So we've been hearing a big debate about the filesharing going on. Lot's of times people will use the gem "Art should be free!". Well let's just
take a closer look at that and enter the fascinating world of art forgery. Maybe once you get a bigger scope of things you'll think twice the next
time you download music, movies, or software.
You will never know how deep the art forgers have gone, you will never know!
Let's start with Tony Tetro - Link to Homepage
What seriously? He faked a what? A two million dollar Ferrari? And sold it? The answer to all of these questions is, yes.
Here are a few quotes from his website - Link 1 Link 2
While I was working on the entire project I would smoke [Lucky Strikes] and put the butts in a 8 ounce glass of water less than half full and put
the ashes in another empty 8 ounce glass. I would then cover the entire front of the painting with a less diluted mixer of raw umber to give a slight
"patina" depending on what era the painting was completed.
An art dealer in Beverly Hills asked me to do them and had a client that had more money than god and loved Chagall. This art dealer had enough
clout were he could guarantee their authenticity. His client only asked for one but he was sure he could sell two. So I did two paintings on old
canvas and striped off the old paint
Tony was eventually caught and did a little time in jail. He's still an artist and still doing fine. You can even commission a painting from him
directly from his website.
Now let's move on to a man named John Drewe. - Wiki Page
Mr. Drewe was a con man from an early age from what I can gather. He was always interested in tall stories and getting away with as much as possible
by being as bold as possible. He got a degree in Physics but actually got a job that required a Phd in Physics even though he never got a Phd in
anything. This give you a good idea of who we're talking about.
After some time, Drewe got involved in art forgery and this is where it gets really interesting. He teamed up with artist John Myatt and together they
made some serious cash and broke a lot of hearts. John would forge a painting that Drewe was sure he could sell. Once the forge was complete Drewe
would put any authenticating paperwork with the forge and sell it in the west. Usually either Sotheby's or Christie's. The original, which they knew
would pass any inspection, was sold without any authentication in the Far East. For the longest time they never got caught because the clients in the
Far East either never found out or were too embarrassed to say anything.
Pay close attention to this next part. I'll quote from Wiki here -
Drewe used the opportunity to introduce false records to the archives. He replaced old pages and inserted numerous new ones into old art
catalogues to include Myatt's forgeries. The institutions have said that it will take years to purge the archives of all the false information.
Through a middleman, Drewe also created a company called Art Research Associates and again used himself as a reference.
The archives mentioned are held in strict confidence by the art galleries as a means to gather and maintain a record of authenticating information for
paintings. Entries could be anything from a historical record of ownership, the artist's personal written gaurantee, or a surviving relative that can
attest first hand knowledge. Drewe worked his way to get access to this book and FAKED THE BOOK!
*continuing in the next post*