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Perelman’s ‘Popeye’ Spurs Accusations of Secret Deals at Gallery

Gallery owner Larry Gagosian is accused in two lawsuits, including one brought by billionaire Ron Perelman over a $4 million sculpture named “Popeye,” of using his position in the art world to negotiate secret deals, push clients around and manipulate prices for contemporary works.

Gagosian “took advantage of his position of trust” to force his longtime friend Perelman to buy “Popeye,” a granite sculpture of the cartoon character by Jeff Koons for $4 million, Perelman said in his Sept. 12 suit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.