New York state Massachusets Auctions art New York City Painting Artists 11/19/23 New York state Massachusets

Retired NYC dog walker’s dreams shattered when gifted Chuck Close painting falls flat at auction

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the New York Times reported.“I’m really disappointed,” he admitted. “But then, I think, if I had a lot of money it would put a lot of pressure on me.“And that’s the last thing I need,” he added.Herman was given the untitled 6-foot abstract nude by former lawyer Isidore Silver, whom he became close friends with after he started walking his toy poodle about six years ago, according to the paper.Silver, who had repped Close in a First Amendment lawsuit against the University of Massachusetts in the 1960s, had mentioned to Herman in passing that he kept one of the artist’s works rolled up in a closet.

In March, as the 87-year-old Silver’s health declined, he offered the painting to the dog walker.“He basically said, ‘Take the painting,’” Herman told the Times.Days later, Silver died.Herman researched Close and found that one of the artist’s paintings had sold for a whopping $4.8 million.

He contacted Sotheby’s auction house, which agreed to sell the painting.“I was on cloud nine,” he said of the day he dropped it off, with his eight-figure hopes taking hold.However, Close died in 2021, and the artist’s estate had no record of the painting Herman wished to sell.The day before it was to go to auction, Sotheby’s pulled it and footed Herman with a $1,742 bill for preparing the canvas.A discovery made by an archivist at the University of Massachusetts, though, kept Herman’s hopes for a new home for him and his girlfriend alive.

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