So Ends a Tale of a Fundster's Divorce, a Fake Picasso, and a $36.9MM Auction
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

So Ends a Tale of a Fundster's Divorce, a Fake Picasso, and a $36.9MM Auction

Yesterday was the end of a strange saga involving a genuine painting by a modern master, a fake version of that painting, a famed fundster's divorce, and an auction. What is it with Southern California (current and former) mutual fund entrepreneurs and modern art?

Last night at Sotheby's in New York City, "a private Asian collector" paid $36.9 million (above Sotheby's estimate range of $25 million to $35 million) for Pablo Picasso's Le Repos, artnet reports. (The New York Times also reported on the auction.) The New York Post reports that the painting once belonged to none other than Janus [profile] PM Bill Gross and his now ex-wife Sue Gross. (Business Insider followed up on the Post's report.) Indeed, Bloomberg reports that Sue Gross sold the painting and that part of the proceeds will go to her eponymous foundation.

The way the Post tells it, Sue Gross had both a knack and an affinity for painting her own imitations of great works of art. In the divorce battle last year, she admitted that she painted a replica of this Picasso and then took the original, replacing it with the replica ... without telling Bill, but after he told her to "take all the furniture and art that you'd like." Last summer, during the divorce, Sue won the painting due to a coin flip, and when Bill tried to deliver he found out about the switch and that Sue already had the real painting (which sold last night) while he had the replica she painted.

The Post details more of the Gross' painting saga. The couple finalized their divorce last October.

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