This notice is for Dreams Fine Art clients who purchased artwork by artist Bill Mack.
Among other claims, Dreams Fine Art has a pending claim of fraud and misrepresentation against artist Bill Mack individually as well as his company in South Florida's Federal Court. We will update you on the outcome as the case progresses and concludes. In the meantime please email us at email@example.com with any questions.
The below is a portion of testimony in a court proceeding by artist Bill Mack related to his art creation process.
- Good morning, Mr. Mack.A. Good morning.
- Mr. Mack, you testified in Mr. Russomanno's direct that you
paint the Hollywood sign in a photo realistic art style; is
A. That's correct.
Q. Could you explain for the Court and myself exactly what a
photo realistic art style is?
A. Yes. It's complicated but I can do it. Photo realistic
has been around for a long time, probably since the '50s, and I
paint in a realistic style anyway, but photo realism is based
on a photograph. And there's two, the pop art out in photo
realism came out about at the same time.
Photo realists were -- I think there were kind of,
that's the entrance of photos into art came out about that time
and they were kind of -- that was the focus of what they were
And so, I mean, it's been an art form that's been
around forever. It's based on a photograph. Interestingly,
I'm painting iconic images of people I don't know. I mean, I
can see thousands of photographs of Marilyn Monroe or anybody
and they're all different.
The unique thing about what I do relative to photo
realistic is it's based on a photograph. I don't know what
Marilyn Monroe looks like. I don't know what James Dean looks
like, and I'm trying to put that image on there to look as much
like him as possible.
So I rely on photographs and I do that research by
photographs that I may have in my collection or I go on the
internet and I find a photograph. But in each and every
instance, almost a hundred percent of the time, I've got to
manipulate that photograph, and my photo basis is even more
sophisticated than anything they did back in 1950. I change
the photograph sometimes a little bit, sometimes drastically.
So the photograph that I spit out of my computer that is a
basis of the painting is already a unique piece of art work,
according to somebody some experts that I've talked about.
So now that's the basis of the work. And then from
that point I paint that image on the Hollywood sign.
Q. So you don't paint it from scratch, correct?
A. Of course I paint it from scratch.
Q. No. When you said you manipulated it onto the Hollywood
sign somehow -
A. No. I'm sorry. You didn't understand it correctly. I
didn't manipulate it on the Hollywood sign. I manipulated the
photograph in the computer. So it's a photograph that I'm
starting with, but it's a photograph that I create.
Q. So you're not painting from -- when I say painting from
scratch, I mean painting on, whether it's a Hollywood sign or
on a piece of canvas from top to bottom. You're starting with
a photograph, correct?
A. I started with a photograph over here and the Hollywood
sign metal is over here, and I'm putting that image on here.
Q. How are you putting that image on the Hollywood sign?
A. Like everybody has in history. They do it -- rarely do it
freehand, it's photo realism, they did it by quadrants, they
did it by like an Artograph, a machine that just blows it up
and puts it on there and you sketch around it. You can do
And I don't know if that's considered digital or not.
They can do it digitally. You have someone put an image on the
metal that's of my photograph that I created, and it's on there
and it doesn't have any life and it needs to be painted from
scratch. I've got tons of images.
Q. Well, I'm not asking how it's done historically, how other
people do it, I'm asking specifically, how have you -
A. That is specifically how I do it. Everyone is different.
I can't say that, but there's different ways of doing it. I
mean, that's the basis of getting started, then I got to paint
it. And when I paint it, everything changes. I put heads of
Marilyn Monroe on the body of Nicole Kidman. I've done
whatever I want to do. I'm creating art. The art that's -- to
complete that -- the art that's completed only exists from me.
It's not accessible any other place. That's why it's art.
Q. But I'm asking how it's created and from what I understand
you're saying that you don't paint it from scratch on the
Hollywood sign with a paint brush. You start with an image,
A. I paint it on the Hollywood sign with a paint brush.
Q. Right, but is it blank when you begin painting it? Is
there nothing on there or is there some image that's been -
A. Well, I either draw it on or use quadrants to draw it on or
I blow it up and draw it on or I have some transfer of a rough
image of it on there and I start painting. I mean, I paint
for, like, I don't know days.
Q. Mr. Mack, could you -- there's a book in front of you that
I placed in front of you in your -- could you open your book,
please, to -- there's a number of exhibit tabs. There's about
28 of them. Could you open to Number 4, please.
MR. RUSSOMANNO: Just for purposes of the record, Your
Honor, unless this document has been filed in the Court, in
opposition to the Rule 11 motion, I object to it being even
addressed, referenced in the record or shown to the witness.
MR. MANCUSO: Your Honor, this is a certificate of
authenticity that was sent by Mr. Mack to my clients roughly
two years ago. He knows exactly what it is.
MR. RUSSOMANNO: Same objection, and according to Your
Honor's ruling, I have not seen this and I object to it being
THE COURT: You've never seen this?
MR. RUSSOMANNO: No, Your Honor. What I've seen, just
to make this efficient for the rest of the questions, what I
have seen is what's been filed in opposition to the Rule 11
motion on behalf of Mr. Mancuso's clients.
Why? Because they have done no written discovery,
they have done no deposition discovery. So that's all I've
seen is what's in the record.
MR. MANCUSO: Your Honor, the portion of this
certificate that I'm going to question Mr. Mack about is
specifically quoted in paragraph 21 of our counterclaims.
THE COURT: Why don't you go to the counterclaim? Why
do you need the certificate if the language is in the
MR. MANCUSO: Well, I wanted -- Mr. Mack signed the
certificate, Your Honor. I would like him to verify his
signature, but I could certainly go to the counterclaim itself
which Mr. Russomanno has seen.
THE COURT: Okay.
BY MR. MANCUSO:
Q. Now, Mr. Mack, it's been introduced as your Exhibit 1, I
believe, but you can turn back to Tab Number 1 in there.
Q. Okay. You see on the upper right-hand corner, there's it
says page 1 of 15, page 2 of 15?
Q. Could you go to page 9, please?
Q. Now, at the very bottom paragraph, it's paragraph 21.
Could you -- in paragraph 21, which is part of the record, it's
quoted the language of a certificate of authenticity that you
allegedly sent to my clients, the counter-plaintiffs, in late
December or early January of 2017. Take a look at how it's
Is that accurate? Is that a true and correct
recitation of the certificate that you sent to them?
A. I believe so, yes.
Q. Could you read -- and does it describe how, in fact, you
painted the Hollywood sign metal?
A. In general terms, I mean, I'm not being specific to each
particular one. Most times, I don't even put that much
information relative to how they do it.
Q. Could you read the description part?
A. Sure. "The metal panels are restored by the artist to
carefully preserve the 55 years of paint, rust and other
defects which show the age and character of the metal he uses
as his canvas. Bill Mack," obviously referring to me, "renders
his images in the photo realism genre based on photographic
reference. He re-proportions, adjusts, adds color, contrast
and other otherwise modifies the image as he deems necessary in
his paintings. The images are enlarged and drawn," and that's
referring to the -- so you understand, that's referring to the
photograph that I created.
Q. Can you explain that, the images are enlarged or drawn and
you referred to a photograph. Can you explain exactly how the
photograph is -- is the photograph enlarged? I mean, take us
A. I appreciate that opportunity. Thanks. I go to the sky,
if it's of Liz Taylor and I look for image that appeals to what
I have in mind as closely as I can to what either the client
wants or my client wants, and then I've always got to modify
it, it's got to fit a certain size, if I'm going to add the
word "Hollywood" on there.
If, as an example, I want to put a some jewelry on Liz
Taylor or not. I mean, I try and get my image, the
photographic basis for what I'm going to do in my painting. I
do that in the beginning in the computer. So the photograph
that I work from is the photograph. It says he re-proportions,
adjusts, adds color, contrasts color, otherwise modifies the
image, meaning the image of the photograph that I'm starting
with. But I also do that when I paint.
It doesn't matter what my basis that I created in the
photograph, when we put it on the canvas it has no life in it.
And I've put a green dress on it and I decided it needs to be a
black dress, I do that as I paint.
So then I continue on.
Q. Yes. That's exactly what I was going to ask you to do.
Can you continue with the rest of that sentence?
A. Sure. The images are enlarged typically. My image can be
eight-and-a-half by 11 or eight by ten, the photograph, and
drawn or transferred digitally for proportion on metal from the
original Hollywood sign and hand-painted by me, as by the
Q. Let's stop there. Transferred digitally for positioning on
metal from the original Hollywood sign and then hand-painted.
Describe that process.
So it's not hand-painted originally on the Hollywood
sign. You transfer an image digitally, correct?
A. Well, you understand you're dealing with an eight by ten
photograph, and now I've got to put it on 30 by 36 inches.
Q. Right. I'm just asking how it's actually -
A. I'm going to try to explain that. I need to enlarge it,
and to enlarge it correctly, you used to do it with quadrants
and several different ways. There's new technology. Artograph
is a typical way. I just put my photograph and you put it with
the thumb drive now or set the Autograph on and it blows it up
and I sketch from that.
We have got an example of that, I can show you if
you'd like, and you sketch on the background and then I
It's expeditious to have it done digitally, which
means you can print an image on there that's going to be a
rough image and some basis for me to start my painting. It
makes no different to me. It may save a day. It may not even
help me. It may work backwards.
Q. So, in other words, you don't paint from scratch with your
hand, you transfer it digitally and then paint over it?
A. Well, no, either way you said the same thing. I paint it
100 percent. There's not a piece of that surface, that art
work, that hasn't been painted.
Q. When I say paint it from scratch, I assume that you know
what that means, correct?
A. Well, yes, of course I do. But the photo itself is a piece
of art so, it's my scratch. Yes.
The below is a portion of a letter provided to us by a law firm representing artist Bill Mack related to his art creation process.
There is nothing new, nothing wrong, nefarious, or out of the ordinary about an artist creating and using an underlying image in the process of producing original artworks. Mr. Mack does exactly that, he collects his source/reference material, creates his original imagery on his computer, then transfers the underlying image to his canvas, metal or other medium, and hand-paints each piece individually thereafter.