Louis Vuitton and MOCA challenged by L.A. art collector
For the moment, L.A. art collector Clint Arthur is waging a lonely court battle against two of the big boys of art and commerce: Louis Vuitton and L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art, as I report in a story in the Calendar section.
But he hopes eventually to have lots of company. Arthur claims that, for years, MOCA ignored the buyer protections mandated by California's Fine Prints Act, and that Louis Vuitton did likewise during the four months it was allowed to set up shop in the heart of MOCA's 2007-08 exhibition of Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami.
Given that Louis Vuitton has indicated in court filings that it was ignorant of the Fine Prints Act and violated some of its provisions, Arthur is wondering what's keeping some powerful allies from jumping in: the law, which has been on the books since 1970, specifically allows the state attorney general and local city attorneys and district attorneys to bring civil suits and collect up to $1,000 per violation. Since Louis Vuitton had 500 Murakami prints for sale, that could be as much as $500,000.
"I would think that the city and state coffers could use that money at this juncture in time," says Arthur.
-- Mike Boehm
Photo: Collector Clint Arthur with a disputed Murakami print he bought at MOCA's store. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times