PROVENANCE: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art.
I just read this book and highly recommend it. It’s a fast, fun extremely interesting read. And what is the wackiest twist to this wild story? First take a look at the publisher’s description of the book, and then I’ll tell you.
Filled with extraordinary characters and told at breakneck speed, Provenance reads like a well-plotted thriller. But this is most certainly not fiction. It is the astonishing narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate cons in the history of art forgery. Stretching from London to Paris to New York, investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo recount the tale of infamous con man and unforgettable villain John Drewe and his accomplice, the affable artist John Myatt. Together they exploited the archives of British art institutions to irrevocably legitimize the hundreds of pieces they forged, many of which are still considered genuine and hang in prominent museums and private collections today.
Okay, sounds good, right? But what’s the wacky twist? Years after the story in the book ends, the forger John Myatt, was asked by the Scotland Yard detective who investigated him to paint a family portrait. The men are now close friends, and Myatt has become a highly successful painter of “legitimate fakes” — admitted forgeries signed with his own name.
Check out his site www.johnmyatt.com, and read the book. It’s quite a page turner!