Art Basel Miami Beach gallery accused two ex-employees of hijacking his artworks.
Miami Basel artist says 2 of his ex-employees hijacked his art work and showed in Miami Beach. During the 2019 edition of Scope Miami Beach , totems etched with cartoonish faces greeted attendees inside the Oasis lounge near the beach.
It was a replacement addition to the annual contemporary art show at 801 Ocean Dr. Equipped with subwoofers, the whimsical monoliths transmitted bass-heavy rap throughout the white tent. The art installations were a part of the exhibit “Sound Garden” by Cuban-American artist Alex Yanes together with Mortal Machine. There a nascent gallery based in New Orleans making an enormous splash at Scope.
In addition to showcasing the Miami pop artist’s work, Mortal Machine exhibited special installations by Butch Anthony who was a folksy Americana artist from Alabama. Another famous artist Anthony Lister, Australia’s premier street artist also worked with them. The booth also displayed works by a formidable lineup of quite a dozen leading contemporary artists, including pop-art icon Ron English, portraitist Colin Chilag, and photographer Larry Endicott.
Art Basel Miami Beach was done at Mortal Machine’s gallery it was an Art Basel-adjacent show dedicated to international contemporary art. There was a crowning achievement for the gallery’s two cofounders. For nearly five years, Gabriel Shaffer and Rachael Cronin had toiled as curators of another French Quarter hipster art establishment, Red Truck Gallery.
The duo of Art Basel was established by a Mortal Machine last September, and three months later, they arrived in Miami Beach. Many of the artists who had shown with Red Truck exhibited their works under the new banner.
Back within the Big Easy, however, Shaffer and Cronin are the star antagonists during a sordid art-gallery feud involving Red Truck owner Randy Corlew.
Their former employer during a pending New Orleans civil lawsuit, Corlew claims Shaffer and Cronin misappropriated Red Truck’s corporate accounts, blocked his access to the gallery’s social media accounts and website, and absconded with $600,000 worth of art consigned to Red Truck.
In the Miami Art Basel and during a phone interview with New Times, Corlew also accuses his ex-employees of hijacking the marquee space at Scope, which Shaffer was negotiating on behalf of Red Truck until he and Cronin defected in September. In the Big Easy, Shaffer and Cronin are the star antagonists during a sordid gallery feud.
In the Art show in Miami Beach they said “This was a grift,” Corlew says. “Gabriel and Rachael were working together to screw me over. It was the work of them and they showed at Scope under false pretenses, and therefore the
fair shouldn’t have allowed them to possess a booth.”
Art Basel in Miami Beach artist Shaffer and Cronin, citing the pending litigation, declined to comment for this story. But during a court filing responding to Corlew’s complaint, the two denied the accusations and blamed their ex-boss of mismanaging Red Truck’s finances and investor funds meant to infuse the gallery with much-needed capital.
In this situation it will be like “Perhaps most egregiously, he’s accusing and blaming two innocent former employees for his improper conduct and business failings,” the court filing states. “Red Truck has pleaded to the present court some very imaginative conspiracy theories, which is formed possible only by its failing to present all the facts.”