Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Forgery Good For Art World?

NEW YORK (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – A fake painting here and there could actually benefit the art world.

Just ask Laney Salisbury, co-author of Provenance: How A Con Man And A Forger Rewrote The History Of Modern Art (The Penguin Press), a book about master con man John Drewe, who orchestrated the biggest art fraud of the 20th century.

From 1986 to 1995, Drewe – the Bernie Madoff of the art world – faked the authenticity of about 240 paintings forged by his accomplice, John Myatt.

The men made millions selling fake works to high-end galleries and museums, many of which still hang to this day, undiscovered.

Though Drewe’s duping made a mess of the art world, Salisbury says the forgery made people really look at art for its quality and beauty again, not just its fancy paper trail.

She says collectors are often swayed more by where a painting comes from, like a prestigious gallery, rather than the art itself.

It’s these folks who blindly fell into Drewe’s trap.

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