ARTFUL DODGERS Still Stands Alone
It’s more encouraging every day. Because I’m approaching publishing agents, I’ve been conducting a search for other books that address the same topics as those revealed in my Artful Dodgers: Fraud and Foolishness in the Art Market. There simply aren’t any. Now, however, a newly published book has appeared that, while not duplicating any of the information I share for the first time, does confirm my opinion of art dealers.
Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life Of An American Forger is a great read and tells the stories of many art dealers, auction houses and others in the market who are portrayed as “crooks” and even “whores”. The author, Ken Perenyi, who is depicted as the greatest unknown forger in the country, sells to a legion of well-known dealers and galleries and through major auction houses. All are so greedy for his paintings that questions of authenticity never arise.
Perenyi faced the same challenge I have: to use real names or not to in fear of being sued. His answer is to reveal the identity of the questionable and greedy dealers because the stories he tells are true. Its a great and fast read that will, like my book, horrify some, amaze others and confirm many who really know the market.
Still, Caveat Emptor falls far short of Artful Dodgers in showing how corrupt and devoid of integrity the art market is. While Perenyi has a lot of good stories about almost unbelievable characters and players in the market (as Artful Dodgers does) he does not lay out the corrupt structure, Six Myths That Drive The Art Market, or the opacity of “the most unregulated market on earth” that I detail.
Even so, I strongly recommend it and believe that you’ll enjoy it. If you read this new book, when you get to mine, you’ll be a little less shocked and a little more prepared for what I have to say. Reading both will probably cause you to develop a healthy scepticism about anything you ever read about the workings and “unprecedented record sales” of this most amazing and intentionally misunderstood market. “Crooks” and “whores”? Perenyi is right on target. Watch for all of the rest of the story.