On Feb. 26, 2016 the universally discredited Canadian Indian imposter- impersonator Ritchie Sinclair was suddenly and unceremoniously dumped by Mayberry Fine Art as an artist it would represent. Mayberry Fine Art is one of Canada’s biggest art retailers, with outlets in Toronto, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Sinclair is a wildly notorious practitioner of the widely discredited “Faux-nishinaabe” school of pseudo-Indian art made by white men, who try to fool clients who want genuine Indian art, by dressing up in Davy Crockett costumes, growing long unruly hair, waving turkey feathers about, taking on multiple pseudo-Indian names, and walking around muttering mumbo-jumbo chants, or doing hokey “Bear Dances.”
Note: Jack Pollock, Morrisseau’s longest serving and most successful art dealer, in his autobiography, wrote with sarcastic envy of Norval’s penchant for indulging in pseudo-Indian rituals because it attracted lots of attractive young men whom he could seduce.
“Norval…began an incredible journey into total sexual indulgence. I have often fantasized about his coterie of beautiful young men (all hustlers, all very well paid with thousands of dollars in cash which I provided from paintings sold), lots of drugs, and ritual pseudo-Indian ceremonies.” (Jack Pollock, Dear M, 1989, p 38)
NOTE: This is the infamous period in which the Volpe money-laundering crime family hired Norval to paint, by paying to fuel his raging appetites with what Pollock referred to as “dollars, dicks, and dope.”
This is the same period – late fall of 1979 – that a very young Ritchie Sinclair makes his very first appearance on the “Morrisseau scene.” Sinclair has testified in court that this is the very period he started “to work for the Volpes” and first went off with Norval.
Norval’s kid brother Wolf, testified in court that, in fact he’s responsible for bringing the much older Morrisseau and the young guy – some 30 years apart – together. Wolf told Judge Martial he hired Sinclair on the streets of Toronto to provide sexual services for Norval, after his brother had ordered him to go to the big bad city to find him a lover.
Not a Clue – It certainly goes a long way to explain why Norval, a fiftyish artist at the peak of his artistic fame and power, would possibly be interested in “hooking up” with a total nobody like Sinclair, a twentyish young school dropout, who stated publicly that when he met Norval he did not even know who the famous artist was, had never heard of him, and in fact had never seen a painting of his, or a picture of a painting of his and had no experience with Aboriginal culture.
So it is not known what part of his bio could possibly be of interest to Norval.
The Morrisseau family is on the record saying Sinclair was only a “short-term boyfriend” of Norval’s, in late 1979, and possibly early 1980. Quite credible, considering Norval’s openly licentious history. In fact in early 1981 Norval, fearing a mob hit, suddenly ran out on the Volpes, and left their “dollars, dicks, and dope” 900 plus kms behind, and the southern Ontario region where he had met up with Sinclair.
In fact Sinclair was only one, of an endless line of young men – noted with such envy by Jack Pollock – who moved in with Norval over the decades, who referred to them all as his “apprentices” or “protégés,” protégés being, of course, the well-known term used by a dominating male in a homosexual couple to refer to his compliant underling. Mindlessly and inexplicably, Sinclair still refers to himself publicly as “Norval’s protégé.”
“‘protégé,’ a prison term for the more passive member of a homosexual pairing.” (Dr. Robert Hare – “Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us,” p. 11)
Sinclair’s late-blooming initiative and public rebirth as one of Norval Morrisseau’s many “protégés,” is, of course a very late development in Sinclair’s career – he was now in his fifties – with Sinclair saying only recently – since 2008 – that he had a close and long “painting relationship” with Morrisseau of some 20 years, a claim which, of course the record spectacularly fails to corroborate.
“Faux-nishinaabe artist and Indian imposter/impersonator. Sure we have looked; so have others, including multiple judges in court. None of us can find anything. And Sinclair has spectacularly failed to produce anything either. He is “no proof Sinclair” on this file just as he has been scorched, by judge after judge, discrediting him saying he has spectacularly produced “no proof” for anything he says under oath in court. In fact Justice Thomas R Lederer said in his judgment in 2008, that what Sinclair was publishing was defamatory, based on slip-shod research – even no evidence – as far as he could tell, and that he doubted Sinclair could ever possibly prove what he was saying and claiming.
And then it gets worse…
In a Brampton, ON public court, on Dec. 5, 2012, Deputy Judge W McCrea literally barked at Sinclair, ordering him to remove malicious postings on his website “Because what you are saying is not true!” and when Sinclair balked, the judge raised his voice even higher, “I want it gone, NOW!” I was there and heard the entire memorable exchange.
In fact, far from failing to produce “proof” Sinclair has been cited for perjury – making stuff up and lying about things while under oath – in Superior Court by Brian Shiller (Dec. 6, 2013) and hugely fined (Aug 5, 2015) the maximum by Judge CW Kilian in a Toronto Court for “his false reckless allegations disseminated on a world-wide media.
Why this is key? Here’s why: for 29 years, Sinclair kept a totally understandable silence on this part of his life with Norval – as indeed did Norval’s scores, even hundreds of other young male protégés. From all those years there is not a single video of Sinclair painting with Norval – not one. And not a single photo of them painting together. Not one for 29 years… During the entire lifespan of Norval Morrisseau…
To testify to Sinclair’s claim as being in a painting relationship with Morrisseau.
And then it gets worse…
There is NOT a single mention of the name of Ritchie Sinclair during those 29 years anywhere in the academic literature, in gallery catalogues, in media articles, in Morrisseau biographies, or autobiographies by Norval or anyone else. And there is certainly NOT a mention of him, either, of being in any way associated personally with Norval Morrisseau, or his art.
Nothing; nix; nada… The record is a total blank on this totally invented and undocumented relationship.
Understandably – like all of Norval’s scores upon scores of other “protégés – Sinclair kept his real life with Norval secret. And everyone is grateful for that.
The reason for the silence was clearly to protect the previously secret private life of Sinclair from being publicized. Which it was of course, until Sinclair himself made it a public issue by going public himself with wild and malicious distortions of the true historical record about the art of Norval Morrisseau and his role in it.
But also, because for all those decades, Norval and Sinclair were not in touch in any way, since they lived, after early 1981, first many hundreds, and then thousands of kms apart.
In short, there was NO documented relationship of any kind between Sinclair and Morrisseau during those 29 or so years. That’s why there is no photo, no video, and no audio DNA to show they had a painting relationship of any kind.
It goes a long way to explain why Sinclair is such a totally lousy so-called “Morrisseau expert.” Below is one of the many ludicrous authentications he made, calling it an “Authentic Norval Morrisseau,” on his website (top) not knowing or recognizing that in fact Richard Bedwash had painted it (below). Sinclair has made many equally ludicrous calls, saying the same Morrisseau is “a Masterpiece” one day, and an utter “fake” the next.
Sinclair only invented his so-called life as an artist with Norval in the fall of 2008, a full year after what was left of Norval was safely dead. And 29 years after, as a young man, he had a brief “personal” relationship with the artist.
The exact date of the “birth of the New Ritchie Sinclair as a Morrisseau protégé is known – Aug. 26, 2008, when in a private email to his-then-friend Ugo Matulic, Sinclair suddenly announced a new sales tactic:
“I am capitalizing on Morrisseau’ s name and fame to promote my career, however my motive for doing so is not financial.” (email Ritchie Sinclair to Ugo Matulic, Aug. 26, 2008)
Sinclair knew he had to do something desperate. He was now over 50 and his own “Faux-nishinaabe” acrylic art had sold at Potter Auctions, on St. Valentine’s Day, Feb 14, 2004, for only $30 and $40 for large panels. And a growing list of galleries refused to take his new art.
It’s completely understandable of course – no serious Canadian collector of art wants “Indian copycat art” by a white man, anymore than a collector of Indigenous Inuit carvings wants hokey knock-offs “Made in China, or Japan.” Because it’s not legitimate to start with, and what’s worse is it’s only guaranteed to go down in value. Similarly, no one wants a mail-order Russian virgin, “Made in Japan.”
It only goes to prove – big-time – that white guys, with no Aboriginal cultural background or sensitivity shouldn’t mess with a highly unique, original, and culturally derivative Indigenous Peoples’ art. Which has been proven over and over again by Sinclair, by Kinsman Robinson Galleries and by the NMHS.
Mayberry Dump – The sudden delisting, from their stable of artists, where Sinclair had been briefly listed, took place when Mayberry discovered that Sinclair was found guilty of Libel and Defamation and fined the maximum by Deputy Judge CW Kilian in a Toronto Court.
With his malicious website, the grossly fallacious information which he puts up on the Wikipedia Morrisseau site, and his wildly fraudulent and malicious media manipulations – all done with the full complicity of the Robinson family and Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto – Sinclair and his conspiring cronies have hugely destroyed the valuation of the genuine art of Norval Morrisseau. Some estimate the damage to Canada’s art assets as amounting to 100 million dollars. The ripple effect damage to the art of other Indigenous artists is incalculable.
Cautioned Bonnie Czegledi, a Toronto-based international lawyer, a product of Harvard and Yale, a member of the Canadian, American, and international bar associations, and art fakes sleuth extraordinaire:
“Over a period of a few years, I discovered that the business of art is one of the most corrupt, dirtiest industries on the planet. There are no regulations… It’s not pretty. The patina of loveliness that most people associate with art didn’t exist in the reality that I found. It was filled with criminals – and a lot of different kinds.” (Bonnie Czegledi, quoted,Hot Art, Knelman, p25)
Sinclair has worked hand-in-glove with the Robinsons and KRG since the fall of 2008 when they convinced him to become a business associate and to launch his malicious website. Sinclair and Donald Robinson have also worked hand-in-glove in court cases only to find that judge after judge has scorched and discredited them together, as having no requisite credentials, no trustworthy Morrisseau expertise, no proof for anything they say, and for being just totally untrustworthy about what they say under oath in courts.
Mayberry is only the latest art gallery that has dumped Sinclair, who want nothing to do with him when they find out his discreditable and malicious machinations to devalue Morrisseau’s art.
When I earlier had complained personally, and alerted them with the background information on Sinclair, he was previously dumped by the Art Gallery of Ontario (I had complained to Matthew Teitelbaum), as well as the Singapore International School’s website, and the Queen’s University Art Gallery website, among others.
Two of Sinclair’s shows were followed by the bankruptcy and closing of two galleries: the Scollard Street Gallery and the Lane Gallery in Toronto’s Yorkville district.
Other galleries which have for many years now, also refused to represent Sinclair and his “Faux-nishinaabe” works include: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, the Liss Gallery, Maslak McLeod Gallery, GallerySunami, Woodland Art Gallery, Bearclaw Gallery, Artworld Sherway, Artworld, and now Mayberry Fine Art.
Now Liss-en to this…
The Colour of Perjury
In 2008, while his career as a starving artist was in free-fall, Sinclair asked the Liss Gallery to represent his “Faux-nishinaabe” art.*** In July they brought him in as a third party to advise a client, Kevin Cott, about “Season of Rut for Moose.” Sinclair praised it as a fabulous Morrisseau; so Cott paid $27,000 for this special Morrisseau. End of story; not quite…
A few months after Sinclair highly recommended “Season of Rut for Moose,” the Liss Gallery turned down Sinclair as a gallery artist. Ritchie “Tit for Tat” Sinclair then posted “Season of Rut for Moose” as one of his 1,000 Morrisseau “fakes” on his malicious website. Unbeknownst to Cott…
*** In 2004 “Faux-nishinaabe” artist Sinclair was so hard up that he couldn’t pay his storage locker fees and some of his personal “Faux-nishinaabe” art he stored there was seized and sent to auction to pay his defaulted bills. There his large acrylics went for $30 and $40… Now do you see why, in the fall of 2008, he found it far more profitable to go to work for the Robinson family’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto?
But hey, not so fast; they didn’t want his hokey “Faux-nishinaabe” art either; they only wanted him as an “enforcer” to intimidate KRG’S main Morrisseau art-selling business competitors.
KRG Speaks Volumes – When Sinclair was asked, on the stand, in Hatfield v Artworld, why he had not even been given a show for his works by Kinsman Robinson Galleries when he had been working with them hand-in-glove for years, as a KRG business associate on the Morrisseau file, his answer was swift and strong.
Sinclair replied that KRG put on a Morrisseau show every year or so, and so KRG couldn’t represent him because he was a direct competitor – if you can believe this – of Norval Morrisseau, Canada’s top Aboriginal artist.
Sinclair was soon working out of KRG making videos inside, and taking tours there, and in tandem with Paul Robinson (Nov. 2010), threatening and scaring the Elmwood Spa Gallery into dismounting numerous genuine Morrisseau paintings from a show and cancelling a Morrisseau book launch. He also accompanied Donald Robinson to various courts, with the elder Robinson writing his infamous “expert reports” for Sinclair to use to attack legitimate Morrisseau art and the people selling it – in Otavnik v Sinclair (2010), and in Hatfield v Artworld (2011).
Sinclair was also soon at work, mounting his malicious website, and with dozens of the vilest words he could find in his dictionary, attack people, their businesses, and over 1,000 of their genuine paintings, he had never even seen, with his website.
Not content with that he soon started physically threatening people as well, like the frail 82-year-old Joe McLeod, for decades Canada’s most respected Morrisseau expert. Toronto Police warned Sinclair off. He didn’t give a damn, and was so persistent that on Dec. 18, 2010 Toronto Police arrested him and charged him with multiple acts of Criminal Harassment.
Below, a very typical malicious Sinclair website posting, like hundreds of others.
Above, a typical racist Sinclair posting using the same 50 vile words and accusations he made hundreds of times against all kinds of decent and reputable people selling genuine Morrisseau art.
Here he libels and defames the highly accomplished Canadian Aboriginal artist and community leader Dr. Goyce Kakegamic, an esteemed First Nations Chief and elder in western Canada. Kakegamic has a B.A. as well as an Honorary Doctorate, which must have irked Sinclair who had personally failed all attempts at improving his education and schooling beyond some high school.
Goyce Kakegamic, unlike Sinclair, also had a long and substantial connection with Norval Morrisseau, not only with his art – they were in business together for years – but with his family.
Goyce was Norval’s brother-in-law, who heroically picked up the slack when Morrisseau totally abandoned his wife and kids in northern Ontario to fend for themselves, and went off to live his life of total self-indulgent sexual excess, in urban Canada. It was Goyce who, for years, fed, housed, and clothed Norval’s family. Instead of praising Dr. Kakegamic, Sinclair mounts a racist diatribe against him, on his malicious website, as he did against so many First Nations people, including all Norval’s Aboriginal family members.
“Seasons of Rut for Moose” Resurfaces – Not till 2012 was Kevin Cott, the owner of “Seasons of Rut,” made aware of the double-dealing deception by Sinclair and testified he was astonished to learn, for the first time, only weeks before he testified in Hatfield v Artworld, that Sinclair had posted it as a fake.
Sinclair, was quickly brought in by Jonathan Sommer, as a “rebuttal witness.” Under oath Sinclair said Cott was mistaken about it all, claiming that only a few weeks after he and Cott had originally met, he called him on the phone telling him “Sorry, I made a mistake about Rut; in fact it’s a fake!” and telling the court that he and Cott had a good laugh about it all… Sinclair now said Cott must have “mis-remembered” the phone exchange.
Do you believe for a minute, that if any of this were true in any way, that Cott, or you, or anyone else in their right mind, would “laugh off” a $27,000 mistake?
No Laughing Matter – There are telling parallels from the same time period. When both Dr. Jonathan Browne (Jan 2009) and Margaret Hatfield (July 2009) were each informed by Sinclair that they had paid $10 – 20,000 for paintings he said were fakes, he actually spear-headed them into launching lawsuits against the so-called offending galleries.
(Both lawsuits were later exposed as totally without foundation and utterly fraudulent from the get-go, launched out of utter malice against two genuine Morrisseau paintings, both subsequently authenticated by forensic scientists, and one by two judges as well.)
This clear case of Sinclair’s perjury was brought up before Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, by Artworld lawyer Brian Shiller, who sternly stated that “Judge Martial had ample proof to charge Sinclair with perjury, but chose not to. I note from your nodding that you have read this part of the trial transcript.” (PLEASE NOTE: I was present on both occasions, and heard Cott, Sinclair, and Shiller in all these exchanges, as well as having read all the transcripts.)
When Sinclair was asked, on the stand, if he had contacted the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, to alert them to his claims that they had fake Morrisseaus – as posted on his notoriously malicious website – he blurted out strongly. “No. They know where they can find me!”
A genuine painting “Wheel of Life 1979,” which Sinclair brought into Ottawa’s SAW Gallery F IS FOR FAKE exhibit, in 2014, saying it was a Morrisseau fake, resulted in a lawsuit threat by Artworld unless the gallery immediately dismounted their genuine painting and published an apology in the Ottawa Citizen.
Faster than a speeding bullet SAW Gallery Curator Jason St-Laurent dismounted the painting he had deliberately, and knowingly, fraudulently displayed, and wrote an apology blaming Sinclair for this gross act of curatorial malfeasance committed by him and his gallery.
NOTE: SAW Gallery Curator, Jason St-Laurent told me personally that he had accepted Sinclair’s advice because Sinclair told him “he was instrumental in forming a society (the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society).” (Interview, Jul 31, 2014.)
The Many Faces of Cultural Genocide
below the Apology in the Ottawa Citizen after my “heads-up” alerted Artworld to the malicious act of cultural genocide, libel and deliberate intent to do damage to its reputation, committed by the above “Gang of Sneaks” in vilifying as “fake” its genuine Morrisseau painting, “Wheel of Life 1979.”
St-Laurent told me he knew he was doing it because he didn’t like art galleries, and he liked to cross the line in “risk-taking” because it promoted interest in his shows.
Sinclair using the same “Wheel of Life” painting, appeared on CTV with it claiming it was fake.
This time I threatened CTV executives with a lawsuit; that I would sue unless they made suitable amends in a timely manner, as stipulated by the Libel and Slander Act, for gross failures of Due Diligence before publishing, for being guilty of actual malice and gross negligence.
CTV immediately dismounted the vicious, malicious, and meretricious broadcast, and associated publications featuring Sinclair, from its archives, but rather than make amends and apologize, it tried to cover up its broadcast malfeasance.
I launched a lawsuit which is progressing satisfactorily through the courts. So far different judges have sided with us against demands from CTV that our case be dismissed, finding our argument and proof – some 30 volumes of documents and the supporting arguments – utterly more convincing than what CTV’s lawyers are claiming as a defence.
In August 2015, Jim White won his lawsuit against Sinclair, with Judge Kilian awarding him the maximum $25,000 against Sinclair, plus $3,750 in damages, for “false reckless allegations disseminated on a world-wide media.” He said had it been in his power he would have fined Sinclair another $10,000 in punitive damages.
My own lawsuit for Libel and Defamation against Sinclair is satisfactorily working its way through the courts.
Sinclair and his malicious persona has caused a lot of people lots of grief, and destroyed the fair valuation of all of Morrisseau’s genuine works of art for this generation of Canadians.
Finally people are striking back against him and the small and malicious cabal of fellow white people behind him who have promoted the worst act of cultural genocide in Canadian history, against the art of Norval Morrisseau and Canada’s Aboriginal artists.