The forgery artist Wolfgang Beltracchi, rather than copying existing artwork, created brand new pieces in the style of famous artists. His forgeries have sold for over $45 million dollars. He signed his paintings in the famous artists’ names, came up with an elaborate backstory as to why the paintings had been hidden away so long, and even went to great lengths to use period appropriate materials. Beltracchi even forged labels from a legitimate German art dealer and stained them with coffee to make them look old and legitimate. Then he would attach them to the back of the canvases. He eventually got caught when he used a paint that contained the pigment “Titanium White”, which wasn’t available/used in the period the paintings would have been created.
An anonymous French urban artist, Invader, has spent the last twenty years installing over 3300 Space Invaders mosaics in 60 cities all around the world.
Two con men sold a fake painting for €1.5 million, only to find out that all the money was counterfeit.
An artist edited together 1000s of scenes of clocks and watches from movies and TV shows into one 24-hour movie – which itself functions as a working clock.
‘Art’ used to be an Olympic sport. Artists were award gold, silver and bronze medals for architecture, painting, sculpture, music and literature across multiple Summer Olympics in the early 20th Century. The ‘arts’ were dropped from the Games because they drew too many professional artists.
Two men paid €1.5 million in counterfeit money for a painting, only to find out that the painting was fake.
In 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia, wanting to bring the Mona Lisa back to Italy after “It was stolen by Napoleon”, simply walked in the Louvre, lifted off the painting, took it to a nearby service staircase, removed the frame, put it under his smock, and simply walked out with it in plain sight.
A Polish art student hung his own painting up in a major art Gallery where it went unnoticed for three days.
A man was arrested in Ireland after punching a hole into a $10m Monet painting. His justification: he wanted to ‘get back at the state’.