DETROIT — Paintings, writings and the iconic blue sweater of the audacious assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian are going up for auction, his attorney and close friend said Friday.
Lawyer Mayer Morganroth said the late pathologist’s artwork and items will be sold in late October at the New York Institute of Technology. Scheduled for auction are more than 20 paintings, Kevorkian’s art kit and the sweaters he became known for donning during his high-profile assistance in the suicides of dozens of people in the 1990s.
Many of the paintings depict death or dying, and are often intended to provoke or disturb. One of those up for auction is entitled “Genocide,” and features a bloody head being dangled by the hair and held by the hands of two soldiers: One wears a German military uniform from World War II and the other a Turkish uniform from World War I.
Morganroth said Kevorkian wanted to depict the mass killings of Armenians and Jews during World I and World War II, respectively. The doctor was of Armenian descent.
“Just looking at it, you can say (it’s) grotesque,” Morganroth said. “They were to make a point, like any art.”
CBS Detroit first reported the auction plan.
Morganroth said he doesn’t know the value of the collection but most of the proceeds will go to Kevorkian’s sole heir — a niece — and the charity Kicking Cancer for Kids.
Suburban Detroit art gallery owner Anne Kuffler, who has twice displayed Kevorkian’s work and sells signed and numbered lithographs of six of his works for $500 apiece, said she was offered $100,000 for one of his original paintings during the first exhibit of his work in 1994. Kuffler, owner of the Ariana Gallery in Royal Oak, suspects that the value has only increased since then.
“I had several orders for his prints this morning,” she said.
Many of the paintings have been hanging at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Mass. Kevorkian was also a keen musician and composer.
The Associated Press left a message seeking comment with the New York Institute of Technology.