Forger: 'You have to know where the greediness is greatest'

September 28 2011

Image of Forger: 'You have to know where the greediness is greatest'


'Woflgang B.', the forger behind the $22m art forgery scam of the decade, says he enjoyed fooling the art world. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

"I imagined in my mind an original, a picture that each of the painters had never got 'round to painting," said Wolfgang B.

"I did paintings that really ought to have been in the oeuvre of each painter."

Wolfgang B., who dropped out of art school, learned to copy art from his father, an art restorer who did replicas of the Old Masters such as Rembrandt. He said he began copying professionally in the 1970s.

"I didn't much like the art market or the dealers," he said. "I really enjoyed doing it. You have to know how the art market functions and where the greediness is greatest."

In the biggest fraudulent sale, "Red Picture with Horses," supposedly painted by Heinrich Campendonk (1889-1957) of the Netherlands, sold at auction in Cologne for $3.4 million.

The motive is an echo of Han van Meegeren, probably the greatest forger of them all. He too said he liked to fool the 'experts' who sneered at his own paintings. But it's funny how these forgers never admit to doing it for the money...

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