At 83, Jasper Johns is one of the best known contemporary artists whose works sell for millions of dollars. Unlike his accomplished contemporaries (past and present), Johns relies on a small group of assistance to help produce his works. Now, one of the longtime assistance is accused of stealing Johns’ works. James Meyer, 51, worked with Jasper Johns between 1985 and 2012.
In 2012, Meyer stopped working for Johns and transferred ownership of the house owned jointly with his wife, into her name only. Following a brief arrest, Meyer was released on an unsecured bond of $250,000. He is accused of falsifying provenance of twenty some works produced by Johns, taking works between September 2006 and February 2012, and illegally selling them for the amount in excess of $6 million. Allegedly, Meyer indicated that the pieces were gifts.
Donna Recant has been identified as the attorney representing Meyer.
Source: “Theft Charges Reverberate in Connecticut Art World” The NYT (Aug. 19, 2013).