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Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger

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Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger Cover

ISBN13: 9781605983608
ISBN10: 1605983608
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ten years ago, an FBI investigation in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, renowned experts, and the major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an abundance of evidence collected. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked “exempt from public disclosure.”

Now that the statute of limitations on these crimes has expired and the case appears hermetically sealed shut by the FBI, this book, Caveat Emptor, is Ken Perenyi’s confession. It is the story, in detail, of how he pulled it all off.

Glamorous stories of art-world scandal have always captured the public imagination. However, not since Clifford Irving’s 1969 bestselling Fake has there been a story at all like this one. Caveat Emptor is unique in that it is the first and only book by and about America’s first and only great art forger. And unlike other forgers, Perenyi produced no paper trail, no fake provenance whatsoever; he let the paintings speak for themselves. And that they did, routinely mesmerizing the experts in mere seconds.

In the tradition of Frank Abagnale’s Catch Me If You Can, and certain to be a bombshell for the major international auction houses and galleries, here is the story of America’s greatest art forger.

Review:

"Painter, draft dodger, and art world huckster Perenyi offers a facile account of the glory days of his 30-year career as an art forger. His story begins in 'the Castle,' a dilapidated New Jersey estate inhabited by two beatnik artists who take in the younger Perenyi as one of their own. With his new mentors, Perenyi pays frequent visits to Max's Kansas City and rubs shoulders with Warhol acolytes, inspiring him to try his hand at painting. Soon enough, he's replicating 16th-century Flemish portraits, which he sells to antique dealers and galleries. As his exploits grow in value and range, the threat of being caught rises and the FBI draws near. In theory, there's enough to this story to pique a discerning reader's interest; on the page, however, Perenyi's tale unravels with vacuous prose and a lack of self-awareness or genuine insight; he offers little more than rote, blow-by-blow accounts of his scandals. Most interesting is Perenyi's description of aging and distressing his forgeries so that they might appear authentically weathered. Unfortunately, he never presents the reader with an authentic depiction of the mind of a pathological fraud. Illus. Agent: Don Fehr, Trident Media Group." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

It is said that the greatest art forger in the world is the one who has never been caught—the astonishing story of America’s most accomplished art forger.

About the Author

Born in 1949 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Ken Perenyi is a self-taught artist who painted his first pictures during the Summer of Love in 1967, having discovered an uncanny ability to intuitively grasp the aesthetic and technical aspects of the Old Masters. A series of fateful events resulted in what was to become a thirty-year career as a professional art forger. Today he operates his own studio in Madeira Beach, Florida.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

suedihfed, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by suedihfed)
I thought this book was absolutely fascinating. Perenyi is incredible - even though he's a forger, I think he should get some credit for being an exceptionally talented artist as well. Being able to fool experts is no easy task (it's their job!!), and Perenyi kept it up for decades, which is quite a feat. On top of the wild stories, I loved how many photos and illustrations the book includes; they really help to showcase Perenyi's remarkable talent. Hearing the whole story from Perenyi himself made the whole thing feel very real and personal, and I have never read anything else like it.
He is also a Jersey boy and I grew up in the same decade and same area as he did. I was familiar with all the locations he wrote about which made the story come alive. I couldn't put this book down. If he had put as much energy into forging great masterpieces, he could have been a great artist in his own right.
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nrlymrtl, November 13, 2012 (view all comments by nrlymrtl)
One of the most interesting parts of this book was the detailed information on the techniques of producing aging effects, fly spots, and staining or dirty varnish. It was fascinating to ride along as the author tried this or that to mimic certain traits of various artists. His appreciation of the various art styles comes through clearly. Yet I find it contradictory to then cheapen the art by passing recreations off as the original work. Still, my own moral view point did not lessen my enjoyment of this book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781605983608
Author:
Perenyi, Ken
Publisher:
Pegasus Books
Subject:
Art - Artists
Subject:
Individual Artist
Subject:
Biography - General
Publication Date:
20120831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
32 pages of color illustrations and phot
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Forgery
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Biography » General
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger New Hardcover
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$27.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Pegasus Books - English 9781605983608 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Painter, draft dodger, and art world huckster Perenyi offers a facile account of the glory days of his 30-year career as an art forger. His story begins in 'the Castle,' a dilapidated New Jersey estate inhabited by two beatnik artists who take in the younger Perenyi as one of their own. With his new mentors, Perenyi pays frequent visits to Max's Kansas City and rubs shoulders with Warhol acolytes, inspiring him to try his hand at painting. Soon enough, he's replicating 16th-century Flemish portraits, which he sells to antique dealers and galleries. As his exploits grow in value and range, the threat of being caught rises and the FBI draws near. In theory, there's enough to this story to pique a discerning reader's interest; on the page, however, Perenyi's tale unravels with vacuous prose and a lack of self-awareness or genuine insight; he offers little more than rote, blow-by-blow accounts of his scandals. Most interesting is Perenyi's description of aging and distressing his forgeries so that they might appear authentically weathered. Unfortunately, he never presents the reader with an authentic depiction of the mind of a pathological fraud. Illus. Agent: Don Fehr, Trident Media Group." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , It is said that the greatest art forger in the world is the one who has never been caught—the astonishing story of America’s most accomplished art forger.
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