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A Forger's Tale: Confessions of the Bolton Forger Hardcover – 1 Jun 2017
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A masterpiece of masquerade...a brilliantly wily reflection on the seductions of art and corruptions of the art world. * The Telegraph * A remarkably lively account...fascinating. * The Times * Greenhalgh has a likable voice, pitched midway between Arthur Daley and Philip Marlowe. And, unsurprisingly, he has an eye for detail...The lingering impression is of a man beguiled by image-making. * The Observer * Here is riveting and affecting Northern realism: Greenhalgh's knowledge is as daunting as it is inspiring. * The Spectator * An indispensable addition to any rogues' library. * Sunday Independent (Ireland) * A great holiday read. * Artists and Illustrators * A roundabout love letter to art. -- Ben Okri A fascinating gilt box of secret art knowledge and expertise, told in the unpretentious voice of a legendary forger who fooled museums and collectors from his garden shed. -- Dominic Smith, author of THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS
The riveting account of how Britain's most prolific and versatile forger hoodwinked the art world.See all Product description
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The author was the fake maker, his parents, pretend pensioners, were the Artful Codgers. They were the deal closers. It had all the hallmarks of an Ealing comedy. In June 2007 Shaun was sentenced to four years eight months in jail. His parents were given suspended sentences. The gang faked paintings by very famous artists and ceramics. Shaun forged a Gaugin painting that fooled everyone. He made experts look like amateurs.
This account gives you piles of information about the techniques used to make art, it also indicts professionals in many museums. At times thiese confessions are witty, charming and self- deprecating. Above all, they are instructive. Shaun made Columbian pots, Hepworths, Chinese porcelain and much more. It is not a forger's guide on how to make copies. It is bulging with knowledge and expertise. Shaun is obviously obsessed with making things. What excites him is the making. His life story is, to put it mildly, extraordinary. This working class lad educated in a comprehensive became addicted to art and with no training or help he as able to cast Venetian bronze objects and much, much more.
The real focus of this book is the ability of art to bewitch and inspire. It transformed Shaun's life. Is he a scoundrel? In some ways yes. He became a slave of art. He joined the army but art hunted him down. He was this nation's greatest forger The art world's role is very poor. It gives you no confidence in their expertise. Trust flies out of the window. There is a glossary of art terminology. It is fascinating to read.
This book was written mainly while Shaun was in prison, he was 47. It mocks the establishment for its version of why he forged. They all got it wrong, and badly.
A reasonable read, but I was looking forward to something more exciting.
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