Honest-to-goodness, genuine fake
June 4, 2010 5:00 PM   Subscribe

There are Real Fake Buildings, Real Fake Watches, real fake books, and of course, "The Internet's LARGEST Selection of Real Fake Rocks!" But for truly high-end fakes -- the "realest" of the fakes -- there's the Museum of Fakes in Southern Italy, or even better, the Museum of Art Fakes in Vienna, which includes etchings from "last living master forger from Germany." "The Museum of Art Fakes, almost directly opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, is unique in Europe. It is filled with paintings from not only world famous forgers (such as van Meegeren, Tom Keating, David Stein, Konrad Kujau, Edgar Mrugalla, Lothar Malskat), but also so-called ‘identical-forgeries’ of Schiele, Klimt, Monet, Raffael and many more."
posted by not_the_water (19 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Has anybody attempted to make fake real fakes yet? You know, make forgeries of famous artists' work and pass them off as the work of the cream of the art forgery world. I imagine one could probably scam someone out of something with a fake David Stein forgery.
posted by acb at 5:05 PM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I notice that the Museum of Art Fakes is quick to point out that forgeries, in and of themselves, are not illegal. Is this true for Austria, the EU in general, or what?

acb, I love the idea of fake forgeries, if only because I don't doubt that there would be people that would take it very, very seriously, i.e., "that's a TERRIBLE fake real fake! it has none of the passion/verve/insight/technical virtuosity that the REAL fake had by virtue of its fidelity to the original, um, original!"
posted by a small part of the world at 5:11 PM on June 4, 2010


There are real fakes, and then there are genuine fakes.
posted by Elmore at 5:15 PM on June 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Obligatory.
posted by a small part of the world at 5:15 PM on June 4, 2010


So here's a fun fact from the Louvre, you're allowed to set up an easel to copy paintings provided you didn't copy it in the same size. One older woman was doing a very good copy of The Raft Of The Medusa - except she put in all these little little ribbons of fabric around the exposed bits - cause starving to death and cannibalism are fine but we draw the line at nudity.
posted by The Whelk at 5:16 PM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This post is great, but it's not complete without one of the best movies I've ever seen – Orson Welles' fantastic F For Fake, a documentary from 1974 regarding Elmyr de Hory, professional forger of paintings, and his biographer, Clifford Irving, professional forger of biographies. Endlessly entertaining, ridiculously intriguing.
posted by koeselitz at 5:39 PM on June 4, 2010


I have long desired to own a genuine Elmyr!
posted by supermedusa at 5:58 PM on June 4, 2010


Those of us make, buy, sell, deal, exchange, loan, develop, pursue, admire "fake" more often than not refer to our goodies as "faux," because it sounds a bit more authentic.
posted by Postroad at 6:06 PM on June 4, 2010


I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see it. And look, there's Magnetbox and Sorny.
posted by DU at 6:09 PM on June 4, 2010


The original Real Fake Book.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:35 PM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


flagged as fake!
posted by shoesfullofdust at 6:37 PM on June 4, 2010


Our watches are automatically hand-tooled with real machine craftsmanship. And look at that semi-precision movement, folks -- it's made from genuine faux diamelle!
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:53 PM on June 4, 2010


I think it's impressive that the rocks come in fake AND faux AND artificial versions. HOW CAN I CHOOSE JUST ONE!!?!?
posted by not_the_water at 6:59 PM on June 4, 2010


For some reason, I think that celebrity impersonators are just sad. I think it might have something to do with making the leap from just thinking you look like someone famous to actually trying to make money doing it.
posted by crunchland at 7:02 PM on June 4, 2010


I notice that the Museum of Art Fakes is quick to point out that forgeries, in and of themselves, are not illegal. Is this true for Austria, the EU in general, or what?

Well, it's not a forgery until it's passed off as the real thing, which is the illegal act. Merely painting a copy is perfectly legal, so long as it's correctly attributed as such.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:05 PM on June 4, 2010


Merely painting a copy is perfectly legal, so long as it's correctly attributed as such when it is sold/exhibited/whathaveyou.

Fixed that for me.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:09 PM on June 4, 2010


"Holly Golightly? She's a phony. But she's a real phony!"
posted by gimonca at 8:13 PM on June 4, 2010


F for Fake should be required viewing for anyone learning the art of moving picture editing = it's extraordinary - and required for everyone else to show that folks haven't even begun to exhaust what cinema is capable of = the British Board of Film Classification wrote to Welles apologizing that they couldn't rate the film M; M for Masterpiece.

As for Elmyr de Hory / Elmer Uri / Elmyre Hori / Hoffmann Elemér - I know folks who've owned some - they say that there's no way people could mistake them for genuine works by the stated artists - you have to want to believe they're real - which of course everyone did (you can't cheat an honest man, etc.)
posted by jettloe at 5:01 AM on June 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


F is for Fake's Russian sex slaves. What? Too soon?
posted by Elmore at 3:00 PM on June 5, 2010


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