PHILADELPHIA (CN) – The son of a late art dealer has sued his uncle, claiming the man refuses to return an Andy Warhol portrait of his late mother. The painting is worth more than $350,000, the son says.
Robert Fenton, trustee of the Fenton Family Trust sued Neil Balick, a dentist, in Federal Court.
Fenton says his late mother, Joyce Balick Fenton aka Shaindy Fenton, was “a renowned art dealer who operated a private art gallery from her home in Fort Worth, Texas.”
He says his mom became friends with Warhol, and commissioned three portraits from him, “in exchange for her transfer of certain artwork and jewelry to Mr. Warhol.”
Warhol made three acrylic silk-screen on canvas portraits of Shaindy Fenton, in 1978, 1980 and 1983, a blue one, a red one and a pink one, Fenton says.
Shaindy Fenton died in January 1984 and in December that year, Robert Fenton says he sent the blue portrait to his uncle, the defendant. Fenton says it was a loan, and that Balick understood that.
Thought the attorney for the Fenton Trust, Robert says, he asked his uncle in June this year to return the portrait, but Balick responded, through his attorney, that he won’t do it.
Fenton wants the picture back. He says its appraised value is more than $350,000. He is represented by Jeremy Mishkin, with Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads.