The situation got ugly last year when Art Capital sued for breach of contract claiming she wasn't letting real estate agents into her homes and was blocking attempts to sell her photos. In the new agreement, Colony, will help market her photos. Art Capital has confirmed that its debt has been satisfied. Like so many people, Leibovitz ran into trouble with real estate. She bought several properties and spent a small fortune renovating them, using the properties themselves as collateral. She was also late in paying $1.8 million in federal taxes in 2007 and 2008.
Art Capital is in the business of making money off art and sometimes, artists. The company issues loans of $500,000 or more at interest rates from six percent to 16 percent to those who have artwork worthy of making such a loan. Another artist, Julian Schnabel also ran afoul of Art Capital. He took out an $8 million loan in 2006, when he was building his pink folly known as Palazzo Chupi and later sued Art Capital.
Colony might be more interested in the real estate than the art. Colony Capital still owns Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch (and may be able to sell it eventually for $50-$100 million). Leibovitz's property holdings include three contiguous brownstones in Manhattan as well as 220 acres in Hudson Valley, New York that was once part of the Astor family's estate Ferncliff.