AEG Sued For Damaged Artwork

Three well-known Los Angeles street artists are suing Anschutz Entertainment Group and its Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live in federal court claiming the companies destroyed several works of art worth about $100,000 on loan to AEG’s real estate division.

Large-format art works created by Mear One, Chor Boogie and Shark Toof were on display at the condo facility as part of an AEG promotional event in conjunction with the Los Angeles Art Show in January.

Zohar Law Firm filed the lawsuit on behalf of the artists, event curator L.A. Art Machine and its director, Bryson Strauss.

“What AEG did was in violation of not only my clients’ economic rights, but a violation of their moral rights as defined by federal and state law,” Daniel Zohar said in a Nov. 14 statement. “The Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) and the California Art Preservation Act (CAPA) protect the rights of artists and forbid the desecration, alternation or destruction of works of art.

“These renowned artists had agreed to show their artwork at the Ritz-Carlton Residences to help AEG attract affluent potential clientele to their vacant, multimillion dollar condos. Yet in return, their valuable art was coldly destroyed.”

The suit says AEG reps asked Mear One, Chor Boogie and Shark Toof to leave their large-format murals installed at the penthouse a while longer following the end of the art show. The artists claim they agreed but with the stipulation the pieces would be professionally de-installed under Strauss’s supervision when the time came.

However, the lawsuit claims that several months later when the artists had arranged to pick up their work, they allegedly were told the art had been removed by AEG and disposed of as part of a routine cleanup.

“My clients were shocked by this admission and expected an apology, as well as payment for their artwork. AEG offered neither,” Zohar said. “Apparently they thought my clients lacked the resources and courage to take on such an influential and powerful business. They were wrong.”