If you work with a notorious scammer, you can’t be too surprised when things get messy.
Julia Morrison, a Los Angeles artist, claims she is owed $8,000 in connection to one of Anna “Delvey” Sorokin’s recent art shows — and that the “socialite” scammer has blocked her text messages asking for help getting her money.
Morrison, who co-curated the “Free Anna” group show — featuring works by 15 artists, including Sorokin — at a pop-up gallery on New York City’s Lower East Side in March, told The Post she “put around $8,000 on my credit card to cover the costs of framing, printing, scanning, transportation, making T-shirts, etc.”
She claims she was promised by her co-curator, Alfredo Martinez — an associate of Sorokin’s who was fulfilled to three years in prison in 2002 for making and selling counterfeit Jean-Michel Basquiat works — that she’d be paid back. There was no written agreement.
“I still have $8,000 on my credit card,” Morrison said. “I can’t afford to just throw $8,000 worth of Anna Delvey’s expenses on my card. I wasn’t doing it to be a good friend to her. I did it for the show, knowing that I’d be paid back. At least that’s what Alfredo promised.”
“She will get paid,” Martinez told The Post of Morrison. “We are still in the spending money phase of the project.”
Morrison has already been paid her 25% cut from the sale of Sorokin’s only work that sold from the group show (Martinez also received 25%, while Sorokin got 50%).
Since the ICE detention center in Goshen, NY, where Sorokin is being held for overstaying her visa, limits the size of the artwork she can create, Martinez was authorized to reproduce Sorokin’s drawings for the show.
Morrison also alleged that there was a spoken understanding between art dealer Chris Martine (whose Founders Art Club represents Sorokin and Martinez), Martinez and herself that the co-curators of the group show would curate Sorokin’s solo show, “Allegedly,” which took place last week at the Public Hotel — and receive a cut of the profits.
But “I was completely cut out,” alleged Morrison of the solo show.
When multiple calls and texts went unanswered by Martine — who told The Post he did not owe her anything — Morrison went to Sorokin herself, hoping she could urge someone to reimburse expenses.
“This is the first I’m hearing of this,” Sorokin wrote Morrison in a May 18, 2022, text exchange seen by The Post. She then blocked Morrison’s number, the artist said.
A spokesperson for Sorokin confirmed to The Post that “Morrison is owed expenses” but added that “[Anna] most definitely did not promise Julia any money … After [Morrison] could not get any more from Chris or Alfredo, she went to Anna and essentially said she would tell the press if Anna did not pay. That is extortion, and not even remotely justified.”
The spokesperson said that Morrison “was not asked [to curate] nor brought on in any capacity on the solo show. Anna did stop communicating with her because the deal was not made with Anna and there was nothing more Anna could do.”
For her part, Morrison — who said she was originally interested in working with Sorokin because her own mother had been in ICE detention — said she is done with the scammer.
“I try to see the good in people, their potential,” Morrison said. “Anna sees the good in people as something to exploit, surrounding herself with whoever has the potential to enrich her. Forget her.”