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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Art
The Fake Beggar of Gothenburg
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2013
Over in Gothenburg, Sweden, locals were puzzled by a homeless person begging for money at the train station, who, upon closer inspection, turned out to be a doll. Police thought it might be some kind of fraud (i.e. a homeless people using a mannequin to beg for him). But it turned out to be the work of a 13-year-old kid, Adam, who created it as "something fun" for a school art project. Brings to mind Alan Abel's Omar the Beggar hoax. The english-language article didn't have a picture of Adam and his "fake beggar," but I found one at a swedish-language site. Gothenburg teen behind 'homeless…
Categories: Art, Identity/Imposters Comments (0)
Are the Bush bathroom paintings a hoax?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 14, 2013
A week ago, news broke that a hacker (calling himself 'Guccifer') had broken into George W. Bush's email account. The hacker sent some of the emails and photos he found there to the Smoking Gun, which promptly published them. Three of the leaked photos showed works of art, apparently by Bush. Two of the works were self-portraits in the bathroom — Bush taking a shower and a bath. The third showed Bush working on a more traditional scene of a seaside chapel. It's the bathroom self-portraits that attracted all the attention. Understandably, since they were so odd. Art…
Categories: Art, Politics Comments (0)
A Case of Art Plagiarism
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 29, 2013
Art fraud typically involves the copying or imitation of famous artists. For instance, Han van Meegeren made millions by claiming that his paintings were actually newly discovered works by Vermeer. But the recent case of Rashidi Barrett shows that it's also possible to make money by copying the work of relatively obscure artists. Rashidi Barrett (image posted on his website) Barrett's work generated positive buzz when he began showing it in Norfolk, Virginia around 2011. He used his job DJ-ing to promote his work — he called himself DJ Cornbread — and soon he was having exhibits at local galleries where he managed to sell some pieces, earning himself a few thousand…
Categories: Art Comments (2)
An Exhibition of Invisible Art
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 23, 2012
London's Hayward Gallery will soon be hosting an exhibition of invisible art. It's the kind of art where you basically have to take the artist's word for it that there's something there. Included will be works such as Warhol's Invisible Sculpture, "which consists of an empty plinth, on which he had once briefly stepped." Also, 1000 Hours of Staring, which is "a blank piece of paper at which artist Tom Friedman has stared repeatedly over the space of five years." I wonder how copyright pertains to invisible art. Can you sue someone for copying your blank canvas? Link: telegraph.co.uk. Below are some examples of invisible art.…
Categories: Art Comments (4)
“Why Boys Need Parents!” Is this a photograph or a painting?
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 07, 2012
This image (which appears on a lot of humor and weird picture sites around the web) is often captioned, "Why boys need parents." And try as I might, that's the only information I can find out about it. Where it came from and who created it, I have no idea. I'm not even sure whether this is a photograph or a painting, though I suspect it's a painting. The low resolution makes it difficult to tell, and I can't find any higher-res copies. It's the boy's legs, in particular, that make me suspect it's a painting. They look slightly unrealistic. So I'm posting this here in the hope that…
Categories: Art, Photos/Videos Comments (2)
Canadian artist makes Bigfoot track shoes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 18, 2012
Montreal-based artist Maskull Lasserre has designed shoes that make footprints in the ground as you walk along, instead of shoe prints. He's got a human-footprint shoe, but also a bigfoot-print shoe. He's quoted as saying: 'Living now in the city, I found a strange kind of loneliness seeing only human shoe prints in the puddles and snow. 'This project was my way of introducing a sort of mysterious possibility to the urban landscape, for those who happened upon it. 'But I admit that I just couldn't resist making a Bigfoot track.' It doesn't seem that the shoes are available for purchase because each shoe is hand-carved. He shows them at art exhibitions,…
Categories: Art, Cryptozoology Comments (0)
How a fake Mary Todd Lincoln portrait was exposed
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 18, 2012
The Chicago Tribune tells the story of the detective work conducted by conservator Barry Bauman that led to his exposure of a portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln as a fraud. Lincoln (and, by association, his wife) is one of those historical figures who's like a magnet for hoaxes. Other hoax magnets would include George Washington and Hitler. Anatomy of a fake Lincoln Chicago Tribune ...The original portrait, painted perhaps in the mid-1860s, is of a still-anonymous woman. She wore a crucifix around her neck — Mary wasn't Catholic and never would have worn one, so it had been painted out — and had a floral brooch over which was painted the Lincoln brooch.
Categories: Art Comments (1)
Photoshopping the Classics
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 06, 2012
Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano (great name... can that be the name she was born with?) has created a series of works that comment on the media obsession with photoshopping models to look thin and flawless. She's taken famous classical nudes and made them thinner. So Botticelli's Venus gets slimmed down for the beach, as does Francesco Hayez's Venus. The New York Daily News quotes her as saying: Art is always in search of the perfect physical form. It has evolved through history, from the classical proportions of ancient Greece to the prosperous beauty of the Renaissance, to the spindly look of models like Twiggy and the athletic look of our own time.…
Categories: Art, Fashion, Photos/Videos Comments (1)
Fake Modigliani For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 17, 2012
If you've got a spare $285,000, you can buy a piece of a famous art hoax: one of the fake Modigliani sculptures found in the city of Livorno in 1984. It's up for sale on eBay. I've noticed it up there for a couple of weeks, so evidently people aren't rushing to bid on it, even though it comes with free shipping. The backstory, briefly: There was a legend in the Italian town of Livorno that when Modigliani left there in 1906, at the age of twenty-one, he dumped a bunch of sculptures in a canal in a fit of depression. So in 1984, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, the…
Categories: Art, eBay Comments (0)
Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross - A Possible Fake?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 12, 2012
Questions have been raised about the authenticity of a valuable and historically important painting, Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross. And the debate about the painting is tangled up in a controversy about the so-called Eureka Flag, which is believed to be the precursor to Australia's current national flag. Story in Brief: The Eureka Flag rose to prominence in the mid-20th Century, at which time it became a symbol of Australian nationalism. But questions lingered about its authenticity as a precursor to the current flag. Then, in 1996, the 'Swearing Allegiance' painting was discovered in someone's attic. It was said to have been painted by a Quebec artist-adventurer, Charles Doudiet, in…
Categories: Art Comments (1)
Cardiff Giant in Perth
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 16, 2011
Here are some pictures, courtesy of Nettie and Smerk, of the Cardiff Giant enjoying the sights in Perth. (Nettie sent me the pictures about three weeks ago, but Thanksgiving and the moon hoax distracted me. At least, that's the excuse for my slowness that I'm going with.) So where should the Cardiff Giant go next? Any volunteers to…
Cardiff Giants Invade Pasadena
Posted by The Curator on Sun Oct 09, 2011
I use Google news alerts to find out whenever various keywords I'm interested in appear in news stories or on websites. One of these keywords is "Cardiff Giant". This particular keyword search doesn't usually generate many results. Perhaps one or two a week. But on friday night my patience was rewarded when I got a google news alert about the creation of a new site: cardiff1869.com. The site is the creation of a Pasadena-based artist who chooses to remain anonymous, using the alias "Cardiff1869". Inspired by the Cardiff Giant of 1869 (which I posted about just a few days ago), he (or perhaps she) is creating a limited series of small-scale replicas of…
Categories: Art, Exploration/Travel Comments (9)
Recreating the Cardiff Giant
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 29, 2011
Syracuse-based artist Ty Marshal has created a replica of the Cardiff Giant, according to its original size specifications (ten-feet tall). His replica is going to be buried in Syracuse's Lipe Art Park and then unearthed on October 16, the anniversary of the date on which the Giant was first "found" on William Newell's farm back in 1869. After being unearthed, Marshal's giant will remain on display in the park, under a tent, for one week. Visitors will be allowed to view it for 25 cents. Then, using a horse and cart, the Giant will be transported to the Atrium in Syracuse's City Hall Commons where it will be displayed…
Categories: Art, Celebrations, History Comments (2)
From the Salt Lake Tribune: According to charging documents, the couple agreed to sell another man six Andy Warhol art pieces for $100,000 in February 2008. The man was told that the subject of the art was Mathew Baldwin, purportedly one of the brothers in the family of actors. The pieces were signed and dated 1996. After giving the couple a down payment of $25,000, the man took the art to an appraiser in California. The appraiser informed the man the art was fake because there was no Mathew in the famous Baldwin family. He also pointed out…
Categories: Art Comments (6)
Elmer de Hory Movie
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 19, 2009
Another film about a famous hoaxer is in the works. Julian Temple plans to make a movie about the art forger Elmyr de Hory. From reuters: The British filmmaker will take on the story of art faker Elmyr de Hory, who created and sold forgeries of paintings by the likes of Picasso and Matisse to collectors around the world between the 1940s and 1960s. De Hory, a Hungarian native, told his story to the equally notorious hoax biographer Clifford Irving (played by Richard Gere in "The Hoax" in 2007) for the book "Fake!" Additionally, Orson Welles made a…
Categories: Art Comments (3)
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