TACOMA, WA—Michael Renfro, a 68-year-old retired CPA with an apple hovering in front of his face, announced Monday that he has filed a $15 million lawsuit against the estate of deceased Belgian artist René Magritte for unlawfully using his likeness in the 1964 painting The Son Of Man.
"I only recently became aware of the painting's existence when an acquaintance slipped a Polaroid of the work between the apple and my face," said Renfro, who suspects that Magritte may have seen him while he was purchasing a bowler hat and topcoat in Brussels in the early 1960s. "Despite everything, I do respect Mr. Magritte's abilities as an artist. He was undeniably a master of photorealism." Magritte's work has often been the subject of litigation, most notably in 2003 when the Los Angeles County Museum of Art filed a Treachery of Images charge against the artist's estate after purchasing a piece by Magritte that was believed to be a pipe, but was later revealed not to be a pipe.