Last week, Ezra Merkin, the disgraced financier who funneled a couple of billion to Bernie Madoff and has since been slapped with civil fraud charges, agreed to give up his prized collection of art as part of a deal with the attorney general's office. Like you, we found the news deeply troubling. Can you imagine what it must be like to spend years buying up one priceless Rothko painting after another, only to have Andrew Cuomo come along and run off them? Not fun! As always, though, we're here to help: We just sent a lovely Rothko poster to Merkin at his 740 Park Avenue duplex. Just because you aided and abetted the biggest crook in American history doesn't mean you should have to stare at bare walls all day!
Sure, a poster hardly compares to the genuine article, but at $9.99—or $8.49 after you factor in the 15 percent discount we were offered as first-time buyers—the price is hard to beat. A single poster, however, isn't going to be nearly enough to allow replace what Merkin's lost. So if you, too, are in a giving mood today, you're more than welcome to do your part to help out. Pick from one of the many posters here and send it to Merkin at the address below. (Just don't send the same one we sent, obviously.)
Mr. J. Ezra Merkin
740 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
If you're feeling extra-generous, you can pay an additional $150 or so to have it framed. But don't feel obliged. Presumably when the feds ripped the canvases off the wall, they left the wooden frames behind, so Merkin can just reuse them with these imitations. It will almost be like Merkin never surrendered the paintings in the first place!
The Mark Rothko Collection [AllPosters.com]