Brooklyn Artist Suing Studio Assistant Who Took Her for $150,000 Ride

Janaina Tschäpe, a German-born, Brooklyn-based artist whose sculptures, photographs, and paintings have been the focus of solo shows at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Tuscon’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and elsewhere, is suing her former assistant Marisa Vourderis for allegedly taking advantage of her to the tune of $150,000 in plane tickets, stays at luxury hotels, E-Z Passes, and other purchases for her family, the New York Post reports.

Tschäpe, who shares a home-studio and has a daughter with Brazilian artist and fellow Sikkema Jenkins stable-mate Vik Muniz, hired Vourderis in 2009 to manage the business side of her studio, a $54,000-per-year job. That wasn’t enough for Vourderis, apparently, who immediately began taking advantage of Tschäpe according to documents filed in Manhattan Civil Court. She allegedly bought tickets to a concert at Radio City Music Hall and furnished her parents’ apartment using Tschäpe’s credit card, the Post reports. Between September and October 2012 Vourderis also racked up a total of eight stays at luxury hotels in Manhattan and a stint at Miami’s Standard Hotel to the tune of $2,523 on Tschäpe’s dime.

“Marisa Vourderis was generous with plaintiffs’ money,” the suit says, “she also used plaintiffs’ bank accounts and credit cards for the benefit and with the knowledge of the defendant family members and her boyfriend, Jason Rutigliano.”

“It’s a nightmare,” Tschäpe told the Post.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Image via Janaina Tschä