Artist Sues McCloud, Alleges Carmel Gallery Rips Off Artists
June 1, 2011
A Los Altos artist is taking Carmel Mayor Sue McCloud to small claims court, alleging she is "in cahoots" with a gallery owner who he says owes him $14,000 for commission and 30 frames.
The lawsuit, filed by Gilbert Marosi in Santa Clara County Superior Court, calls for $2,500 in damages from McCloud, a sum Marosi calls "a token amount." Marosi says McCloud should shut down Canapo Gallery, where he alleges owner Carlos Porras has been defrauding artists for at least a decade.
All told, Marosi says the gallery owes eight artists nearly $48,000. Porras says the claims are baseless and he currently owes Marosi $2,500 and that the artist owes him two portraits, a transaction that should take place out of court. "This guy is crazy," Porras says.
Porras has sued Marosi for defamation in Monterey County Superior Court, seeking $75,000 in damages. "I’m not allowing this guy to destroy my reputation," he says. He says that one month when Marosi posted seven negative reviews of the gallery online, business was the worst it's been in years. Canapo opened in 1994.
"I’m David versus Goliath," Marosi says. "Nobody pays attention." He filed a motion for a change of venue in the defamation case, but Judge Kay Kingsley ruled to hear the case in Monterey County, which Marosi calls "an abuse of power." Marosi says he also plans to sue Kingsley.
As far as the allegations against McCloud, Marosi says, "It’s [her] responsibility to ensure the city of Carmel is safe from crooks like these.
"I don’t want money from you. All I want, for the public good, is to close this guy down.”
McCloud would not comment on the substance of the allegations but says, "I've never talked to the man, I've never seen the man, I've never been in the gallery." She also maintains it is not within her authority to suspend a gallery.