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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Bill's Picasso story

    Hello, Everyone — I've just been told by a couple of friends that Kevin Moore has published a video about me and the strange, complicated and interesting Picasso story, which many of you may already know about.

    For anyone who's not at all familiar with this, I shared the whole story back in December 2018, here, on my personal Q&A thread. Here it all is:

    ~~~

    Quote Posted by Bassplayer1 (here)
    Hi Bill, I remember you a couple of weeks ago talking about 'doxxing' or being 'doxxed' and I'll admit I had to google what that term means as I didn't know! Anyway, this thread has grown into a large resource of wonderful info that I wouldn't know where to begin to find the post/comments about this. However, I DO remember it having something to do with Corey Goode. It's not my intention to bad mouth anyone or start gossiping, but I think you said he'd made a vicious attack about you - was this to do with a Picasso painting I think you've spoken of before? (Sorry my memory is a bit sketchy). I hope I'm not prying but would you care to share that experience with us - or more to the point, would you like the opportunity to get your side of the story off your chest? Once again Bill, thank you for your generosity and insight. xxx
    Yes! The Picasso story. OMG. I've posted about this before somewhere, but here it all is again. It's actually really interesting.

    Many years ago, when I was a child, and we were living in Ghana, my father did a great personal favor for a wealthy art collector who was visiting the country, whose name was Emile Wolf. He was one of the patrons of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    (If you Google ["Metropolitan Museum of Art" + "Emile Wolf"], you'll see him come up in a number of references.)

    In return, he gave my father a Picasso charcoal drawing, which he said "would pay for my education someday". Here it is:



    And here's an enlargement of the signature: "P. Ruiz Picasso". This is how he signed all his early work. (Dr Enrique Mallen — a Picasso expert, see below — dated it to around 1903.)



    Eventually, long after my father had died (and I'd completed my education!), I asked permission from my elderly mother to sell it. It was uncataloged (i.e. it was a previously unknown work, which sometimes happens in the art world), so I needed a certificate of authenticity from a respected art authority. I sought out Dr Enrique Mallen, of the On-line Picasso Project, and paid him $2,000 to examine the drawing. He pronounced it authentic, gave me a fornal certificate of authenticity, and placed it in his catalog.

    Armed with that, I sought out an interested art dealer, and the drawing was sold — for something like (from memory) $120,000.

    But then the buyer tried to sell it on. The buyer's potential client consulted Maya Widmaier-Picasso (Pablo Picasso's daughter), who said it was a fake. Then all hell broke loose.

    The then-owner of the drawing wanted his money back (from the art dealer), and then the art dealer wanted her money back from me. By that time, I no longer had any of the money, as I'd used it to pay off debts. And besides, we'd conducted the sale-and-purchase in agreed good faith, supported by a certificate of authenticity that was actually just as (if not even more) valid than Picasso's daughter's personal opinion.

    But the problem here is that in the art world, if a work gets 'burned' (by any authority at all stating it's not genuine) — then from a collector's point of view, it becomes worth far less on the market. It's all about money... it's not about art, at all.

    Then they took me to court. The art dealer's lawyer recommended that I should be sued for 'art fraud'. That happened in California, and I was then living in Switzerland. I was served papers in the mail that I (naively) signed for.

    I'm really a child in these matters, and so I just called up their lawyer on the phone and told him the truth. Just like he was a friend over a cup of coffee. OMG. He was a nice guy, but of course he was contracted by his client to sue me. He was no 'friend' at all.

    The case ground on, and I never understood any of it. I consulted a lawyer in the US, but was told I'd need to pay $25,000 as a down payment. That wasn't going to happen... I never had any of that kind of money. In the end, I asked a friend of a friend who was a paralegal to take a look at what the heck was going on. I paid him a mere $3,000, which I could afford.

    He did something, but it wasn't enough. Next thing I knew, without ever having attended the court, I was convicted of fraud in absentia (and was ordered to repay the proceeds, plus substantial damages). Of course, I never have. That public record still stands, and it's quite easy, by omitting most of the facts, for someone harboring ill-will to make all this look pretty bad if they choose to.

    The art dealer was compensated by insurance, of course. So no-one actually lost out.

    From time to time this surfaces, and enemies of Avalon gleefully get hold of it and try to shoot me with it. I have a few unpleasant personal experiences of sneering enemies using this to taunt me. I did nothing illegal or unethical, and none of this is anything dreadful in any way. But it's all a little embarrassing, for sure, as I was simply so dumb about how I handled it all.
    ~~~

    Kevin Moore wrote to me a couple of days ago. I don't have permission to quote his email publicly, but I can copy my two replies.

    ~~~
    Kevin, Hi there, and many thanks. I posted the entire story publicly here nearly a couple of years ago:
    Please take a look, and do please read it carefully... there was no dishonesty of any kind. That's exactly what happened.

    My only mistake — but one I'd like definitely to turn the clock back and rectify! — was not responding properly to the court case.

    It's embarrassing, of course, and I wish it hadn't happened! But I never did anything in any way wrong or unethical, and there's not a thing I can do about it now.

    All my best ~ Bill
    ~~~

    He emailed me again. So I replied a second time:

    ~~~
    Hi again, Kevin — thanks again, but I don't know how I can explain what happened any more clearly.

    I do hope you had time to read my forum post! All the information was there. If I had anything to hide, I'm sure I'd have been uncomfortable answering the question publicly.

    The charcoal sketch (it wasn't really a 'painting': there's a good photo of it on my post) actually formally belonged to my mother, but was sold by me with her full permission, as she was very much in her twilight years then. I even had a letter from her authorizing me to sell it for her.

    After I'd contacted a number of agents I found on the net (I know very little about the art world!), it was sold in good faith with a certificate of authenticity from a Picasso expert (Dr Mallen, in Texas), who described it in his catalog. Without that, of course, I'd never have been able to sell it at all.

    And Lisa bought it in equally good faith. Nothing fraudulent occurred! When my father was given the sketch, I was 5 or 6 years old. I didn't know my father's art collector friend! I was just a kid. It was always one of those things that was in the family, as a kind of curiosity.

    As best I understand, the entire problem only arose when Lisa was told that her client could not sell it on to another buyer. I wish that was not the case, and I wish none of that had happened. But the art world seems to be very fickle. There was not a thing I could do about any of that.

    The transaction was not fraudulent! Lisa had the certificate of authenticity, but apparently it wasn't accepted by her client's buyer when he tried to sell it on.

    So it was all a giant mess, which I totally regret. Absolutely, for sure! And when it suddenly turned into a court case, that really took me by surprise.

    I was living in Switzerland at the time, about 3 years later. All I did, really naively, was I picked up the phone and talked openly to Lisa's lawyer, just like I'm 'talking' to you now. I simply told him the truth about what had happened.

    But of course, I wasn't talking to a judge! I was talking to the lawyer whose job it was to sue me. Like you, I'm a very trusting person, and I simply answered all his questions. We had what I thought was a very friendly, open conversation.

    I told him everything I knew, just as I have here and earlier. I had this silly idea that he sounded like a decent person, and so he'd be sure to understand. (But that's not how the American legal system works!)

    As best I know, at first the court case was dismissed, but then I was told later it had been reversed on appeal. I never had a lawyer, was never in court, and barely ever knew a thing about it.

    So (a) I was never dishonest, ever, in any way, and (b) I definitely WAS totally naive in the way I handled the court case and the lawyer who contacted me. In that respect (i.e. the court case and the lawyer), I was just like a child, really.

    That was all really dumb of me. But I wasn't even in the US at the time, and had no idea what to do. It all sucked, and — I've said it so many times! — I do wish I could turn back the clock and handle the whole thing differently.

    But 'dishonest' — no. I'm not that in any way, and I've absolutely not defrauded anyone in my life as best as I'm aware. I'm sure you know I'm not like that.

    I do hope all this makes sense, and you can empathize a little... Kevin, I really can't explain it all any better.

    All my best ~ Bill

    ~~~

    Here's the video. I doubt if I'll watch it! I'm certain it paints me in a pretty horrific light. I'm happy to answer all questions, if I can — of course.


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    United States Avalon Member Strat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Maybe off topic but I'm actually related to Picasso via my mothers side of the family. Her maiden name isn't Picasso but we have an old hand written genealogical map (or whatever it's called) showing our relations. It was later confirmed via ancestry.com.

    I'm not really interested in the video, Kevin Moore is the worst. I respect you Bill but I don't understand why you engage with him.
    That's life, and I can't deny it
    Many times I thought of cuttin' out but my heart won't buy it

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Thanks Bill
    I wish I could read the words from Kevin Moore, but as you write he didn't agree to that (strange? ...) " I don't have permission to quote his email publicly "

    Just out of curiosity, I can't see the signature "enlargement of the signature: "P. Ruiz Picasso"
    Maybe someone in the forum could help out ?

    I sometimes listen to Kevin Moore and some of he's interviews are really good.
    As a matter of fact I agree with him about he's critisim about Kerry Casssidy's belief in Mark Richards.
    Last edited by Rawhide68; 20th September 2020 at 01:29.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Bill, I’ve sent you an email. No need to respond. I didn’t want to add it on the open forum because it’s exactly what Moore feeds on.

    THE ISNN - International Spiritual News Network



    Last edited by RunningDeer; 20th September 2020 at 01:41.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by Rawhide68 (here)
    Just out of curiosity, I can't see the signature "enlargement of the signature: "P. Ruiz Picasso"
    Maybe someone in the forum could help out ?
    Yes, it's a little hard to see from the photo. (It was easier to see it on the real thing.) My father was told that P. Ruiz Picasso was always how he signed his early work. (Dr Eugene Mallen, who provided the certificate of authenticity, dated it to 1903.)

    Quote Posted by Rawhide68 (here)
    As a matter of fact I agree with him about his criticism about Kerry Cassidy's belief in Mark Richards.
    Yes, I do, too. I'd always told Kevin that.

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    Avalon Member Kryztian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    When I heard Kevin Moore was going to make a documentary about the Mark Richard's case, I thought it would be a real service to humanity. When he began to reveal how dysfunctional and egomanical he was during his short time here on Project Avalon, my doubts grew. Frankly, I do not think now he is ever going to complete his "documentary" and that is probably a good thing.

    Although he and this art dealer "Lisa" do lots and lots of whining and complaining, they offer absolutely no proof or evidence that you did anything other than try to accurately describe the provenance of the drawing you had and sell it in good faith. What this has to do with the Mark Richards story or what you even have to do with it is completely beyond me.

    I think somewhere Kevin Moore said he wanted to be like Oprah. I remember the early days of Oprah, where she always told stories that had victims and victimizers, everything in black and white. I think some people have followed up on some of the stories and shown that there were a lot of shades of grey and that Oprah broadcasting a distorted version of the story had a unfairly damaging effect on people's lives. I think Oprah has moved beyond that now, but Kevin Moore is almost a bad parody of that.

    I think one of these days Kevin's need to publicly slander people on Youtube (to aggrandize his own ego) is going to get him in a lot of trouble.
    Last edited by Kryztian; 20th September 2020 at 11:13.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    What an unfortunate mess.

    That being said this changes absolutely nothing of my affinity for Bill and this forum.

    And its pretty brutal for a youtube "influencer" to look for dirt on somebody and title their video as such. Accomplishes nothing.
    Last edited by Tyy1907; 20th September 2020 at 04:35.
    "Without the human request, nothing will happen."

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    United States Moderator Sue (Ayt)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    The whole affair from 14 years ago sounds like it should be between the original authenticator who issued the certificate and the daughter who simply didn't recognize it. No one was scammed except (possibly) by the person who issued the certificate of authenticity. Isn't that the official job of the Art Authenticator? Does he hold no responsibility?

    Who holds the painting now? Sounds to me like it still could be a valuable piece, and it appears the art dealer must have it still. Have others examined the authenticity, I wonder? The whole thing is quite fishy sounding, and the Art world, according to many, is full of dealings in the shady underworld - ie money laundering and illegal purchases and such.
    "We're all bozos on this bus"

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    Avalon Member meeradas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    *yawn*
    Moore again.
    *snore*

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    The real problem is over provenance, money only indirectly. If you claim, for whatever benefit, to be a descendant of the Queen of Sheba, you need to produce an unbroken genealogy taking us from her to you. If you are the ‘one careful owner’ selling a secondhand car, best have the original sale deed and all the maintenance invoices. If you are applying for a job, you better not have too many gaps in your CV suggesting you were out of work for much of the time; your prospective employer might baulk at what has been left unsaid. Etc.


    Emile Wolf seems to have made a generous spontaneous gift of this drawing, but I gather the gift was undocumented, innocently slipping into the above type of scenario. If there had been a certificate of donation by Emile Wolf, including where he got it from, then the provenance would have been clear. The trouble is, when an unknown artwork turns up somewhere like this – no need to go to a dark corner of Africa – then alarm bells will inevitably start going off. Art forgery is a huge problem: see this story, “'Catastrophe': French museum discovers half of its collection are fakes”
    Last edited by araucaria; 20th September 2020 at 18:37.


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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Kevin Moore , I have listened to much of his early stuff and have been less than impressed with most of it , although if I recall the corey goode and mark richards videos definitely have merit , instinctively I disliked him and his style as it only seems self serving with a thin veneer of concern for the truth. Speaking of the truth he has openly confessed to a less than perfect past himself which many would possibly find interesting and imformative, he has a video of this somewhere on youtube/his own channel , I really cant be bothered to search it out.

    The story of Bill and the painting, um, well unfortunate and misjudged perhaps , the conversation between Kevin Moore and the women art dealer is something else , if she is to be taken at her word a damning testimony IF much of it is true.

    I find it very sad when this sort of thing happens on a personal note because , is it true, partly true , complete vindictive nonsense, complete smokescreen or deliberate damnation of a person to discredit them and their work but , that seems to be the way of the world especially at the moment , do l have doubts? , my bull**** detector is very tired at the moment.

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    Scotland Moderator Billy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    I know nothing about the art world.
    But it appears to me that legally the dispute should be between Dr. Enrique Mallen from the on-line Picasso project whom gave the art work a certificate of authenticity and Maya Widmaier-Picasso who believed the art work was not a genuine Picasso ?

    As far as I can gather, no one knows yet if it is genuine or a fake ?
    When you express from a fearful heart in the now moment, You create a fearful future.
    When you express from a loving heart in the now moment, You create a loving future.

    Have no fear, Be aware and live your lives journey from a compassionate caring nurturing heart to manifest a compassionate caring nurturing future. Billyji


    Peace

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    UK Avalon Member snoman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    I have always been curious as to how Atticus/Charles managed to help out in respect to the case. I recall him telling me when he came to stay at mine that the buyers who were feeling stung had invested cartel money in this piece? Did he get you off a hook like he professed?

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    Ireland Avalon Member Adi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    My positive opinion of Bill Ryan is not changed by this story. It's a story, granted the facts aren't the greatest, but taking a global view of Bill, his work, etc, etc, I do not detect malice in anything here. In my opinion, nothing to see here!
    Last edited by Adi; 20th September 2020 at 11:43. Reason: Increase font size

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    Avalon Member Star Mariner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    A fascinating story thank you for sharing it Bill. How sad, and also typical, that a vulture would swoop in and use it to malign and scandalize your name, as if they have no higher purpose than to sully reputations. But that's the way of the media world, even in internet land.

    What is your opinion of the drawing today? Do you believe it really is and always was genuine? I know nothing of the art world, although I believe Sue is correct, it's one of many vehicles with which large sums of money are laundered quietly. But if it was authenticated by an expert, I see no reason why this isn't real. I am very glad you initially got a nice sum for it though, so I suppose it doesn't matter anymore!

    I can just about read the signature when enhanced.

    Click image for larger version

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    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
    ~ Jimi Hendrix

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Kevin Moore, you never have anything complimentary to say about anyone. You’re a destroyer of all that’s good.

    A question worth pursuing is, “Am I able to think from the heart and less from the infected technology that continues to consume my humanity?

    Do you rationalize? “I’m making a difference in the world. I’m rooting out all that’s evil.

    Spend your time wisely. Overhaul the inner AI tech that pushes those buttons and levers. The clock is ticking down.


    Last edited by RunningDeer; 20th September 2020 at 15:35.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by Star Mariner (here)
    What is your opinion of the drawing today? Do you believe it really is and always was genuine? I know nothing of the art world.
    Me neither.

    Several years after my father was given the sketch (when we were living in Ghana, and I was a small kid), we all returned to England when I was aged 8, so I could go to school.

    He then sent the sketch to Sotheby's (the well-known London auction house) for their opinion. They immediately verified it as an interesting unknown Picasso, and insured it for £4000 while it was in their possession. (That was around 1961-62, so that equates to about £60,000 in 2005, when it was sold.)

    My father just decided to hang on to it as a family asset. Every now and then he'd show it to someone who knew about these things, and it'd always arouse interest and approval.

    I do know he had a lot of correspondence about it (including with Emile Wolf), but we moved around a great deal back then, and he died in 1986. I no longer have any of the records at all.

    The problem is really with how the art world works. It's not a very attractive sketch! Not the kind of thing someone would hang on their wall above the fireplace. Most works of art like that are bought and sold purely as speculative investments. It's like buying stocks when you think they're sure to go up.

    So when Maya Picasso disavowed it, despite Dr Mallen's certificate of authenticity, the sketch was "burned".

    That's the colloquial term I was told is used in the art world when the authenticity of a work comes into doubt. In a way, it doesn't even matter whether a work IS authentic or not. It's the received opinion (or doubt) about it: all about its perceived market investment value as an asset.

    The doubt or controversy then destroys its value as an investment, because it's then so hard to sell it on again. It actually all about the money. Almost nothing else.

    The problem at my end was compounded because the reason I sold it was because Kelly and I had just bought a large house in California, right at the peak of the real estate market. I'd thought THAT was a good investment, but it went "under water" quickly. I'd had to borrow a LOT of $$$ from good friends just to keep up the mortgage payments. So the Picasso proceeds went straight to pay off those debts.

    In the end, we had to sell the house at a huge loss (which had been in Kelly's name, how come she was caught up in all this). That was at the beginning of 2006, I think. Kelly filed for bankruptcy (which was really tough on her, because she'd done nothing wrong at all). I didn't actually go bankrupt, but I barely had a penny to my name. It was all a massive terrible mess for everyone.

    ~~~

    I was thinking this morning abut the mistakes I'd made. Many reading this may have had similar experiences: when something goes wrong, but the cause of that was this decision a couple months earlier, and the cause of that was that decision which was earlier still.

    Like a chain reaction of dominoes, all falling inexorably towards where they're headed.

    The basic mistake I made was leaving Scotland, and my very rewarding self-made career as a team development and leadership consultant, in early 2005 to relocate in the US (part-time: I'm not a US resident).

    That was the core bad decision. And that was also how come I had the free time to get involved in the Serpo project at the end of 2005 — see this very interesting thread — and 6 months later, Project Camelot.

    If I had ONE opportunity to go back in time, just one time, and do things differently, it'd be back to the start of 2005 when I sold my house in Scotland and left for the US. That was the life-changing, bad-call blunder.

    I was always a risk-taker (which is how come my life has always been fairly interesting), but that was a major, major mistake. I made other bad calls after that (some nearly as bad, one of which is how come I ended up in Ecuador, which was never planned), but that was the timeline-branching root of it all.

    But then, we're definitely into timeline discussions. If I'd not done that, and soon after lost everything I had, would I have become involved with Camelot, and then Avalon, and then be here now?

    Maybe via some other route... but maybe not. These things are by definition unknowable, or at least pretty difficult to be clear about.

    Please forgive the stream of consciousness! You may understand I've been thinking quite a lot about all this the last day or two.

    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 20th September 2020 at 14:27.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Hi Bill. This may be a bit off topic as well but, it actually is is an important element of the whole story, because without it there would be no story at all.

    I can't help but wonder what an artsy fartsy, big city slicker art collector like Emile Wolf, was doing wandering around Ghana with a then unknown charcoal drawing from Picasso, in the first place.

    Seems a rather odd circumstance doesn't it? Did your dad ever elaborate on that?

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    Avalon Member Star Mariner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    But then, we're definitely into timeline discussions. If I'd not done that, and soon after lost everything I had, would I have become involved with Camelot, and then Avalon, and then be here now?
    You nailed it at the end, it was exactly what I was thinking - had you not left Scotland you most likely would not have ended up where you did with Project Camelot, and no Camelot = no Avalon. Everything that happened, happened for a reason, a hidden (at the time), higher reason, which led to where you are now, in not only bringing us all together in this fabulous community, but landing up in Ecuador - a pretty good spot from all I gather!

    Who knows, in another timeline or another dimension it did all fall differently, where you're still in Scotland, not in Ecuador, and as a result there is no Avalon. Personally I'm glad I'm in this version of time, not that one.
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
    ~ Jimi Hendrix

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by Gracy May (here)
    Hi Bill. This may be a bit off topic as well but, it actually is is an important element of the whole story, because without it there would be no story at all.

    I can't help but wonder what an artsy fartsy, big city slicker art collector like Emile Wolf, was doing wandering around Ghana with a then unknown charcoal drawing from Picasso, in the first place.

    Seems a rather odd circumstance doesn't it? Did your dad ever elaborate on that?
    I have no idea! I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time.

    But in those days, there weren't many Englishmen or Americans in West Africa. (My father was actually Canadian, and had a strong North American accent.)

    So expats like that would be very likely to hear about one another, and meet up. What Emile Wolf was doing with the charcoal sketch in Ghana, I have no idea.

    Maybe he'd just come from Europe before heading back to the US, and had acquired it there, or had been given it himself by a friend. (My father said Emile knew it was uncataloged, so it was probably of limited value to him.) We'll probably never know.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 20th September 2020 at 14:49.

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