Caveat Emptor

Caveat Emptor

The Secret Life of An American Art Forger

Book - 2012
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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 a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, renowned experts, and the major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an 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 expired and the case appears hermetically sealed shut by the FBI, this book, Caveat Emptor, is Ken Perenyi's confession. It is the story, in detail, of how he pulled it all off.Glamorous stories of art-world scandal have always captured the public imagination. However, not since Clifford Irving's 1969 bestselling Fake has there been a story at all like this one. Caveat Emptor is unique in that it is the first and only book by and about America's first and only great art forger. And unlike other forgers, Perenyi produced no paper trail, no fake provenance whatsoever; he let the paintings speak for themselves. And that they did, routinely mesmerizing the experts in mere seconds.In the tradition of Frank Abagnale's Catch Me If You Can, and certain to be a bombshell for the major international auction houses and galleries, here is the story of America's greatest art forger.
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books, c2012
ISBN: 9781605983608
Characteristics: 314 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm


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Mar 09, 2019

Totally agree with this reviewer - a con man of high caliber - except Ken Perenyi conned some lovely lies. Very interesting book, a pleasant audiobook. The man may or not be telling the real facts, he seems very narcissistic, very full of himself. Well worth my time.

Sep 18, 2018

If Donald Trump were an art forger, this is the book he would write.

Jun 19, 2014

Was reading "Antiques" a magazine in our local B'Game library, and saw this book mentioned. After reading review of said book, realized that I had read it about 18 months ago.

Perenyi has got some of the biggest ones in this country, forging and conning auction houses, not the most honest institutions around. When he played out the USA, moved to England and found even easier pickings.

Well enough said, read it yourself, if you love art you will be amazed.

Jun 17, 2014

What a fascinating book! The first few pages were a little slow and you wondered when the guy was going to get to the stuff you picked up the book to read, but once he did, WOW! Not only did I learn a lot about the technical side of aging paintings and how to do a "proper" forgery, I learned about some artists I had not heard of before, and certainly learned a lot about how auction houses function! I found it fascinating that the FBI apparently either could not make a case or CHOSE not to make a case against him. So now he's got his own studio in Florida-well, at least if you bought something from his studio, you'd KNOW where it came from and who actually painted it!

Apr 05, 2013

Details fascinating of how he faked the art. Few insights tho into him personalty.

Jan 23, 2013

Perenyi exhibits zero remorse and thinks awfully highly of himself, despite the fact that he never forged first-rate artists. Still, this is a very interesting tale of how a man with no formal artistic training managed to fool the big auction houses with his "English country" and "early American" paintings - the kinds of things Ralph Lauren-era decorators loved to put in their clients' homes. Sadly, these fakes are likely to muddy the waters for decades for anyone seeking genuine knowledge of the painters he mimicked.


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