Pietro Psaier: Real or Hoax?

Pietro Psaier was an artist whose works fetch thousands of dollars. He was said to be a friend of Andy Warhol, which helps his saleability. But the question now perplexing the art world is whether Psaier ever actually existed.

This, from the Telegraph, is the little that's known about his life:

Information provided by an agent for the artist's estate states that Psaier was born in Italy in 1936 and died in the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. He left Italy as a young man and went to America, where he met Warhol while working as a waiter in a café. His life then appears to have evolved into a nomadic, drug-fueled odyssey that took him between California, Mexico, Madrid, India and Sri Lanka, working in a variety of styles from conventional portraiture and illustration to pop art and assemblage.

Here's the problem: There's no birth or death certificates. There's no solid evidence at all (such as a body) that Psaier existed. There's just a few sworn statements.

Smells like a hoax to me. The question is: Who's behind it?
(Thanks, Bob!)

Art Identity/Imposters

Posted on Wed Sep 17, 2008


This seems to have a lot in common with Peter Carey's *Theft* book. Carey is no stranger to fictionalizing hoaxes--both *Jack Maggs* and *My Life as a Fake* had literary hoaxes as a central theme.
Posted by floormaster squeeze  on  Wed Sep 17, 2008  at  09:58 AM
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