Steve Martin involved in art scandal

Steve Martin was involved in an art scandal after he paid an estimated $850,000 for a painting he was told was by German-Dutch artist Heinrich Campendonk, called “Landscape with Horses.” It’s believed he was a victim of fraud and that the painting was a forgery, despite the fact that an expert verified the authenticity before Martin bought it in 2004 from the Cazeau-Beraudieren art gallery in Paris. He resold it at auction for $600,000 just over a year later, taking a loss. Investigators say the Campendok is believed to be the work of a team of forgery artists who were arrested last year in Germany. The two men and two women are suspected of selling over 40 forged paintings to galleries. They apparently claimed their paintings were inherited from two of their grandfathers, who’d kept their collections hidden during the Nazi regime.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Angela • June 2, 2011 @ 12:10 AM

    He lost $250,000 on it? That’s a lot of money.

  2. Jessica • June 2, 2011 @ 12:30 AM


    Being an artist, I don’t understand why anyone would pay that kind of money for a piece of art…maybe aq few hundred … but a few thousand?


  3. Germain • June 2, 2011 @ 12:53 AM

    I guess he was smart with money cos he hasn’t been in anything decent in years.

  4. Matt • June 2, 2011 @ 12:59 AM

    ^How does buying a 850k painting make you smart with money?

  5. TheTruth • June 2, 2011 @ 1:36 AM

    Because he had that kind of money to blow on a painting duh…

  6. Germain • June 2, 2011 @ 9:04 AM

    @Matt, the fact that you have 850.000$ to spend on art dumb dumb. Art is a smart investement when you know what you’re doing, in this case, he took a loss but in other cases, he might have made 100.000$ or more on a painting alone.

  7. Matt • June 2, 2011 @ 9:34 AM

    Having money != Smart with money. Look at Donald Trump.
    And I don’t see where it says he was planning on reselling it. Some people resell, some people leave it around the house.

  8. L1feless • June 2, 2011 @ 9:45 AM

    and what in particular has Donald Trump done which would indicate he is not smart with his money? Buying and re-selling art can be quite a lucrative business.

  9. Germain • June 2, 2011 @ 10:28 AM

    Well leaving it around the house is even more of a statement on how smart he is with money don’t you think? He’s not really working anymore and still has that kind of money to spend on art. This was a few years ago and unless I missed something, he hasn’t filled for bankrupty as of yet.

  10. Matt • June 2, 2011 @ 11:17 AM

    @L1feless, I can’t answer you online; he might try to sue me for damaging his image, like he did that bank in Germany after he couldn’t pay back his loan to them.

    @Germain, No, I don’t see what you’re seeing. Saying that someone spends huge amounts of money on items when they aren’t working is usually the argument you make to prove they’re bad with money, isn’t it?

    Besides, his career hasn’t gone completely into coma mode yet. It’s only been two years since the Pink Panther 2 😛

  11. Mike • June 2, 2011 @ 2:02 PM

    His net worth is estimated at over $100 million (look it up)….I think he can take a loss of $250,000 without worrying too much. He was screwed by a team forgery artists AND an “expert” that confirmed it’s authenticity. You cant really blame the guy – let him buy what he wants. What else is he supposed to do – sit on the money until the day he dies?? It drives me nuts when people think that people who made their money should end up donating it away simply because they have it. Get a life!

  12. TheTruth • June 2, 2011 @ 2:08 PM

    Matt let me break it down for you, because you’re obviously too smart to see the simple.

    Steve Martin has NOT been in any wildly successful films in quite some time. The fact that he still has that kind of “left over” money from his days as a sought out after A-list actor, shows that he “has been” smart with his money. And yes leaving money around the house in the form of assets which may appreciate in value over time does = smart with money.

    FYI he does still work, he also plays banjo, is hilarious and is very generous. You guys should check out some of the interviews hes had on Letterman over the years, classic.

  13. Germain • June 2, 2011 @ 2:43 PM

    AHHHH and The Truth will set you free. Thanks, at least person understands my point of view. If he sits on a fortune of 100 Millions, it’s definetly not Pink Panther 2 that made him that money.

    Anyway, I think I made my point with The Truth’s help. Any retort from you Matt would be futile.

  14. Carl • June 2, 2011 @ 3:22 PM

    Jessica. I guess you’re not much of an artist, or someone who appreciates fine art, if you can’t understand why some pieces might carry a larger price tag.

  15. Felicity • June 2, 2011 @ 3:49 PM

    I must really live in a bubble. I can’t believe how people, who don’t even know each other, speak to one another. What Mr. Martin does with his money is his business. The fact that he bought a painting (that he might even have liked), with the expert’s word, is just bad luck. Whether you invest in the market or buy art, it’s all up to the individual. I am sure that he was luckier in other areas. Even if you don’t star in movies etc, there is always something, even residuals that keep on giving. Besides, it’s his business. We don’t share our financial business with the world. These forgers were obviously very good to have not been caught until recently, too bad they didn’t put their efforts into their own work instead of stealing someone elses though.

  16. Matt • June 2, 2011 @ 3:51 PM

    @TheTruth I haven’t said he isn’t smart with money; I haven’t done any research on his financials and try to avoid talking out of my ass, even on the internet. I was asking Germain what about the article led him to believe that Mr. Martin’s good with money. Again, it doesn’t say anywhere that he was planning on reselling it if it had turned out to be genuine. For all we know, he might’ve planned to leave it in the living room for his grandkids to enjoy. If he said he planned on reselling the painting for profit, I wouldn’t have commented, but it doesn’t.

    And this only happened a year or two after Cheaper by the Dozen, which was financially successful.

  17. David • June 2, 2011 @ 3:20 PM

    @Matt – give it up, man! You’re digging yourself deeper. I completely agree with Germain. The fact that Steve Martin has that kind of dough to spend after all thsse years certainly means that he wasn’t stupid with his money. And to those saying it is ridiculous to pay $850K for a painting, well, it’s all relative. Some would say that it is ridiculous to pay $50 for a pair of shoes but that really depends on who that someone is, doesn’t it? I would love to be able to buy a piece of art like that!

  18. Matt • June 2, 2011 @ 4:09 PM

    @David-Oh come on, don’t take away my fun.
    After reading the article, Germain concluded that “Steve Martin is smart with money.”
    The evidence given by Germain and TheTruth to support that statement include 1. He had enough money to buy it even though he hasn’t been in many great movies lately and 2. Selling art makes money.
    My counter-arguments have been 1. Not everyone with money to buy things has been “smart with money” ie. Donald T and that he was one of the leads in a movie that made $140 million in profits the year before, and 2. No where in the article did it say he was planning on selling it after it had accumulated worth.

    I made my original comment because not working for several years + buying expensive things = money smart doesn’t click with me. I haven’t said anything bad about Martin (he’s all I have left of my childhood laughmakers after Leslie died); I just wanted to know how he reached that conclusion given his statement and the info provided in the article.

  19. Monique • June 2, 2011 @ 4:35 PM

    You do know that actors also get residuals when their movies sell on netflix, get played on tv, sold on dvd, merchandise etc right??
    All the stuff Mr Martin has done with his life, I dont think he’ll be hurting any time soon, cash wise, whether he has a bomb movie or not.
    And art…
    I’d pay my first born to have The Nightwatch. just sayin!

  20. Jessica • June 2, 2011 @ 5:18 PM


    Oh no, I’m definately an artist. Perhaps I’m just modest and don’t create images to sell for thousands of dollars. I see my work as my own personal expression.

    I appreciate art in every form. I guess I don’t need a giant amount of money to feel appreciated for the work I do.

  21. JEFF • June 2, 2011 @ 6:51 PM

    Jessica can I paint a picture of you? Lol an artist really? The only artist is that fat guy from Hangover 1, because he some how managed to play the EXACT same role in hangover 2.

  22. Germain • June 2, 2011 @ 7:33 PM

    @Felicity , you said “I must really live in a bubble. I cant believe how people, who dont even know each other, speak to one another.” WHAT!! you are living in a bubble for sure. Is this your first time on the internet?? You know people interact on the internet right??I mean, that’s why they invented it. How do people meet? If I don’t know you, I can’t talk to you, you must be single and living with your parents then. What a dumb comment!!

  23. JEFF • June 2, 2011 @ 7:42 PM

    AMEN GERMAIN! I’ll bet you Felicity has a lot of cats and zero dates. lol

  24. Germain • June 2, 2011 @ 7:43 PM

    Nicolas Cage gets residuals too and went bankrupt anyway. It’s all about how you spend your money “wisely”.

  25. JEFF • June 2, 2011 @ 8:15 PM

    Mc Hammer had a diamond toilet.

  26. Jessica • June 3, 2011 @ 2:18 AM


    Yes. I believe I said artist.

  27. C-Dub • June 3, 2011 @ 10:57 AM

    Did anyone read the article correctly. It’s just NOW saying Steve Martin was involved in this scandle. Um, he bought the painting in 2004! That’s 7yrs ago for $850k, why did he sell it about a year later for a massive loss? So either he knew darn near right away after the painting was apparently autheticated or he just didn’t like his investment and wanted to get rid of it. But if he knew at the time it was potential forgery then shame on him for suckering someone else or kudo’s on him for getting back $600k! and not losing his shirt in the first place.

    re:his money smarts, I don’t believe Martin lives extravagantly. He’s got plenty of $ even if he hasn’t done anything good since Bowfinger. FYI if anyone saw that 30 Rock episode where he was a reclusive billionaire that was awesome!

  28. Matt • June 3, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

    @C-Dub, I think it’s just Tribute reporting on something that happened 6 years ago but not many people were aware of.

  29. JEFF • June 3, 2011 @ 11:27 AM

    Where can one see some of your work Jessica? Website? Are you art nouveau? Byzantine? Conceptual art ?Nabis?

  30. jjones • June 3, 2011 @ 1:07 PM

    If you go back and read the article above it states that the forgers were only “arrested” last year and you know how slow the Justice system is – they probably only got a conviction which is what brought this story to the news now and not back when SM bought/sold the painted in 2004/2005. Just sayin!

  31. Jessica • June 3, 2011 @ 2:58 PM
  32. Kathleen • June 4, 2011 @ 12:40 AM

    I think a few of you have made good points about all of this “art” business with S.M. But, I do think that some of your b*##%@*t back and forth was a little bit rediculous!–You know who you are!! lol As far as S.M. is concerned, he is still a very good stand-up comedian, AND he has his OWN band now, in which he plays the banjo–I think he’s very good at it, and he enjoys himself immensely at it! I agree with ?? comment that he must still be financially well off, and doesn’t need to worry about blowing $850K on a painting, especially if it’s something he really liked and wanted to buy–more power to him. And about his movies; he still did well with ‘The Pink Panther-1’, and ‘GET SMART’–I thought they were hilarious! So,all to one’s liking, and please don’t put him down,as he’s great!

  33. TheTruth • June 4, 2011 @ 1:17 PM

    @Matt on June 2, 2011 4:09 PM

    For how long Steve Martin has been in this industry, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to assume that he knows a little something on what to do with his money. Especially, if he’s able to spend close to $1million on a single painting.

    1. It’s not about him not being in any blockbusters as of late. It’s about him having that kind of cash to “burn”, and not be worried at all. Combined with the fact that he is a veteran in show biz, and is still sitting on, and accumulating wealth.

    2. I’ve never stated that selling art makes money, or was that Steve Martin’s intentions. I simply said that investing in an asset that has the potential to appreciate in value overtime is smart. Going out today and buying a ford focus in hopes it will appreciate in value is dumb. Going out and buying a ford mustang collectible with the possibility of it appreciating in value over time is smart.

    I’m sorry but both your “counter arguments” have nothing to do with/or defend from my statements here or prior.

    1. D Trump, and his lack of anything has nothing to do with Steve Martin and his $850k waste on a painting. The $140 million the movie made has nothing to do with his pay out either. So stop taking things out of context or pulling them out of your as$.

    2. It doesn’t matter if the article never said he was planning on reselling the painting. Once you have an asset it becomes part of your net worth. Or are you too smart too see that as well?

    Anyways I think there’s a bridge calling out for you, it needs someone to keep its underside warm until the next passerby comes innocently along.

  34. Jo-Anne • June 4, 2011 @ 7:10 PM

    Matt, the fact that you have 850.000$ to spend on art dumb dumb”
    think about it….thousands of folks have this amount of money and much much more to spend on art or whatever for that matter. Just having this type of money makes you dumb dumb duh duh


  35. jeff • June 5, 2011 @ 12:55 AM

    WOW that is actually impressive Jessica. You are quite talented.

  36. • June 5, 2011 @ 3:46 AM

    That’s too bad..maybe he should have had the artwork checked out by independent appraisers.
    Anyone spending that much should so so.

    Now, for people who say “Donald Trump is smart”…well if he was so smart….how come he has had so many Bankruptcies with some of his business holdings.

    Someone truly smart would have either s old off the business or find a way to not lose money.

  37. Jessica • June 5, 2011 @ 2:08 PM

    Thanks JEFF


  38. jeff • June 5, 2011 @ 9:38 PM

    What’s your inspiration Jessica?

  39. Germain • June 6, 2011 @ 8:38 AM

    Jo-Anne, you completely missed what I was saying but that’s OK.

  40. TruthBeTold • June 7, 2011 @ 11:17 AM

    Well Jeff, I’m betting it’s not you! LOL (my telepathic reading of Jessica….)

  41. JEFF • June 7, 2011 @ 3:25 PM

    I like art, when it’s done right.

  42. Jessica • June 8, 2011 @ 2:28 AM


    Inspiration? I dunno, what’s around me I guess, what I see and experience. Music and movies inspire me a lot.

  43. jeff • June 8, 2011 @ 9:18 AM

    Well you are doing a good job! What kind of music and movies? For the love of god do not say Bieber and Twilight!

  44. TAC • June 8, 2011 @ 2:01 PM

    Dosen’t anyone realize that, Steve Martin had insurance on the painting. He didn’t loose a dime.

  45. Jessica • June 9, 2011 @ 2:28 PM

    Oh god no!!! Never NEVER Twilight or Beiber!!

    Inception has been a big inspiration, same with Pan’s Labrynth and some other sci-fi/fantasy-ish movies. A lot of thrillers too.

    Music wise? I dunno, a lot of everything. Instrumental, some rock, pop — lol just not country and rap.

  46. jeff • June 10, 2011 @ 9:48 AM

    lol outstanding. Keep it up!

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