You don’t become a king of Las Vegas without knowing some guys. People who get things done. Problem solvers. Fixers, y’know?
For nearly 40 years, Steve Wynn was a king of Las Vegas, and had all kinds of fixers: Divorce lawyers, libel lawyers, other kinds of lawyers. Unfortunately for him, a sexual abuse and harassment guy was not among them, and so he’s been downsizing lately. A few millions shares of his namesake company here, a few million more there and, lacking any more such shares, a $70 million Picasso he had lying around.
The thing is, Wynn Picassos about to change hands have a tendency to fall down the stairs or accidentally smash all of their fingers while trying to hand themselves up, or whatever else happens to people who may or may not get in the way of Las Vegas kingpins. And so it is “Le Marin,” which was supposed to hit the auction block this week. Unlike the painting of his girlfriend masturbating, the Picasso self-portrait is not victim of Wynn’s degenerative eye disease. Either way, though, it now has a hole in it. Luckily, Steve Wynn knows a guy who can fix it. And also a lawyer.
The painting, Pablo Picasso’s 1943 self-portrait, Le Marin (The Sailor), was examined after the accident by outside conservators who “have made recommendations for the successful restoration of the painting,” Christie’s said in a May 13 statement…. The two paintings, as well as a third, were intended as a “kickoff sale” for Sierra Fine Art LLC, an art business Wynn created after stepping down from Wynn Resorts in February in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct.
The accident happened at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza galleries on Friday, May 11, when an extension pole used for painting with a roller slid from a wall where it was leaning and fell, according to Michael Kosnitzky, a partner in the private wealth practice at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in New York, and an outside counsel for Wynn and his family. The pole was leaning against a wall in a “viewing area,” Kosnitzky says.
The attorney argues the accident was a “flagrant act of gross negligence,” arguing that a workman’s painting pole should not have been in an area where “multi-million dollar” paintings were unprotected….
While Kosnitzky can’t speak to how Le Marin was insured, he noted that Wynn, “having gone through this before in terms of damage, in terms of insurance issues and repairs, is a sophisticated business person and he made sure he was properly protected when he entered into his contract with Christie’s.”
Of course, it might not have been an accident or gross negligence at all, but a clever ploy to just make Steve Cohen want it even more.