David Brown

Profile Updated: November 28, 2018
Residing In Santa Fe, NM USA
Spouse/Partner Valery
Homepage www.spanishcolonial.com
Occupation serial entrepreneur - art dealer
Children none
Comments

Lived in
Cleveland
Chicago
San Francisco
Chicago
and then NYC from 1973 - 2007
Denver 2007-

..moved to Santa Fe ...11/17....Last stop....

Graduated from the U of Illinois Champaign on time in 1969.

Moved to NYC to be a writer after almost getting an MA in film. Finished the thesis film but never turned it in at Columbia College, Chicago.

Later an MBA at Baruch College NYC

No one told me you could make a killing as a writer just not a living. Wrote for Penthouse, Cosmo, Hustler (the shame) and other useless publications. Even had a top agent for a novel that never did get quite get published.

Eventually took a construction job so I could work half the year and write the other half. 1st "Ha" moment. Spent a year hanging out with the swells at Studio 54. (more than a waste of time) Ended up doing construction fulltime and started own restoration firm in 1982 which had a wild six year run. We restored the interior of the NY Public Library on 42nd St in 1986. At the high point I had 200 employees...and I was on my way to being rich. But it was killing me and I sold out in 1988 to join my wife in art dealing which was thought to be less corrupt than construction 2nd "Ha" moment.

Have been dealing art: Spanish Colonial Paintings, Old Master Paintings and European sculpture since 1988. Not the sedate business one might think. Had a whistle blower experience when I/we (wife) turned in a 17th Century stolen polychrome wood altar relief to the Feds in 2002. It weighed one tone and was stolen from a chapel in Chalapampa, Peru and smuggled into Santa Fe, NM. The Bitti relief was a wildly important Peruvian piece of art. Well...it did not go as planned.

The Feds essentially accused us of being smugglers. After that got straightened out the incompetents (Feds) gave my wife a defective tape recorder to tape the smugglers. That upset me more than a bit. One of the perps tried to gain access to our NYC apartment but the US Federal DA (NYC) told me that because Customs was being reorganized into ICE there was nothing they could do right away...I began to blog about the cause under the pseudonym Boils and all hell broke loose. All Hell. To stop the blogging which embarrassed the Feds I was threatened with an obstruction of justice charge...yuk yuk. I talked to a top NYC criminal lawyer and continued to blog...and named the names of the incompetent feds. Eventually the Feds came around. Sorta.

The altar was confiscated. The Santa Fe rich boy smugglers were indicted. Alas the top dog smuggler died of a brain hemorrhage just before his trial was to begin. No one else was ever prosecuted. Likely there were crooked Peru officials involved. The altar was repatriated to Peru with big ceremonies in DC and Lima, Peru. We were not invited. But I did get an official apology from the US attorney who said by way of explanation that they were not used to dealing with people who were not perps themselves.
As another result I got two IRS up my rear audits in three years as pay back. The second IRS agent thought the audit was a joke and should not have been done. Luckily I pay my taxes (unlike many in the art world) and just had to waste months answering insane questions. Would I do it over again? Yes but differently. I’d blog the whole thing and ask for a reward and attorney fees up front.

So I’m still an art dealer. And I still pay all my taxes.

I also make tour apps for the iPad under Museum Planet on the app store. Alas I will likely never see a profit from the business: www.MuseumPlanet.com
Very few app makers make a dime.

But…I box and and lift weights regularly and mostly like Denver. I do not however like getting old. Who knew?

Just turned 70....now officially old. The good news? Old age doesn't last long?

School Story

Went to mostly horrendous Catholic schools my first ten years: not by my choice. Remember feeling sad when I graduated because I liked my senior year at Heights. I'd actually started to learn things and then it was over.

David's Recent Comments

Apr 03, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Posted on: Mar 24, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Hi David. I don't know if the website sends you an automated email from me or not, but I wanted to thank you for putting up the information about David Denk. I really appreciate it! Looking forward to seeing you at the reunion!
Stephanie Katz Farley

Posted: Jun 01, 2018 at 7:16 PM
Dennis Hopper Grave.
Posted: Jun 01, 2018 at 7:15 PM
Jesus Nazareno Cemetery.
Taos Pueblo
Taos, NM
Posted: Jul 08, 2015 at 5:43 PM
Posted: Jul 08, 2015 at 7:46 PM
Wife Valery (Estes Park in the background)
Posted: Mar 23, 2015 at 10:16 AM