Rebuild the Dream, MoveOn, Russell Simmons, SEIU, Occupy the Dream and Courage Campaign are planning an event on March 31, 2012 at Ace Museum in Los Angeles called “All in for the 99%” (allinforthe99percent.org). This event is intended to unite art and activism to “create awareness, discussion, and enthusiasm for the issues that inspire the 99% movement.” But the Ace Museum does not represent the 99%!
Ace Museum's Chief Executive Douglas Chrismas has had well over 55 legal disputes with artists and collectors for financial fraud including stealing artwork and refusing to pay artists. A quick Google search will turn up countless examples. Douglas Chrismas has lost lawsuits charging that he stole famous artworks, sold smuggled artwork while claiming it was ‘free and clear of claims’, failed to pay rent and taxes, failed to pay artists for artworks that he sold, and failed to deliver artworks to collectors. He has used bankruptcies to avoid paying claims on at least 7 occasions. One art collector had Chrismas arrested when his bankruptcy filing protected him from paying the money that he owed. Chrismas is currently being sued in a class action lawsuit for "failing and refusing” to pay artists 5% royalties on secondary market sales. Secondary market sales bring in millions of dollars of profit for dealers. Refusing to pay artists 5% for the work they made is clearly exploitative, selfish and greedy. Artists fought hard to win 5% resale royalty rights in California, but art dealers like Chrismas make this law useless.
Ace Museum's board member Bruce Karatz was the CEO and Chairman of KB Homes from 1986 to 2006. He was the 4th highest paid CEO in the US in 2006. But he resigned from KB HHHomes in 2006 because he was charged with 20 felonies related to executive stock options. In 2010, Karatz was convicted of four felony charges for backdating executive stock options in order to make them more valuable without disclosing that information. In this way, Bruce Karatz overstated his earnings and the earnings of KB Homes and then covered it up.
The Ace Museum represents the interests of the 1%. We are concerned that this exhibition at the Ace Museum will whitewash the economic crimes of one of the most egregious art institutions.
Please sign the petition asking Rebuild the Dream to either move the exhibition “All in for the 99%” to a venue that stands with the 99%, or to at least publicly denounce the Ace Museum and it’s CEO Douglas Chrismas to prevent the Ace Museum from whitewashing their economic crimes under the banner of the 99%.