Artist blames tax trouble on ex-wife

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Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum, who has boycotted Norwegian media for years, nonetheless sent a letter to newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) this week in which he blamed his recent tax evasion conviction on his ex-wife.

Nerdrum wrote in his metaphorical letter to the editor, entitled “I’m a common man,” that his ex-wife sent a letter to the tax authorities urging them to audit his tax returns. She vigorously denied Nerdrum’s claim, saying it had “no root in reality.”

The court itself has linked the tax audit, which climaxed last week with a two-year prison term for tax evasion, to a story about Nerdrum’s successful art sales that appeared in DN in 2002. DN wrote then that Nerdrum had sold paintings for NOK 120 million in the US. Tax authorities took contact with Nerdrum after the article appeared, since they couldn’t see that he had declared that much in income on his tax returns.

Nerdrum has appealed his prison term, and his current wife has written on her blog that she’s dissatisfied with his defense attorneys. If his appeal fails, court officials have said he won’t be allowed to paint in prison.

Nerdrum hasn’t commented directly on the Oslo court’s guilty verdict, and currently is reported to be living in France.

Views and News staff