Mills and Al Moran, the brothers who are partners in the Los Angeles gallery Moran Bondaroff, have provided ARTnews with a statement in the wake of the resignation of their third partner, Aaron Bondaroff, who stepped down yesterday amid claims of sexual misconduct.
Yesterday, Artnet News published a detailed article reporting that three women have come forward with allegations against Bondaroff, and that the gallerist, who, through his attorney, told Artnet that the encounters were consensual, nevertheless resigned from the gallery “to focus on improving myself and making amends.” The Morans’ statement to ARTnews reads as follows:
We are deeply troubled by the accusations levied against Aaron Bondaroff and appreciate his immediate resignation from the gallery. Such behavior goes completely against our personal values and the spirit of community and respect that drew us to the art world a decade ago. Today, we reaffirmed these values to our staff, our artists and our clientele.
To the women who have come forward, and to any who might have similar stories, please know we hear you, and we take your claims very seriously. We have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment in any form.
As brothers and owners of this gallery, we have always considered the nurturing of artists as our most important job. We commit to our artists and to the community at large that we will continue that job as we always have with respect and kindness. We are grateful to be a part of this community and look forward to positively contributing to it for many years to come.
Al and Mills Moran
Mills Moran told ARTnews in an email that he and his brother “only very recently learned about these allegations” against Bondaroff. He said the gallery will be changing its name, but that “the new name hasn’t been decided on yet.” Regarding Bondaroff’s ownership stake in the gallery, Moran said that “[W]e are working through the process with attorneys but his ownership stake in the gallery will be dissolved.”
Bondaroff is the latest art world figure to be accused of sexual harassment. The wave of post–Harvey Weinstein allegations began with former Artforum publisher Knight Landesman last fall, and has since included artist Chuck Close, former Armory Show fair director Benjamin Genocchio, and others.