Orange Lavender Bay
Big Blue Lavender Bay
I smiled when author Sean B Fraser showed me a newspaper article over a meal of fish and chips at the Great Northern Hotel last night. I read, art conservator Mohamed Aman Siddique and art dealer Peter Stanley Gant may be facing trial in Victoria, after being accused of using paintings falsely represented as Brett Whiteley originals to obtain financial advantage. Two of the paintings are Orange Lavender Bay and Big Blue Lavender Bay. In 2013 I read an article in Paradise Magazine about the American king of art forgery, Tony Tetro. The article was to be the inspiration behind my second novel, ‘Killing Sunday,’ the second book in the Detective Jill Brennan series. In the article, Tetro explained how the elitist nature of the art industry and market can play into the art forger’s hands. In many cases the purchaser may be too embarrassed to take action or it may not be worth pursuing in the Courts because of the financial cost. Tetro had some tips on the ways you can spot a forgery:-
- Check the provenance, the history of the work.
- Check the fine details. Look out for the even spread of the paint. It should not have any dots.
- Find out the style of the artist. Did they use stamps, watermarks?
- Don’t always trust authenticity certificates. They can be faked too.
- Always buy from reputable art dealers.
About Anthony Gene Tetro Tony Tetro, is an art forger known for his perfectionism in copies of artwork produced in the 1970s and 1980s. Tetro never had formal art lessons, but learned from books, by painting and experimentation. Over three decades, Tetro forged works by Rembrandt, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí and Norman Rockwell and others. Tetro’s paintings and lithographs, known for their perfectionism, were sold by art dealers and auction houses as legitimate works and hang in museums, galleries around the world. He was caught after Hiro Yamagata found a forgery of his own work for sale in a gallery. Tetro was called a genius and “one of the two major [art] forgers in the United States.” (Wikipedia)