Catch Me If You Can... Mark Landis-- BAMF

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Catch Me If You Can... Mark Landis-- BAMF

Post by Turdacious »

For decades, Mark Landis donated art to museums and galleries across the US. He was feted as a wealthy collector but the pictures were fakes that he had created himself. He was never prosecuted though - he didn't take payment so hadn't broken any law.

"It obviously isn't a crime to give a picture to a museum, and they treated me like royalty. One thing led to another, and I kept doing it for 30 years," says Mark Landis, one of the most prolific art forgers in US history.

"Have you ever been treated like royalty? Let me tell you, it's pretty good."

Landis's career as an art forger began in the mid-1980s, when he gave some pictures to a California museum, saying they were by the American 20th Century artist Maynard Dixon.

"It was an impulse to impress my mother. I always admired the rich collectors on TV giving away pictures to museums.

"I put Maynard Dixon's name on them because that's what the museums wanted," he says. "He was a cowboy artist, so I went to the library and checked out some books of photographs of American Indians, and copied a bunch of them.

"I knew the museums wanted cowboy pictures, so that's what I did."
But was Landis embarrassed by what he had done now he was confronted with a room full of his own forgeries?

"Not really - except a lot of them were really bad," he says. "That's why I didn't want to look at them."

The whole thing is a great read.
A good 15 minute interview with the artist:
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule