Yoko Ono Accused of Selling Altered John Lennon Artworks

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Yoko Ono rented out a big space in SoHo this weekend and held a sale of her late husband John Lennon's artworks. Lennon would have been 71 this year. A Florida-based "artist, creator of original lithographs, scholar, and author" named Gary Arsenau is accusing Ono of selling Lennon works that she recomposed and colored -- "essentially cut-and-paste mashups of Lennon themes rather than Lennon prints," as ArtInfo describes it.

"The so-called 'Artwork of John Lennon' being offered for sale in SoHo this weekend was actually posthumously forged in color and new compositions, each part of bogus editions with counterfeit John Lennon chop mark/signatures," Arseneau wrote to ArtInfo.

This isn't the first time Ono has been accused of altering Lennon's artworks, and apparently four of the works on display in "Gimme Some Truth: The Artwork of John Lennon" do appear to have been messed with. The organizers admit that Ono added color to some of the drawings.

As for Gary Arseneau, it's not clear what his deal is, though ArtInfo is giving him a hell of a lot of credence by publishing his accusations. That said, some of the drawings do seem to have been...boosted a little. Curious.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

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