. These factors are also listed on the Morrisseau.com web site. The fact is that the artwork that I stated on Morrisseau.com is fake and is the subject of the within action, is fake.
43. The fake Morrisseau paintings on the market are "a complete style of art‟ dated, however not actually painted, in the 1970's and early 1980's. These "artworks‟ purporting to be Morrisseau's, are not "true forgeries‟ or "copies‟, but are in actual fact a "complete genre inserted into the artistic body of work of Norval Morrisseau‟, creating in essence, "a false history‟.
44. This "genre‟ of fake Morrisseaus may objectively be detected by considering the following factors:
a) They are usually priced at a fraction of the price of authentic Morrisseaus and are available through second tier auction houses, secondary galleries and internet agencies;
b) Many have been and continue to be sold on Ebay. I‟ve been advised and I verily believe it to be true, that these forgery rings employ shill bidding to create interest and jack-up prices;
c) Underworld and underwater themes featuring horrific creatures and demonic forces constitute a substantial portion of this genre. As a medicine man, Morrisseau created medicine art that many believe inspires and heals. I believe that this genre inverts medicinal energy into depressing energy;
d) Acrylic paint colours mixed with high volumes of white paint are used which result in muddy colour spectrums. This has the effect of making the pieces appear older;
e) Signatures, titles and dates are usually painted in black paint, using a dry-brush technique on the back of canvasses. Morrisseau himself abhorred a dry brush and seldom signed the back of a canvass and never to the best of my knowledge, in paint;
f) Painting titles, the name Norval Morrisseau in English, the date, a copyright symbol and native syllabics are often painted on the front of canvasses. Morrisseau generally signed his artwork just once in subtle syllabics. In my opinion these pieces appear to be crying out, “Please believe I am a Morrisseau!”;
g) Many of these paintings utilize non-carcinogenic paints which weren‟t available in the years that these works are dated. As an artist I have worked with most acrylic paints that have been available in Ontario from the 1970s to date. I, and others who work with acrylics, can easily spot with the naked eye, the difference in hue and tone of the yellow-red spectrum paints used in authentic Morrisseaus from the 1970s and 1980s that include carcinogenic pigments. Furthermore, other newer paint colours, available only in the last decade, such as magenta and purple hues, have also been employed in pieces I have seen in person that are dated long before these hues were available;
h) Some of the works I observed in person had muddied backs in order to appear aged however where areas of canvass were not washed the canvasses appeared new instead of yellowed, like forty year old, smoke-laced Morrisseaus;
i) Unlike Morrisseau's technique, this genre of paintings appear to be sketched and then traced with thick black paint lines. The black lines are then painted in with colour. This means that in many cases one will see the first layer of colour overlapping the black lines. Morrisseau only used the “paint the black lines first technique” under very specific and different conditions
45. The very common underworld theme of this false "genre‟ is one which Morrisseau only touched upon throughout his career, yet it represents a substantial majority of the entire collection of the paintings in the false "genre‟. From the aforementioned press reports, Supra at Exhibit J, which I am advised by and verily believe to be true, there are perhaps thousands in this body of counterfeit work to date, produced over the period of a decade or more.
A Second Wave Forgery X-posed