Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger

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Pegasus Books, 2012 - Art - 314 pages
3 Reviews

The true confessions of one of the most notorious art-forgers in history - a real life catch-me-if-you-can caper from the auction houses in New York and London to collections around the world. Let the buyer beware!

For years, Ken Perenyi raked in riches forging masterpieces, convincing even the most discerning experts that his works were the real deal. His works are so flawless that they are still appearing as originals in auction house catalogs, fine art, design and architecture magazines, unexposed as the forgeries they really are.

Ten years ago an FBI investigation in conjunction with the US Attorney's Office was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news around the world. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to various art dealers, renowned experts, and major auction houses in New York and London, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite the abundance of evidence collected. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked 'exempt from public disclosure.' Now that the statute of limitations on these crimes has long passed and the case hermetically sealed, Ken Perenyi offers up his confession and an insight into the world of art and art forgery.

Growing up as a working class kid in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Perenyi never dreamed of becoming an art forger. However, when he stumbled upon The Castle, a large crumbling estate in his neighborhood, he found himself in the middle of the New York avant-garde art scene. Under their mentorship, he discovered he possessed a preternatural ability to copy the works of old masters, an ability that confounded even the most qualified experts and catapulted him to a life of riches. Honest, gripping and astounding, Caveat Emptor reveals the ironies and hypocrisies latent to the art world, plus an explanation of just exactly how Perenyi managed to pull it off.

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User Review  - michigantrumpet - LibraryThing

Ken Perenyi relates his many years as an art forger, providing many details as to how exactly he was able to fool many of the top collectors and auction houses in the world. The passing of applicable ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristineEllei - LibraryThing

What led me to this book was the book description itself … “Ten years ago, an FBI investigation in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York was about to expose ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Born in 1949 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Ken Perenyi is a self-taught artist who painted his first pictures during the Summer of Love in 1967, having discovered an uncanny ability to intuitively grasp the aesthetic and technical aspects of the Old Masters. A series of fateful events resulted in what was to become a thirty-year career as a professional art forger. Today he operates his own studio in Madeira Beach, Florida.

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