Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"The central legal issue, obviously, is who owns the work today"


This week's Village Voice has more on the Martín Ramirez lawsuits:

"The Ramirez family argues that because the artist had been institutionalized, he didn't have the capacity to administer his affairs, including giving away his work. And [Dr. Tarmo Pasto, the psychology professor who worked with Ramirez while he was institutionalized], they claim, had no right to act as he did. 'The position of the estate is that that person had no authority whatsoever to take any of those works for any purpose,' [the family's lawyer] says, 'and . . . the institution had no such authority either.'

"Hammond's lawyers recently moved to dismiss the New York case, arguing that it's properly a California dispute. And that's where things stand at the moment. Meanwhile, the 17 Ramirez paintings sit in a vault at Sotheby's, awaiting a final resolution."

(The article refers to the works throughout, I think mistakenly, as paintings. This earlier LA Times story says they are drawings.)