Please help re: BATMAN piece by Norm Breyfogle
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645 posts
Posted (edited)

Hi all,

A few months ago we've lost the great Norm Breyfogle, 
who I was honored to be a friend of (and a fan of for many years).

A wonderful artist and a kind soul.

I'm addressing the OA community, in hope to find a resolution 
for one matter, revolving a piece of original art;

In early 2017, Norm Breyfogle sold me this piece (see attachment)
and even mentioned it publicly in a post on his personal Facebook wall.

I can provide all the documentation of the purchase,
and also the messages of Norm Breyfogle which also reaffirm it.

Upon my request, he held off shipping it, so sadly,
it was never shipped to my address.

Whoever currently holds this piece of artwork,
I'd be very thankful if you could please PM me or e-mail me at:

galschwart@gmail.com

so we could sort out the details regarding this matter quickly.
I'll be happy to provide my shipping address and cover shipping costs again.

I'd appreciate any further help in resolving this.
 

Much thanks, 
Gal

Breyfogle_Batman.jpg

Edited by Gal Schwartz

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Isn’t part of the story missing?

At least I don’t get the whole story.

So was it shipped by accident to someone else ?

 

Was the artwork kept by his family ?

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Posted (edited)

As far as I know as of now, the family didn't locate the art.

Its current whereabouts is a mystery to me as well.

Edited by Gal Schwartz

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So you're due a refund. I understand you likely want the art a lot more than the money but let's not overcomplicate this either.

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Not looking to overcomplicate anything,
I wanted to let it be known that I was looking for it,
hoping anyone who might have some information could chime in.

Norm was a friend and I don't wish to overburden his family
(who seem to be nice people).
 

Thanks,
Gal

 

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1 hour ago, Gal Schwartz said:

Not looking to overcomplicate anything,
I wanted to let it be known that I was looking for it,
hoping anyone who might have some information could chime in.

Norm was a friend and I don't wish to overburden his family
(who seem to be nice people).
 

Thanks,
Gal

 

Trying to blindly identify where the art is currently, then negotiate out your ownership priority over somebody else's, all this only if the art ever entered the collector community or even left Norm's estate to begin with, is considerably (nearly infinitely so) more complicated than: requesting a refund.

I call that overcomplicated. You don't?

(...and NO I don't have it or have any interest vested or otherwise in Norm's art or market in any way, so let's not leap down that rabbit hole.)

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2 hours ago, vodou said:

Trying to blindly identify where the art is currently, then negotiate out your ownership priority over somebody else's, all this only if the art ever entered the collector community or even left Norm's estate to begin with, is considerably (nearly infinitely so) more complicated than: requesting a refund.

I call that overcomplicated. You don't?

(...and NO I don't have it or have any interest vested or otherwise in Norm's art or market in any way, so let's not leap down that rabbit hole.)


The family has acknowledged that the piece was supposed to be sent to me (by Norm)
and said they'd send it my way if they ever locate it. I'm thankful for that.

Also, Norm himself had stated publicly (on a FB post of his) that he'd sold that piece to me
(he approached me and offered it to me to begin with...), I even helped him stitch the scans on Photoshop
so we could both post it online (he did on FB and I did on CAF) and of course the purchase is well documented.

There's no need to negotiate ownership, I just want it to be known that I'm looking for it and whoever has it at hand
should contact me so we could resolve the matter.

As for the refund - I paid Norm and not his family, so I don't feel comfortable trying to ask them for a refund,
especially if they don't have the art to keep in return.

I look at this piece as a memento from Norm as a friend, he approached me with it and I was happy to become its
supposed caretaker, I had no plans of reselling it and once I (hopefully) get it, I'm hoping to keep it for the long haul.

Thank you for taking the time to address it and I hope I could soon update with a resolution, in the meantime, 
any further advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,
Gal

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1 hour ago, Gal Schwartz said:


The family has acknowledged that the piece was supposed to be sent to me (by Norm)
and said they'd send it my way if they ever locate it. I'm thankful for that.

Also, Norm himself had stated publicly (on a FB post of his) that he'd sold that piece to me
(he approached me and offered it to me to begin with...), I even helped him stitch the scans on Photoshop
so we could both post it online (he did on FB and I did on CAF) and of course the purchase is well documented.

There's no need to negotiate ownership, I just want it to be known that I'm looking for it and whoever has it at hand
should contact me so we could resolve the matter.

As for the refund - I paid Norm and not his family, so I don't feel comfortable trying to ask them for a refund,
especially if they don't have the art to keep in return.

I look at this piece as a memento from Norm as a friend, he approached me with it and I was happy to become its
supposed caretaker, I had no plans of reselling it and once I (hopefully) get it, I'm hoping to keep it for the long haul.

Thank you for taking the time to address it and I hope I could soon update with a resolution, in the meantime, 
any further advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,
Gal

From what you have described, there is a very good chance it was misplaced, not taken. He probably placed it somewhere with the intent to ship it and then died. Did he have any regular workplaces, and were they throrougly checked? Hopefully, nothing of his was thrown out. Or, it could have been misfiled and it will turn up in the equivalent of an old closet.

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4 hours ago, Gal Schwartz said:

There's no need to negotiate ownership, ...

Try explaining that to the guy, if there is one, that bought this himself 'fair and square' (he assumes)! It's not as if this situation hasn't ever come up before either. I'm just saying it's never as cut and dried as it looks from your pov, that's all. The refund is straightforward, true not his family's problem (per se) but certainly his estate's and whoever benefited from the dispersal of it (which was likely...his family!)

Hey, btw I hope this all works out for you, I'm just playing devil's advocate as usual. The most likely thing is the piece got sidelined somewhere and never left Norm, but finding it today (or rather hoping somebody with access to Norm's "stuff" bumps into it)...whew...that's going to be mostly luck.

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Posted (edited)

Yup - depending upon the value of the piece you might consider making a claim against the ESTATE of the late Norm Breyfogle.  Not to be malicious but just as a matter of business.  You see it all the time in newspapers...Anyone having a claim against the late....  Chances are that estate has not been fully wound up yet as these things are not done over night.

If you know the executor/executrix of the estate, send him or her a registered letter with all of the particulars.  This formalizes things.  Again, depending upon the value of the piece you could consider lawyer to lawyer correspondence.

I've seen it happen where friends/family descend and take stuff as if it were some sort of free for all - will or previous arrangements be damned.  That may have happened in your case especially if there was no note/instructions with the piece - formal communication with the executor/executrix may jog memories if someone's walked away with the piece.

Follow up in another 6 months or so.

Edited by pemart1966

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I’m also confused on the timeline. I get various reasons for waiting to ship things but it sounds like well over a year but probably closer to a year and a half went by without it being ever shipped before Norm unfortunately passed away. 

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7 hours ago, pemart1966 said:

If you know the executor/executrix of the estate, send him or her a registered letter with all of the particulars.  This formalizes things.  Again, depending upon the value of the piece you could consider lawyer to lawyer correspondence.

This is excellent advice.  'Formal' communication does not have to be confrontational.  Depending on Norm's record-keeping skills (a slim hope, I suppose) the executor may even have access to formal or informal sales records which might point in the direction the piece might have gone.

Best of luck!

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Mephisto said:

I’m also confused on the timeline. I get various reasons for waiting to ship things but it sounds like well over a year but probably closer to a year and a half went by without it being ever shipped before Norm unfortunately passed away. 

Norm approached me in 2016, mentioning this piece, while actually locating and scanning it in 2017, so it was indeed years.

Since Norm was already post stroke, I didn't want to be pushy (regarding shipping) as I wasn't sure what physical toll it would require of him.
While he offered to ship quickly, I told him to take his time with it. Also, he told me he might have some other items he would be able to locate and possibly
offer to me to purchase (he even got to scan a few), so I figured maybe I might buy another one down the line and have both items shipped together at some point .
I thought "there's always tomorrow" ...until there wasn't... :(

Edited by Gal Schwartz

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Posted (edited)

Hi guys,

It's been almost two months since my last post and I still don't have any new lead
to the current whereabouts of the missing artwork. 

I'd be most grateful if the community could pass around the story/info so might
reach the relevant people. 


Many thanks,
Gal

Edited by Gal Schwartz

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6 hours ago, Gal Schwartz said:

Hi guys,

It's been almost two months since my last post and I still don't have any new lead
to the current whereabouts of the missing artwork. 

I'd be most grateful if the community could pass around the story/info so might
reach the relevant people. 


Many thanks,
Gal

Gal, have you tried asking the family to send you another piece in place of the one you did not receive? At least you'd have something. I think continuing to wait is a mistake and you should try to resolve this with them as quickly as possible or else you might be completely out of luck.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2019 at 6:40 PM, Michael Browning said:

Gal, have you tried asking the family to send you another piece in place of the one you did not receive? At least you'd have something. I think continuing to wait is a mistake and you should try to resolve this with them as quickly as possible or else you might be completely out of luck.


TBH, I felt uncomfortable to ask for a substitute piece from the family.

Also, according to one person related to the estate, they didn't even find any Batman art
at his apartment (apart from a few doodles from Norm's childhood).

The current whereabouts of the artwork that was in Norm's possession before his passing
is a mystery and I was hoping the community would help me solve it.

 

Thanks !

 

 

Edited by Gal Schwartz

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On 1/6/2019 at 12:38 AM, thethedew said:

This is excellent advice.  'Formal' communication does not have to be confrontational.  Depending on Norm's record-keeping skills (a slim hope, I suppose) the executor may even have access to formal or informal sales records which might point in the direction the piece might have gone.

Best of luck!

Good luck with your search, I hope you find the artwork. I also agree that a formal inquiry to the estate might be the best way to ensure that your piece, if/when uncovered during the estate review process, is identified as having an owner (you).

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ask for another piece or for a refund. you already know this. what do you want the court of oa public opinion to do? cmon now. 

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Maybe the art passed through one of the dealers (Anthony Snyder/Burkey) did you check with them?

Also, offering a finder's fee may help uncover the art. 

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