Editorial Review “INTENT TO DECEIVE”
In the creative and deceptive world of art what you see is not what you think you’re seeing.
During a conversation with a museum curator I was astonished to learn that almost eighty percent of paintings and art works we come across in our daily lives are copies of originals. In galleries, in museums, in exhibitions. The explanation however was logical. Copies are needed when the originals need maintenance or are on loan. Besides this, though, most of us cannot distinguish between the a good copy and the original – most are that well done. But if someone says its a van Gogh or a Picasso, we believe him – if it looks like one. After all, we’re there to view the works, to savour the impression they make on us – not to buy them. The exhibitors know that. And sending originals around the world to exhibitions is a risky and expensive business. Also, most collectors want the originals not only in safety but where they can enjoy them. I know, I would.
As I later discovered, though, not all works are copies. A lot are forgeries. But does it matter? Not to the majority, it doesn’t. But to me it did. I wanted to know more. I spent time in art museums and leading galleries and was appalled how little the experts really know. Or can put their feelings into simple words. I got the impression they wanted to show off rather than inform – to play on the ignorance of the listener. Rather like a guide entertaining a bunch of curious tourists.
My researches became the subject of a book in my Crime Mystery series. I entitled it Intent to Deceive. It became the third book in the DCS Frank Kruger series.
Most of the background story, including characters, locations and events, is based on my researches but is, nevertheless, a product of my imagination. I found my expeditions into the art world to be more colourful than I had ever imagined. It opened my eyes to how easily people are deluded, misled and defrauded. And not only are the admirers and connoisseurs on the receiving end, but also those who ply the trade – from the artist to the collector. I found it a colourful world of deceit. A world where the Latin warning caveat emptor applied first and foremost. Buyer beware.
The question plagued me, Why don’t we hear more about people being cheated and robbed in the world of art? Tasken to court more frequently. The answers I received form the back story to this book. However, I would like to repeat – the plot and characters are based on my personal experience in the business world and do not relate to any one person, situation or location I might have come across.
I hope you enjoy it.