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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Art
Abortion as Art
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 18, 2008
Yale undergraduate Aliza Shvarts' senior art project has created a little bit of controversy. She has apparently created "a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself 'as often as possible' while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages." That's just lovely. (Already posted by whoeverur in the forum, but so bizarre it warrants being on the front page.) Shvarts insists that her project was not designed for "shock value." Funny. I would have thought it was designed precisely for shock value. She also says that "she was not concerned about any medical effects the forced miscarriages may have had on her body. The abortifacient drugs she…
Categories: Art, Birth/Babies Comments (15)
The Art of Pierre Brassau
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 25, 2008
I received an email from Maria in Sweden who reports that when her mother recently passed away she became the owner of a painting by Pierre Brassau, the monkey artist. (See the article about Pierre Brassau in the hoaxipedia. To sum up the story: in 1964 a Swedish reporter placed some paintings drawn by a monkey in an art show, claiming they were the work of an avant-garde French artist, Pierre Brassau. After critics praised the paintings, he revealed the hoax.) Apparently Maria's mother had received the painting in 1970 as a gift and had kept it ever since. This is the first time I've ever…
Categories: Animals, Art Comments (9)
Hitler Draws Disney
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 25, 2008
First there was the Hitler Diary hoax. Now we may be witnessing the Hitler Disney hoax. William Hakvaag, director of a Norwegian war museum, claims to have found sketches (shown above) of various Disney characters drawn by Adolf Hitler. He says that he found the paintings hidden inside another painting signed "A. Hitler" that he bought at an auction. Hakvaag feels 100% confident that the drawings are authentic Hitlers. The Telegraph reports: Mr Hakvaag, who said he had performed tests on the paintings which suggested that they…
Categories: Art Comments (9)
Quick Links: Feb 14, 2008
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 14, 2008
Guy convinces girl he's a vampire-werewolf hybrid An unusual, but apparently effective pickup strategy. The guy was later charged with statutory sexual assault since he was 19 and she was 15. To prove to police that he was a genuine vampire/werewolf, he showed them his canine teeth. The police pointed out to him that "all mammals, including humans, have canine teeth." German museum discovers its Monet is a fake The clues: a retraced signature, it was painted over a drawing that was clearly not a Monet, and a "colourless substance" had been applied to make the painting look older.
Categories: Art, Sex/Romance Comments (11)
Rogue Taxidermy
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 07, 2008
Nate Hill describes himself as a rogue taxidermist. He rummages through trash looking for dead animals: fish, dogs, cats, etc. Whatever he finds, he stitches together to form a bizarre new creature. From a recent AP article about him: "I'm totally self-taught," he said. "To put it simply, what I do is cut up the animals, I sew them together in a different way, and then I submerge them in rubbing alcohol to preserve them." He considers himself a member of a loosely defined group of "rogue taxidermists" who sidestep the…
Categories: Animals, Art Comments (8)
Is it art or copying?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 05, 2008
Cranky Media Guy sent me an interesting link to an article published last December in the New York Times about the artist Richard Prince. He's described as a pioneer of "appropriation art." What this means is that Prince takes photographs of other photographer's photographs, and then displays them as his own. For instance, he had an exhibit at the Guggenheim about cowboys, which basically consisted of photographs of Marlboro ads. The guy who actually took the images for the Marlboro ads, the photographer Jim Krantz, visited the exhibit and was like, "Hang on, those are my photographs!" In the thumbnail, you can…
Categories: Advertising, Art Comments (26)
Ernst Bettler
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 14, 2008
Back in 2000 a graphic design magazine called Dot Dot Dot ran an article about a subversive artist from the 1950s called Ernst Bettler. Design Observer summarizes the article's central tale: In the late 1950s, Bettler was asked to design a series of posters to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfäfferli+Huber. Aware of reports that P+H had been involved in testing prisoners in German concentration camps less than 15 years before, he hesitated, and then decided to accept the commission. "I had the feeling I could do some real…
Categories: Art Comments (4)
Quick Links: Dec. 22, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 22, 2007
MAVAV Strikes Again The State of New York produced an educational video to warn about the dangers of video games. The video includes a list of "resources" parents can visit to learn more, one of which is the website of "Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence." Obviously the state of New York hasn't been reading this website, since we listed MAVAV as a hoax back in 2004. Chuck Norris Sues Chuck Norris is suing the publisher and author of The Truth About Chuck Norris for "trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and privacy rights." Plus, he disputes the claim that his tears cure cancer. Painting in the…
Categories: Art, Technology Comments (5)
Three Art Fakes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 12, 2007
There seems to be a flurry of art hoaxes in the news recently. Here's three of them: Fake Faun The Art Institute of Chicago has admitted that a half-man, half-goat ceramic figure, once believed to have been sculpted by Paul Gauguin, is probably a fake. Instead, it was probably made by the Greenhalgh family who made the work in their garden shed. Fake Warhol Brillo Boxes Stockholm's National Museum of Art has stated that 105 "Brillo Boxes" attributed to Andy Warhol were actually created after his death. Fake Terracotta Soldiers A German museum has been hosting an exhibit of China's "Terracotta Army,"…
Categories: Art Comments (0)
Flower Portrait Controversy
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 26, 2007
The last time the famous Flower portrait of Shakespeare (the one showing him wearing a wide white collar) made news was back in 2005, when experts at the National Portrait Gallery declared it a fraud painted sometime during the 19th century. Now a German scholar, Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel, is arguing that the National Portrait Gallery experts didn't examine the original painting. She believes that sometime in the past ten years someone stole the original Flower portrait and substituted a fake in its place: Professor Hammerschmidt-Hummel said yesterday that the…
Categories: Art Comments (2)
True Art or Fake Quiz
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 10, 2007
Mikhail Simkin has a "true art, or fake" quiz on his website, It doesn't test your knowledge of art forgery. Instead, it tests whether you can spot the difference between what critics call true art (which will cost you thousands of dollars to buy) and fake art (produced by a non-artist, which will cost you nothing). I got a 58%. Below are two images from the quiz. One is a Mark Rothko masterpiece. The other is Mikhail Simkin non-art. I think they both look nice, and would happily hang either one on my wall.
Categories: Art Comments (14)
Top of Mt. Everest Sawed Off
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 21, 2007
A Chinese artist, Xu Zhen, claims to have climbed to the top of Mt. Everest, sawed off the top of it, and brought it back to China where he now has it on display in an art gallery. From the gallery's press release: 8848 is the publicly recognized height of the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest. Artist Xu Zhen has sawed off 1.86 meters (his height) from the peak of Mt. Everest, and transported the piece to participate in this exhibition. Audiences may not believe that this is real, which is similar to how people rarely question whether the height of Everest…
Categories: Art Comments (10)
Two days ago I noted that I had posted an account of the "September Morn" controversy in the hoaxipedia, and I also said that I had my doubts about the role the publicist Harry Reichenbach played in the controversy. Well, I did some more research, and I've now been able to confirm my doubts. Reichenbach was just spinning a wild yarn. Some background: The story (according to Reichenbach) is that back in 1913 he was working at a New York City art dealer who was trying to sell 2000 copies of a little-known work of art that showed a young woman bathing in a lake. Reichenbach came up with the idea of staging a phony protest. He…
Categories: Advertising, Art, History Comments (7)
New in the Hoaxipedia: Two articles about paintings
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 06, 2007
Elliot's newest contribution in the Hoaxipedia is an entry about the career of the art forger Elmer de Hory. And I also posted an article about something from the world of art: September Morn by Paul Chabas. September Morn shows a young naked girl bathing at the edge of a lake. In the early twentieth century it provoked a huge controversy in America about whether nudity should be allowed in public art. The controversy helped make September Morn one of the most famous (and popular) paintings in the world. The interesting part of the story is that publicist Harry…
Categories: Art Comments (6)
The Comforting Machine
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 02, 2007
This has nothing to do with hoaxes, but I thought it was interesting, so I'm posting about it anyway. Also, it reminded me of the Compliment Machine, which I posted about just a few days ago. I received an email from Jennifer Baumeister, who tells me that she's an artist from Berlin working on a project called Comfort XxL, the comforting machine. Here's a description of it: The comforting machine is an art project by the German artist Jennifer Baumeister. She asks people from different…
Categories: Art, Psychology Comments (5)
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