This is pretty crass. Tyler already posted it (Don't miss his image), but I got the email too and wanted to share.
We would like to bring to your attention a fraudulent situation or at the very least, a misrepresentation.
The artist Jack Pierson has been making what he calls "word sculptures" for over 15 years now. The works are composed of found and retrieved signage from locations as diverse as Las Vegas casinos to defunct 42nd Street movies palaces. In a catalogue representing the collection of the Whitney Museum, they are described as "ready-made objects to express the pathos underlying the American Dream -- a pathos embodied in the mismatched letters of old movie marquees and commercial signs from which his work is created... His found letters are, in a sense, discarded dreams, their original purpose long forgotten."
These works have been documented in numerous books chronicling contemporary art and are in the collections of the Whitney Museum, The Musée dArt Contemporain in France, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. They have also been published in box sets of postcards available at many museum bookshops.
Around a year or so ago, imitations or forgeries of these works began to appear in Barneys clothing stores throughout the country saying such things as "fabulous, courageous, and outrageous." They are formally weak plagiarized versions of Jack Piersons work and we want you to know that they are not by Jack Pierson. Many people have assumed they are. They are, in fact, made by Simon Doonan, the chief window dresser at Barneys. Jack Pierson has asked that he remove them but he has refused.
We regret this lack of integrity on the part of Simon Doonan and Barneys. They obviously have no respect for artists or the art world.Sincerely,
Here is an image of a real one, provided in the gallery's email:
Jack Pierson DESIRE/DESPAIR, 1996
Jack Pierson's show at Cheim and Read opens at the end of this month.
For future reference, the store is "Barneys" not "Barney's."