Talk about the art police. Several Saturdays ago, art dealer Mike Weiss committed a sort of citizen’s arrest by calling the police on a young artist named Eric Doeringer, who has been selling art without a license across the street from Weiss’s gallery on West 24th Street for the last few years. Luckily, the cops didn’t arrest or confiscate the small “bootleg paintings” that Doeringer makes and sells for around $100 each—copies of such Chelsea stalwarts as John Currin and Lisa Yuskav-age (full disclosure: I own a Doeringer Damian Hirst dot painting and a Christopher Wool).
Maybe Weiss was jealous because Doeringer wasn’t making knockoffs of any of his artists. Or maybe he was telling the truth when, according to Doeringer, he seethed that he “didn’t like seeing people walking around with tiny canvases while he was paying high rent for his gallery and trying to sell $30,000 paintings.”
Weiss should probably make like Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens and apologize. Everyone can understand the displaced anxiety of an art dealer trying to make hundreds of thousands of dollars on a busy Saturday in Chelsea. Or can they?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 15, 2005