We told you a few weeks ago about the sale of the mysterious Peter Max collection of Corvettes.
Apparently there’s more to the story now.
A lawsuit filed recently claims that the psychedelic pop artist of the 1960s – who once painted an entire Boeing 777 and a 600-foot stage for the Woodstock Music Festival – hasn’t paid two New York men the commissions he allegedly promised them for handling the sale of the 36 Corvettes.
The Corvettes were a VH1 contest prize in 1989, with the winner receiving one Corvette for each year from 1953 to 1989. Max wound up buying the collection from the winner but never followed through with his plans to create a work of art with them, instead relegating them to a life of dusty storage in a series of New York garages over the past 25 years.
Max decided to sell the collection earlier this year, but now Jeff Wallner and Kenneth Simmons are suing him because they say they never received the 10 percent commission the 77-year-old artist promised them, promises that the two men’s lawyer says are backed up by texts and e-mails.
“It’s a shame that people don’t live up to their commitments,” lawyer Robert Hantman told The New York Post.
The lawsuit also includes another claim by Wallner and Simmons, who say they helped sell Max’s “Statue of Liberty” painting for $500,000. But when the buyer found out that Max had not “painted in years,” she was angry and had to be appeased with a Marilyn Monroe original by the artist and four portraits, according to the suit.
Wallner never got his commission but in the lawsuit, he says that Max’s agent, Larry Moskowitz, told him that Max uses a group of “ghost-painters” who work near his West 65th Street studio, then signs his name on the artwork when it’s done.
Max issued no comment on the lawsuit.