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The Tale of Inigo Philbrick and His Lawsuits

Infamous art dealer Inigo Philbrick saw his assets being frozen by a British court last week. This was just one of the many troubles he is caught in right now. But what exactly is the entire matter?

The recent lawsuit was filed by Satfinance Investment Ltd. and its owner Alexander Pesko. According to Pesko, Philbrick had led them to believe that a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting titled Humidity was worth $18.4 million. The company paid him $12.2 million, acquiring 66 per cent stakes in the painting. However, it was later revealed that the actual value of the painting was $12.5 million, which would have earned them a 97 per cent ownership. 

As a result, the company filed a lawsuit against for misleading them. The court approved the request and ordered the freezing of Philbrick’s assets. He is estimated to have assets worth $70 million in private and $150 million in business. 

General View of The Royal Courts
London High Court

The art dealer comes from a renowned art family. He began his career at the White Cube gallery in London. Since then, he has operated galleries in Miami and London. His Miami gallery was shuttered recently, while the London one closed on Friday.

This isn’t the only lawsuit against Inigo Philbrick. A Singapore-based investment company LLG also sought a successful freeze on his assets earlier this month. According to its MD Louis Lannoo, both he and Philbrick purchased a $1.07 million Donal Judd work in 2015. However, Philbrick repeatedly stalled revealing the whereabouts of the painting, ultimately cutting off contact in 2017. Yet another freezing junction was achieved by German investment firm FAP. According to the company, Philbrick had withheld numerous works worth $14 million from the company. The items included works from artists like Donald Judd, Wade Guyton and Rudolf Stingel. It is interesting to note that one of the aforementioned Rudolf Stinger is also being sought by Pesko.