The secrets of a former art forger | The FOX True Crime Podcast

The secrets of a former art forger | The FOX True Crime Podcast

Author of the book ‘Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger’, Ken Perenyi discusses how he discovered his talent and the close encounters he had with the FBI during his 34 years of forgery. #FoxNews #TrueCrime

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Ken perini the man the myth the legend I Have to tell you sir when you wrote your Book caveat mtor In 2012 I read it and I was a practicing federal Attorney And I was rooting for you every page Every second it was the most captivating Story frankly that I had read in maybe Ever and for all of you who have yet to Be introduced to Ken preny Who needs no introduction but he wrote Caveat mtor The Secret Life of an American Art Forger after over three Decades of forging art and it's this Incredible captivating Catch Me If You Can tale of a remarkable backstory where You realized you had a prettier natural Ability to forge the art of of the Masters the great Masters and then you Take us along this tale of these of These 30 years where you um you earned Millions of dollars because of it Eluding capture and the feder on your Tail and the instant that the statute of Limitations ran is when you wrote and Published that book so as an attorney as A former government employee again it's An honor to meet you I'm still rooting For you every day and I find such joy And such a thrill at your story so Welcome to the fox True Crime podcast And you know one of one of the thing Things that struck me um about your your

Comments about it was you know you said I I now that you no longer do that uh or You you sell your paintings as Real faux orgeries you say I miss the addictive thrill of fooling The experts you said it was great sport For me so without further Ado tell us The story of the greatest sport there Ever okay well thank you for that Introduction I appreciate it Uh well uh I was young a lot younger and Uh I uh it was thrilling for me to be Able to have the ability to Paint pictures that appeared to be Period uh perhaps 100 200 years old or More and uh watch them being sold in Some of these uh most exclusive venues In the world and uh I it was addictive It was a thrill I I Often say some people uh it's it could Be the gambling casino or Wall Street or The racetrack and for me it was the Auction house I liked fooling the Experts and uh uh and um and collecting The money And tell us about you grew up across the Pond right from here tell us about those Early years and how did you stumble upon The realization that you were an Incredible artist Well uh Make that long story short uh I grew up In Palisades Park New Jersey uh it joins Fort Lee New Jersey which is the gateway

To Manhattan right over the George Washington Bridge uh uh and the the year That I um was uh introduced to Art was 1967. I was 17 years old Uh I uh in I hung around Fort Lee a lot And there was an old estate in Fort Lee A crumbling old mansion right on the Edge of the Palisade Cliffs spectacular Location that was overlooking the Hudson River in Manhattan and an artist from New York City came uh out there and Leased the house it was in disrepair uh He fixed it up somewhat he leased it he Came out there with a buddy of his uh Tony masaccio I'm sorry the artist's Name was Tom Daly and he came out studio With a kind of an assistant by the name Of Tony Tony masaccio and their Girlfriends they were from New York City They were in the art world And I just had a chance meeting with him One day and started hanging out with Them I was invited to the castle I was 17 years old I met all these interesting People from New York City in a part of a World I had no understanding of but it Was thrilling for me to meet people like This I started tagging along with them To uh uh Gallery openings that they went To uh artist Studios Um All kinds of places in the art world and Museums And different receptions and it was all

Exciting oh and and I went uh I I Started going to an art bar downtown Called Max's Kansas City this was a big Hangout for uh uh people in the art World Andy Warhol hung out there a lot Of rock stars would turn up uh turn up There and a lot of what they called at That time the beautiful people uh models And rich young people from Europe flew In and hung out at this place it was it Was quite a uh quite a scene there so at 17 I'm going to these uh going to all These uh interesting places with these Being I was pretty thrilling for me but It was when we went to the museums and I Started looking at the paintings there That uh it started Awakening something Inside of me that frankly I didn't uh Realize uh that I had and that was Uh Uh it started Awakening an aesthetic Appreciation of art I looked at the Paintings didn't know what they were About who painted them or where my Friends that I was with Tom Tony their Girlfriend they would tell me this is by Um you know uh tishin or Raphael or Something like that and uh I would think About that uh and it's stuck in me and Then I would want to go back to the Museums on my own and look at those Paintings and I I just got very interested in them and Uh

I started appreciating the artists I Bought books about the artist and I Self-educated myself but I felt a Compulsion uh inside of me to want to Try my hand at painting uh I think it Was because I looked closely at the Paintings and I was fascinated by the Ingenious way the artist Used paint to create three-dimensional Illusions and effects on a Two-dimensional plane and I found that Very um uh fascinating how they could uh Do this and I just thought that if I had Paints and brushes To do it too maybe so my friends at the Castle Tom Daley the artist uh we were Good friends uh I used to hang out there All the time we would look at art books We would uh smoke a joint to have a lot Of fun and uh he set me up with paints Brushes and I discovered that I had uh And uh A real hidden talent for painting I Amazed my friends there with my first Tries at painting but how I got into art Forgery that was right uh Tom looked at My paintings I made copies of Old Masters he gave me assignments he said Like paint this head of Christ by Rembrandt and I would bring it back a Week later and I and he would be very Impressed with what I was able to do so Uh being a teenager I always needed Money I wanted to go out I had sports

Cars that were breaking down all the Time I needed money I want to take Girlfriends out so My friend Tom Who was 10 years older than me by the Way Tom and Tony were like both a decade Older than me so I was the kid hanging Out at this place so Tom as a joke one Day said you know you paint like the Old Masters uh why don't you look at what This guy did gives me a book on this Art Forger from the 40s a guy by the name of Van meegren and he started making all These fake paintings these Dutch Paintings and he's selling them all over Europe so I thought why not you know And I tried my hand I followed a lot of The secrets he gave away in this book on How he made things look old and how he Cracked them and everything like that so I made some fakes And um I actually sold one to a gallery on 57th Street uh to an experienced expert that Ran this Gallery uh you know he dealt an Old Masters and decorative Arts from the 17th 16th and 17th and 18th centuries it Was a seasoned expert and he bought the Painting he thought it was original and I walked out of the gallery with 800 Bucks cash in my pocket for a Little Dutch uh portrait that I had done uh and Um and that was it that was the Beginning of it uh

And then I mean not to go on and too Long of a story but uh once I did it Once uh I guess it was one of those Things he once is Never Enough you're Gonna do it again get away with it once You have to do it again I wanted to live In New York City and I Uh I wanted to be a regular artist a Contemporary artist and I uh I got my first Studio on Fifth Avenue Number 43 Fifth Avenue the Stanford White building on 5th and 11th Street And it was at in those days it was it's A historic building today I mean it's One of the most elite uh pieces of Property downtown uh but in those days It was a uh it was a historic slum Really uh nothing worked good in all the Systems were broken down there and I I Had a studio in the a Charming studio With the Tervis uh for a hundred and ten Dollars a month and I was living there And I was painting little fakes more Dutch paintings I was selling them Around the city but I really wanted to Be a contemporary artist uh and be part Of the uh abstract impressionist Movement uh that was taking place in in Downtown at that time because I was Hanging out in SoHo uh I was meeting Artists I was going to Max's and so on So my old friend from the castle Tony Tony masaccio uh he got Aloft on uh Union Square right just off Union Square

And so I needed space for this Collection that I envisioned this uh Abstract uh uh uh collection that I Envisioned and I moved into this Loft And I started working on this this Collection I was getting a lot of Attention Andy Warhol was just around The corner uh I had Robert Hughes the Art critic interested in what I was Doing I was really attracting attention And I I could have had a good shot and Uh but one thing led to another uh we Tried to inside I mean it's a long story I write about it in my book but we we Tried to fix up this this dungeon we Were living in this this raw space is Lost we tried to put a bathtub in we did A botched up uh plumbing job and we Flooded the floor the ceiling caved in On the restaurant down below and I found Myself thrown out in the middle of the Winter in New York City uh and and the Landlord who was the restaurant down Below they didn't go through the Judicial process to evict us they came Up with steel ladles and they said you Get uh or else okay so it was that kind Of an addiction okay that's the way they Did it in the old days Bottom of the go to the courts so uh Long story short I want I was uh walking Around New York City I was evicted I had Half my collection done in this Loft I Didn't know what I wound up on the Upper

East Side at number 35 East 68th Street In a an Old Town House I rented a place There and uh but to live on the Upper East Side you have to have money it's an Expensive place and I fell back on my Forgery and um I uh expanded into Dutch Paintings in the style of Van goyen van Roysdale and I would get anywhere from About anywhere from about 500 to 1200 Dollars per painting In those days but that was a good shot Of cash because my rent was only uh About 300 a month and so I was uh I was Living pretty good and getting along And I still had hopes of putting my Abstract collection together but one Thing led to another and forgery became A career for me and that was the Beginning of it all and uh I eventually Hooked up again with my friend Tony and He became my salesman and uh And uh I we were in business and as the Years went on The paintings got more important the Money got more important until Eventually I was selling them in Sotheby's and Christie's and eventually I was selling them in uh London and New York simultaneously I had I had Paintings out in all the major auction Houses and the money was pouring in and Uh that's the way I I I lived for 30 Years And what struck me about your Beginnings

You know I grew up in the Bay Area California and your descriptions of the Castle and the avant-garde art scene Reminded me of Telegraph Avenue and you Know we would do that as kids and sort Of the adoring sit on the fringes Looking up to you know the kids that Were five ten years older how Impressionable we were how instructive They were and your story you know it's It's sort of like the East Coast Henry Miller Kerouac you know art scene Essentially where there was a Vibrance And a commitment to ideology and that Really shown through in your Descriptions of the castle and the crew That you ran with that it was really About Um it really was about the art it was About the art and it was a a very Powerful cultural component involved in That because that was the Dropout turn On era that was the hippie era and it Was like uh Many young people like me uh didn't Really bother in being career oriented We had we were taken over by this crazy Philosophy that we're going to have a Cultural revolution and live in some Kind of crazy utopian Paradise it was Really Um it was bizarre but it was a very Powerful uh philosophy And it was fun at the time as long as

You were young and you were with other Young people it was the hippie movement Is what it was called it was it was a Great time it was a great time to have Fun be young and yeah I was I was uh I Met these people that were a lot more Sophisticated than well than I was of Course But to have entree into the art world And then to go to this Place like Max's and see Famous people down there uh this was This was really uh this made a big Impression on me But at the same time I never really Thought of what I was going to do In the future to make anything of myself So thankfully I found this hidden gift And I just and I art in the in a sense Saved my life and I made a career out of It Um and uh and I'd have to say uh It was exciting for me I like the money I like getting away with something I Loved sitting in the audience of an Auction house uh with the bidders and Seeing a painting that I painted maybe Six months earlier up there on the stage And watching the bid soar on it it's an Adrenaline rush and it's addictive And you describe that life that you had As total freedom and if you would could You describe now how long it took you to Create a forgery at the height of of

This career and then what you did is you Described in the book how you did make It appear old and then walk us through The actual bringing to the auction Houses and you know tell us share about All that well uh a high class fake is a Very Complex Construction I chose to create paintings that uh That were supposedly or masqueraded as Paintings that were created hundreds of Years ago by uh Artists of that period some very famous And some not so famous but so to create Something like that it's it's a real Challenge everything has to be correct To make a painting like that and it's Going to be examined By experts like when you present the Painting in an auction house It's it's examined by an expert a Seasoned expert and they're going to Look at the painting the front of the Painting the back of the painting and Everything they're viewing in that Painting the front the back the sides is Telling a story to that expert it's what I call forensic visual forensics Uh the kind of canvas and the Aging the Oxidation of the canvas when they turn It around the back of the painting is One of the first things they look at and That is a um that tells the whole History of of the uh of the painting now

To be a great forger a successful order Forger you have to be as smart as the Experts are and I would say a bit Smarter uh you have to know what they're Looking for even though they don't let This out when they when you present them A painting you I could follow their eyes And I always felt that I could read Their mind when they looked at the edge Of the painting with the back of the Painting uh it all has to be uh Historically correct in every way I Always presented the painting and I Asked them for their opinion on it I Didn't bring a painting and say oh this Was by J.F Herring and and uh I'd like To know about I I presented the painting I may have said it's been in my family But what is it and I like to I like to let them educate me I guess you could say I took a perverse Pleasure in this but also it was a it Was a um it was feedback on my ability Because if the guy is telling me the age Of the painting and when the artist Painted it and what series uh this came From and the artist's uh evolution of Work it told me that my thinking was Correct in the creation of this artwork And then the uh the the Final uh uh well the next step in the Process was that he would ask the Auction house official would ask me if I Chose to put it in a sale and I would

Say sure yeah like that and then they'd Write up a contract I'd be out doing the Contract and the next step is uh it Would be scheduled for a sale in the Future and if I was in town whether it Was New York or London I uh I would Attend the sales and uh and have some Fun and then go out for dinner Afterwards but uh for me the wife that I Had Yes it gave me freedom and uh And that was very uh important to me I Had the money and the freedom to go Where I wanted Uh without any restrictions when if I Was in London and I uh was with a friend Go over to uh Ireland Stay at some of these old castle hotels Rent a car stay a month to explore Ireland and go over to Amsterdam do Things like that it was just a total Life of freedom and I never knew what it Was to work for anybody else or anything Uh like that I was my own boss but I Always say this To make a great fake you have to have a Great love and an aesthetic appreciation For the artist that that one is going to Emulate And I uh would say that if you're just Faking a painting just for the sake of Making money on it there's going to There's going to be it's going to ring Hollow it may fool some people but it

Will not stand the test of time Uh I I am pleased to see that every so Often I see one of my paintings that I May have painted 25 30 years ago still Showing up in a sales room or in a Collection or in some magazine and that Tells me that it stood the test of time It stood up to scrutiny through the Years and that's because I put in uh Into that painting the inspiration and The love Of the work of the artist that I was Emulating and for me that was very Important because I I have to State this I am above all I Became in my life thanks to those early Days at the castle uh and Tom and Tony I Became a great art lover in my own right And a connoisseur I have a great deep Appreciation of a very fine painting and I understand what goes in to make a Painting a great work of art Inspirational depth uh beautiful Workmanship atmosphere And when I created a fake I put a great deal of research into the Project I looked upon it as a project Even though once I had all my research In place and and uh I could Paint pictures very quickly but I would Start by reading about The Life and Times of the artist I wanted to know the Social and political situation of his Life I wanted to

Um get all the examples that I could Possibly find on his work and I made What I called visual float shots Of the artist's work I would get big Pieces of uh um uh six by eight pieces Of foam board I would cut out all the Examples of the artist and put them in Chronological order on uh on the um uh The piece of foam board so that I could See the evolution of the artist's work The progression of his work and then I Can invent something that would fit into A series of paintings at the or a period That the artist was creating and above All a great fake has to be logical it Has to fit into uh a uh an evolutionary Line of the artist's work so that when An expert looks at that painting he Could place it he could say ah yes this Looks like it could be done by uh uh JF Herring or Martin Johnson he probably Around 1876 or something like that in this Particular Series so by making a visual Flowchart and doing a lot of research I Could make A fake that would have all the necessary Uh Uh artistic and Technical attributes Built into that painting so that the Expert could look at it and give it his Seal of approval and also it had to have The artistic uh quality that has to uh Equal the artist that I was emulating

And I prided myself on that I I didn't Make second Second-rate examples of the artists that I emulated I I uh Strived to make examples that were when They were at their peak of creativity And to that end you said you know before You mentioned JF Herring and you said I Don't wish to flatter myself but I'm Sure Herring himself would be proud to Put his name on this painting and that Was one of the ones that you did with The horses in the horse series That you were mentioning So to that Point my British period when I was Putting paintings in the uh of British Sales rooms and uh I also put sporting Paintings in New York uh sales rooms Also but yes uh and I I meant that Sincerely as a matter of fact I saw a While back a herring that I painted Maybe oh way back in the 90s and I Painted it uh And it was a very fine example but I Brought it to an auction house and they Just thought well it's in the school of Herring you know maybe a follower or Something like that but it was a very Good painting and I I put it in the sale And I I forget what I got for it but Anyway recently I saw that painting uh Turn up in in the sales room and I won't Mention the auction house was in London And uh it was it had since been

Authenticated by the world's expert in Herring he named who the uh uh jockey Was on the horse the name of the horse And the year it was painted and it was a Complete invention that I I created so I Was greatly flattered and it was a great Satisfaction for me and a validation That my thinking and my artistic uh uh Creation of this particular subject was Historically correct in every way And in your book you You situation where it was a really Close call with an auction house can you Share that story oh okay yeah that oh Okay that was I think with the Martin Johnson heed uh the Martin Johnson he That was uh otherwise known as fat boy Well yeah that was a um Right Uh oh well yeah that there there's a lot To that story but to make a long story Short uh I create I was Um very much interested in the work of Martin Johnson heat he was one of the Most important 19th century American Painters of the period he was uh part of What you would call the illuminous School and the Hudson River School uh And he's a very important painter uh There are examples of his work in the Metropolitan Museum and so on I had uh Met uh one of the great collectors in America a guy by the name of Jimmy Rico I was introduced to him

Um through Um Well actually through the oh You were in law you were a law student I'm sure you heard of the lawyer Roy Cohn and uh I uh was good friends Roy I Lived next door to Roy and uh through a Friend of Roy's I was introduced to Um An art collector by the name of Jimmy Rico very important collector uh works Of his are in museums today there's a Book out about it uh most of his uh Works are housed in the Chrysler Museum Today they built a whole uh wing for his Collection today it was very important Eccentric eccentric uh he lived in a Mansion just north of New York City Filled with millions and millions of Dollars worth of of artworks 19th Century American paintings was his his Specialty he had seen some of my fakes Through a friend of Roy's and he wanted To know who painted them and he wanted To meet the person I was eventually Brought it's a long story but I'm making It short uh I was eventually brought to The house and I I met Jimmy Rico himself And Jimmy uh he detested art dealers he Thought that they were nothing but like On the level of used car salesmen he was A great purist and Um he He wanted to

Train me to use my abilities to create 19th century American paintings The artist that he loved like Martin Johnson heed and James E buddies worth And jfpito whole range of artists he Wanted steer my talents into that Direction and he hoped that I would have Great success selling these fakes to all The dealers he detested on Madison Avenue and I did that and that was when My career went into high gear so as the Years went on I painted Many many American paintings that became One of my specialties that I wrote about And they all presented their own Challenges what they were painted on Some were painted on panels some were on Canvas some were on things called Academy boards I had to scope out all These technical Um uh peculiarities that were Characteristic to each artist and Incorporate that in each one of my fakes So that's why I I said and at Jimmy's House I had free access to Specimens of all of these paintings I Could photograph the signatures I could Photograph front and back what whatever Kind of supports they were painted on The way they were framed Originally so he had everything there at My disposal so that I could in a sense Back engineer these paintings to Perfection

So Um this was this put me on the road to Great riches in my career and great Success Circle culminated In the creation of one Great Masterpiece Uh it was a Martin Johnson heed and heed In the 19th century he specialized a Series of paintings as his that he was Most noted for was [Music] Um Exotic flowers various forms of orchids And hummingbirds together in a painting They're very valuable very treasured and Sword after by collectors and the rarest Of this series was the his passion Flower Series where he painted passion Flowers with little hummingbirds around Them and he did these from life down and He traveled all the way down to Brazil In the 19th century this guy lived in Before the Civil War he did this and he Had shows of these paintings down on Like 10th Street in Greenwich Village in Those days and to great success so Anyway I trained myself to paint Martin Johnson heed to Perfection you couldn't Tell my paintings from the original they Were authenticated by the world's expert That wrote the book on Martin Johnson he Theodos Evans he included them in his Book Um so I

I painted this uh Sorry I I I I I and I made New Creations okay I I these were original Creations so I Made up because I was able to think like Him and put myself in his skin in a Sense and see through his eyes Because I knew him so well And uh and and and and and Herring too I'm sure they would be proud any one of These artists would be proud to put Their signature uh on any one of my Creations and and I mean that uh Sincerely because Because I created paintings that were as Good as their best efforts and they Would be proud of me if they were alive Today they would be proud of me and so Jimmy was too Jimmy Jimmy thought that I Was the living embodiment Of the artist that he sobered and he Wanted me to be the Legacy That he wanted to leave to the art world One day That I would carry on the work of these Great artists when they couldn't do it Themselves so I could carry it on only Me I was the only one that could do this To paint James E Buttersworth one of the Most difficult painters that uh one of The great Marine painters of American 19th century uh only I could paint Martin Johnson heeds to Perfection and I Did it the greater experts in the world

Uh authenticated my pictures as a matter Of fact there was an article in a Magazine about where to invest your Money and and this was in a big art Periodical And they said that one of the best Places to put your money is in 19th Century American painted paintings and One of the best artists to invest in is James E Butterworth And then as an example of Buddha's work To show as an example in this important Article they had one of my Creations Yeah and I took that as a great Compliment I took that as a great Compliment that that that This this Expert that wrote this article would Choose one of my paintings as an example Of what you where you should put your Money But anyway getting back to the story I uh I painted this uh magnificent Creation it was a magnificent painting Uh Uh in the style of James he butt as well No in style sorry of Martin Johnson he Uh Uh passion flower and hummingbird Paintings a completely original creation It was beautiful beautiful piece of work And um I built in every kind of Visual forensic

That all my Powers could think of to put Into this painting and you have to Understand when an expert is examining One of these paintings they're receiving All kinds of Subliminal messages from this painting All kinds of things are working Subconsciously in their mind that's Either authenticating the painting in Their their mind or rejecting it and I Was aware of all these things and I had This all built into the painting but Aside from that it was a beautiful work Aesthetically and artistically it was Impeccable I mean he would be proud of It and But I went a little too far in the Aging Of this painting I went overboard but I I was proud of the job that I had Everything built into it the cracks the The antique varnish I had on it the way It would reflect on the ultraviolet Light and subject itself to test but uh When I brought it to Sotheby's they were So excited about the painting that Um they wanted to clean the painting Before they put it in the sale and I was I couldn't have it cleaned because If it was professionally cleaned it Would have disintegrated So it's the painting was it the paint Wasn't old enough Size of the Dilemma Them out of cleaning the painting and

You have to read the book to hear the Whole story but Anyway it was a very close school and in The end I got out of that one and the Painting got sold And it was authenticated by Theodore Stebbins the world's expert and he wrote A paper about it And it was purchased by the world's Biggest collector of Martin Johnson heat Paintings Richard Manoogian who was one Of the biggest collectors of American Paintings In the country and he Prides himself on His His collection of Martin Johnson heeds And this was going to be like one of the Crown jewel pieces of his collection and It was recommended by the heads of Sotheby's the heads of the department That he must have this for his Collection and it was authenticated by Theodore Stebbins the world's expert so He bought it What I was happy you know everybody was Happy But then within a year it was discovered That the painting was a fake I mean They they tried to clean it and it fell Apart You know what are you going to do those Things happen How much did that painting sell for

Seven hundred thousand seven seven Hundred thousand dollars a little over Seven hundred thousand Seventeen hundred Yeah something like that 717 000. yeah Now going back to the fact that you were Initially educated by this Instruction manual if you will from the 40s and then in your book caveat mtor You detail painstakingly and Fascinatingly the techniques that you Underwent to recreate the age and the Era appropriate visual forensics that You discussed yeah can you share a few Of those techniques right now sure uh I Was uh I found my career throwing I would say That uh Just simply being an artist and painting Pictures and selling them I was beyond that that would have bored Me I I I was like uh uh an addicted Gambler I love the endorphin rush of Selling a picture fooling the experts And getting the cash so I had to have That thrill so that kind of addiction Thrills That drove me Onward to always be inventing Some new Technique some new technical Uh Flim Flam that I could incorporate Into my paintings That would further

Fool the experts and totally Blindside Them that you have to make if a fake if It If it triggers off any kind of suspicion That at all that will only snowball and The painting is going to be rejected I Never had that happen to me it has to be Perfect Beyond perfect so I I was always Uh I would lay awake nights dreaming up New tricks and new type of scientific Breakthroughs To make a veteran and improved product Uh that would uh uh be able to sell in The sales room and give pleasure to Other people that's all I wanted to do I Wanted to make people to win I want to Give people the opportunity to enjoy and Love art the way I did okay and and I I Had to expand I have to expand the collections the Existing body of work by Martin Johnson Heed and James E Butterworth and Herring Uh so I had a great deal of Responsibility on me I owed it to these Artists to carry on their work and I had To be perfect in every way so I was Always think thinking of different ways To uh to make a better uh new and Improved product so one of my great Breakthroughs I think I think Archimedes would have Been proud of this one it was one of Those Eureka moments okay it happened an Accident

They they what what they would started Doing at that time was they were using Ultraviolet light To examine antique paintings and Um what they do is they take the Painting into a darkened room and they Shine it from above with an ultraviolet Light and it reflects on the surface of The painting And what the ultraviolet does is it it Tells a story Of of the of the painting to the trained Expert Uh number one if there's any touching up Later touching up on the original Painting Uh you know retouching repairs made they Show up on the ultraviolet they show Dark spots and that means later paint That was put on the painting to to make Touch-ups so you can see how much damage Was on the painting and where it was Retouched but there's something very Important in uh in this examination and That shows the original varnish that the Artist put on the painting Oxidizes through time And that oxidation process excuse me Causes that the surface varnish on that Painting to reflect in a forensic in a Certain characteristic uh Florenth what's the word fluorescent Excuse me fluorescence fluorescence It's a greenish fluorescence

And it'll only happen if the varnish is Over a hundred years old it takes that Much time to develop that reflection of Fluorescence on this it's oxidation So This new way of examining paintings was Coming into more and more Common use in the time when I was coming Up when I was selling and being very Active So one day I was cleaning a real period Painting a 19th century painting I was Cleaning it and I was removing the Antique varnish off of the surface of The painting And I was doing this with a solution of Acetone which is a very powerful solvent That could dissolve the antique varnish That's laying on the surface of a period Painting and that the the varnish is Removed because it becomes yellow and Dark brown and it has it's called the Cleaning So I was removing the uh the uh Discolored Brown varnish from a painting And I was using an ultraviolet light to Make sure that I was taking it all off That there was no residue on the Painting when I was as I was cleaning it But then I noticed that in the swabs of Cotton that were collecting The antique varnish the fluorescence was All over the the the cotton and it was Puddling around on the table and I was

Saying there's my fluorescence varnish Right there so I started wringing out The the cotton swabs for with all this Antique varnish I put it through a Filter I added some synthetic varnish to Give it some body and I started spraying It oh Much I mean it was beautiful Beautiful almost crazy and I started Spraying it on my own fakes and then I Ran into a dark room I turned on an Ultraviolet light in a florist perfectly Perfectly there's no way to fake this uh I mean so if an expert takes the Painting and puts it in a dark room and Puts an ultraviolet light on it and sees The green fluorescence he'll he has to Come to only one conclusion that varnish Has to be a hundred years old who would Be faking paintings of this this type 100 years ago uh not that the the the Painting was an impeccable stylistically But this reinforced that the painting Was absolutely period by having that Skin of varnish on there that reflected Right and it was one of the Great Moments that I uh that I had in uh In uh my career you know it was a great Great technical breakthrough and I I was Very proud to incorporate that that Became standard operational procedure in Uh in in my subsequent uh body of work And so tell us about the first moment The beginning of the end when you were

Contacted by the FED yeah Well I was I was um I was uh had paintings in the sales Rooms I was riding high it was really Great uh everything was going uh good in My life I uh I was uh I was rich I spent a lot of money on clothes I like shopping in London and New York I Would have suits made and Brooks Brothers that was my favorite place I Loved shopping on German Street in London uh I hung out in I was never a Bar person I didn't I've never really Liked bars I was a cafe person my idea Of a good uh time is sitting at a cafe Reading the Wall Street Journal checking My investments having a glass of wine And uh and a a light lunch and watching The world go by I like to spend a lot of Money on clothes Um and I love the Upper East Side of New York where I live I loved um Miami and I loved London and I just Rotated around to these different Locations uh and I put paintings in Sales rooms and money was always being Poured into offshore accounts I would Collect it in London I would go shopping I would go on vacations over there I Would take girlfriends out we would go On shopping sprees life couldn't have Been better But

What this one girlfriend I had Uh I didn't know what happened something Went hey I hold no grudging I don't hate it okay She doesn't need money she had money she Didn't need money I don't know what she Did it for but she took one of my Paintings I gave her as a gift I can't understand you know and and she Put it in a she put it in a sales room In London And she didn't know that I had I had put A similar painting in in Sotheby's over There about a year before an identical One as a matter of fact I gave this a Second one to her as a gift So when she put the one in the sales Room and she put it I think in Bottoms And it got accepted and it went into the Sale but it rang all kinds of alarm Bells because whoever bought it in New York at sotheby said I got the same Painting what's going on here two can't Be exactly the same even though Butter's Worth did make duplicates of his Painting this was too much of a Coincidence So it it brought attention uh so my Activities came to the attention of the FBI and uh One day I was in my place in Florida my home in Florida which was my home and studio and Two two FBI guys showed up right and

They uh they came in they they came in And they they the first thing they tell You you know you're in trouble when they Say to you don't worry now you're not in Any trouble we just want to ask you any Questions okay when they say that okay Tell them I have nothing to say I'm Calling my lawyer I don't when they say You're not in trouble that's it okay Forget about it so They come in and luckily my studio door Was closed which had fakes all over the Place and it came in my living room and The beginning and the end to answer your Question they sat down on the sofa and On this uh big um Divan a passic that I Had there Ottoman They opened up this black briefcase that Like looks like a lawyer's briefcase Ugly looking thing and when they opened That up I knew this was going to be Nasty okay and they opened that up and They start taking auction catalogs out And I knew this is getting worse by the Moment okay I start opening up these catalogs and They're showing me pictures of of Paintings I did you know throughout the Years And they're saying Mr Perani you know we Did some research on some of these Paintings and uh two of these paintings Are like identical

And You were the owner on these paintings You know well you're not natural we just Want to know do you have receipts form Where did you get them yeah so I gave Them Now I gave him some stories and uh Anyway that was the beginning of the end And I'm sure That was you know they were filling out What they call a 301 and after they left With a lot of I can't remembers and I'm Not sure and I don't have receipts Anymore and all kinds of stuff like that A lot of invasions I guess you would say I'm sure they went back to their main Office and said there's something wrong Here with this guy you know uh good and Then uh the next thing I knew it was uh It was in this uh the hands of the U.S Attorney's Office the southern district Of New York right and uh they opened up An investigation and that kept expanding And they kept finding more and more Paintings they had their own collection Of paintings at the southern district And it was a full-blown investigation That went on for five full years Yeah and it was uh it wasn't any joy to Live through that but they were uh Contacting people I knew they were going To auction houses they were uh tapping My phones uh it it it's an unpleasant uh Uh situation to be in uh and um yeah it

Went on for five years You know it's a hunt and it's a weight When the government is after you and it Is something that you can palpably feel Every day I've seen it many times so all Of a sudden you the you weigh a lot more Than you used to and you realize you Carry that weight through that entire Time and you realize the slow glacial Pace of the federal government which is What your tax dollars pay for uh it it Really spreads out like the thickest Peanut butter you've ever encountered Their attempt at ensuring they've Collected every piece of information Regarding to your case I know exactly You describe it perfectly it's like a Slow water torture uh they it just comes In a little at a time I don't know how Many times I got a call from my lawyers I would hit the answering machine in Those days and it was my lawyer's office They have to see me down there because They heard from New York and what it Would be is more questions from New York And New York that was the FBI's office They knew the answers to these questions Of course but they wanted my denials or My lies or whatever it was I was and This went on for years but you got it Right it's a it's a slow process it Grinds you up it's on your mind 24 hours A day from the time you go to sleep at Night to the time you wake up in the

Morning you're wondering what are you Going to find out today you know they're Tapping the phones you could hear the Clickings on the phones and all these Other Hollow sounds on there and then You find out that they visited somebody You know because a person will talk to You for some reason or you get these Strange telephone calls these were Beautiful but I mean you have to be Pretty dumb to fall for this or maybe Another saw a a movie in your life about How this works but you get a call from Somebody uh from the past that you did Business with and they start reminding You they call you up and they want to Have a friendly talk hey we haven't Touched it let's catch up sometime hey Remember the time that painting resolved You remember that one that was a and Then you realized aha this is it they're Trying to incriminate me and make me Make an admission that I sold a certain Paint and I would say things like what I Don't remember what are you talking About well I never saw that I don't know You know so I was wise to all that but You know you have to be on your toes With them and um Uh you know you just you got to be after A while I said in my book you do get Conditioned to it to a certain degree But uh there's nothing like it when it's Finally over I mean then you feel like

You have a new lease on life but uh uh Boy those people could really make your Life miserable no question about because They have all the resources in the world It was tough you know they had my they Had my offshore accounts they had all Kinds of Records wire transfers Uh money being withdrawn from bank Accounts you know that's Why a fraud money laundering a pot from You know the the sales of the paintings Themselves they have it all And uh so you know yeah that went on for Five years and it's just one day just Went away And those each HOA each count that you just mentioned That's 25 years to life Uh because this is federal and those the The Proportion of the sentencing to each of Those kinds of counts is it's really Mind-blowing frankly and that is why They're such an incredible leveraging Tool when those are on the table with a Discussion or conversation with the Federal government the Criminal Division In that way because simply by virtue of Using an email all of a sudden that's an Additional enhancement additional charge Of 25 to life so tell us about then you Said in one day it all went away tell us About that well yeah uh what what Happened uh what was happening at that

Time was that This the investigation Even about my lawyers who Understood federal white-collar crimes It had been something that could have Been wrapped up in six months for sure And after a year that went by and they Were still asking questions and it was Still dragging on was making everybody's Eyebrows Raised like what's going on here what Are they waiting for they have the bank Accounts they have that girl as a Witness they have everything they have Examples of my paintings as a matter of Fact they had so many paintings in their Gallery I joked they could have opened Up a gallery of their own up in New York At the southern district but anyway uh It was dragging on for a An inordinate amount of time And My lawyers and myself we were Speculating what is going on here and we Were all uh I and my lawyers were uh Prepared for an indictment and how that Would happen and I I probably uh have to Appear in New York City and be escorted Maybe by Federal Marshals you know the Whole the whole routine of how that Works the whole procedure and I was Planning on that and it was uh it was uh It was difficult but anyway At that time while I was under

Investigation and this was another great Stroke of Luck in my life Alfred Taubman The CEO of Sotheby's also came under Investigation federal investigation he Was price rigging commissions Sales commissions with his counterpart At Christie's Auction House and that was A major crime uh I believe it's a yeah It's a federal crime uh it's a violation Of trade laws uh you are conspiring with Your Competition to rig prices uh so it's an Anti-Trust I think law you know it's a Theory I mean people go to prison for That so he's a big time operator Taubman Okay he was a he's a he was a one of the Early billionaires in our country it was A he was a uh a very influential man in New York City he was he was what you Would call the donor class politically Highly connected man And he bought Sotheby's uh privately as A play thing he wanted it as something He wanted to get into art he he made his Billions uh as a uh uh a more a shopping Mall developer and he's a very Interesting man very personable very Nice and um so he brought Sotheby's but He came under investigation as I was Under investigation now Um What happened or what we believe Happened here was

By him uh being under investigation for This very serious uh crime and he got a Team of Top Gun lawyers some of the best Uh white-collar crime lawyers in the Country he got a team of them For uh to defend him in this case now His case Uh got Was out of the envelope early on because It involved a lot of people his his uh Uh his vice president Dede Myers was Involved and it's a Christie so it was Out of the the bag it was out of the bag Really early on there was no way to Suppress it or uh do anything about it Fix the case or anything uh he had to Work this out on his own now I'm sure While he was in the middle of all this Himself Well we know it wasn't for sure Absolutely He found out I'm sure that his lawyers Came to him and said Mr Taubman we got Another problem here uh is a guy by the Name of Ken Perani and uh he's under Investigation we were visited by the FBI And they want to I'm I'm uh speculating Now but this is what must have happened And uh and he's been selling fakes here And we looked at our records and they go Back quite a ways and they're going to Indict this guy I'm sure they you know Had to tell bring us out the top and He's a CEO

And um Now I did not know What was going on but I did know one Thing that Taubman when I was when I was In the middle of my investigation coming To the maybe the last third of it I knew That Taubman was in trouble and then it Got all over the news in the last uh Maybe a year maybe the year of my Investigation I'm not sure I've looked Right but it was getting to the uh Latter part of the five-year statute put It that way where tobman was convicted And he went to jail For only a year and a half in federal Lock-up so he went to a very you know Very easy uh lock up in Maryland where All the uh uh the royalty of crime go or Something like that uh we call it Club Yeah that's it Club Fed right so he was He was there with uh in good company so Anyway uh Now in As might so I remember telling my Lawyers one day in another meeting we Had because we were constantly getting Communicates from the FBI office in Queens that they had more questions for Me to answer and more invitations for me To come up to New York and in their Words to come and save myself they were Asking me to do things it was very very Suspicious and strange because they were

Asking me to do things that they knew my Lawyers would never let me do so why are You asking me to do that this was all a Charade is what it was now unfortunately Roy Cohn was already dead because if Roy Was alive I would have went right to Roy With this whole problem he would have Smoked this whole thing out in a minute Okay but anyway I didn't have Roy uh and Uh and Roy as an Insider and he was he Would have seen hey you got Sotheby's Compromised here this is going to be a Political decision going on yet he would Have gotten behind the scenes and you Know what he would have done Absolutely I'm only imagining this I'm Sure Sotheby's would what I mean I'm sure Roy would have went to Sotheby's and said you know I got 10 Friends on it he feels really bad about What he does he wants to go public and Make a confession because he's Laughs We would have walked away with a Settlement at it all To get an alarm disclosure contract you Know if Roy was in touch we would have Made Millions out of it you know but Anyway So what happened was I said to my Lawyers one day I said you know it's all Over the newspaper that uh Taubman got Convicted and he got a year and a half My lawyer said to me they said hey

That's good for you because if he if he Only got a year and a half for building The public out of hundreds of millions Of dollars in commissions Uh what what could they possibly do to You uh that's called cash register Justice if they give you 10 years of 15 Years so uh they thought that's good That's good news look upon it is good News but I didn't realize it was much More than good news it was what saved me Really Because When going back actually the thing that Saved me from indictment I believe in my Opinion What saved me from indictment it was Very clear to me was the sale of fat boy And they found out that was a fake And I know that for a fact And when they found out that was a fake They didn't call the FBI call the police And have me arrest them look back on Their records and see how many other Paintings I sold to them now they Covered it up And they they covered up the sale And they got a rumor out on the street Remember that Martin Johnson he that saw It disintegrated in restoration and was Gone destroyed So that that was it that was the that Was the end of fat boy and they didn't Make any beef out of it and they never

Came to me for any money uh a refund or Anything but they knew it was a fake And then what happened was A year or two years later I I'm not sure Of the time frame on this but then I Came under an investigation And Sotheby's they must have again I'm Speculating here but Sotheby's must have Said oh my God Remember that painting that he sold here A year and a half two years ago that Martin Johnson heed and we covered that And we didn't do anything about he gets Indicted that's all going to come out What are we going to do how are we going To explain this When we knew he was a forger the guy and We had record what how are we going to Get out of this So Toddman I'm sure that and now Why am I sure In my book I speculate and I'm not far Off the mark from you I speculate that I Was not indicted because Sotheby's Simply refused To cooperate In an investigation or or prosecution Of me and I'm not too far off the mark There and that's what I that's all I Knew at the time I wrote my book but Since my book came out For whatever reason and there's a lot of

People that dislike Sotheby's insiders And people in the business that dislikes Sotheby's with a passion for whatever Reasons they've written books about it Like the art of the steel if you want to Read about some of the nefarious Dealings that Sotheby's has been Involved in in the past So Actually Um I had I had Someone call me up That said I read your book I loved it Etc etc And he said I want to tell you what the Room it is out on the street about what Really happened with that whole case And I was told That Alfred Taubman My case was not public nobody ever heard About it he you he called in a political Favor with a senator that he had in his Hip Pocket And he called in a favor to have this Investigation shut down And that's what the word is on the Street and it was Designed to just go away the uh the Statute expired and never another word About that and that's what I was told And to me it makes perfect sense because How does an investigation with all that Evidence that incriminating evidence

That they had nobody gets out of those Situations Nobody Does people pray for a Miracle I've heard of people I've read Books wishing it would go away people Get suicidal about being in a situation But it doesn't go away Like you say those Wheels grind slowly Nothing in this world could stop them But it went away because if I had been Indicted There was no telling what would have Come out between my relationship with Sotheby's because Sotheby's knew what I Was doing in the last years and they Didn't do anything to stop me I was Still putting paintings in their sales Rooms in London And if I had been indicted it would have Come out that I was operating in London And New York simultaneously and for Years That would have been a very difficult Situation for them to deal with on the Heels of this CEO going to the big house They would have needed this like a hole In the head and don't forget there are Publicly traded company Taubman brought Them made them into a a public Corporation he did a lot for them who Knows what it would have done to their Stock And so there was a lot at stake here and As I was told by one lawyer there could Have been criminal culpability on the

Part of Sotheby's uh officials Themselves in the situation I don't know I'm not a lawyer but I was told that That was a possibility so all in all uh It was in the hands of the southern District The investigation went on for five five Long years all documented they had Enough of my paintings to open up a Gallery themselves I hope they did Afterwards they had to make some Something back on their investing on Their investigation because those things Of course uh you know they they're not For free and uh maybe they recoup Something and uh And uh I uh you know I wish them well I'll tell you one follow-up story on That Uh I think it was uh I think it was Fordham University a few Years ago Um Had it had it had a A collect a show a show of art fakes in Their campus I think it was Fordham yeah On the campus on Lower Broadway and it Was a show of art fakes And um They had fakes from all famous art Foragers and they had the fake there and Who it was supposed to be by like Modigliani and who the forger was So they had every Faker in the world

There except one That was not invited and that was me So Um I was doing an interview at that time With a young lady that was from China She was from Beijing where my book was Published and she wanted to do an Interview with me and um She said that she had gone down to that Gallery and seen that show and she said There was a goddess worth in that Included in that show And she said every other painting had Tags on them plaxes who made it who the Artist was supposed to be and she said The Butter's worth had no author And it just said on the plaque from the FBI collection And she said and as a follow-up to that She said I have a question for you she Said I had been going to the FBI in the Southern district in the queens and I Have been doing a story she says your Story is part of a uh a comprehensive Story we're doing on Art crimes in General And she said I said to the agents there That I was interviewing who were very Polite helpful to me about different Stolen art works that they discovered And so on she said uh I I mentioned your Name and I said and how about the salt Forger Ken perini uh that uh has Recently written a book or someone and

She says when I mentioned your name she Said they whispered something among Themselves claimed they had to get to a Meeting ended the interview she says I've never been able to speak with them Again So that was that and um Anyway it's over now And uh it's a part of my past and uh and That was the history of my life but I Had many great years in art and I still Love art and I'm still painting what I Consider the most deceptive fakes in the World today uh and I sell them to what I Would call The one percent in in in in in the Country people that love my work love Great fakes And they certainly have the money that They could afford the originals they Certainly have that but for one reason Or another they like what I have to put In their various homes in Palm Beach or London or LA or whatever and Um they find I think some find a certain Fascination and fakes But uh who knows where those where these Paintings will be in 25 or 30 years from Now after you know they pass through Different hands And the title of your book Caveat Emptor Represents the risk on the buyer Tell us more about that Well oh yeah okay

The title is the Latin phrase for buyer Beware it goes way back in history I Think even back to the Roman times they Use it because in the Romans had Auctions uh in ancient Rome of all kinds Of things they even had Antiquities in Ancient Rome at Greek Antiquities and And so on and you know Michelangelo when He was young he sold a fake uh uh he Said he made a small I think it was a a A a a a stone uh Cupid and he aged it And he and he and he the marble and he Sold it to a cardinal and he got some Money to keep him going and he was one Of the uh history's first Fortress but Anyway The phrase means Boya beware and it's a Very uh I think a very appropriate uh Title for my book because I I often look Upon investing in art this way Uh I liken it to investing in diamonds Now if diamonds are a great investment And they could give a huge return on Your money if you know what you're doing But that it's they are also extremely Dangerous if you don't know what you're Doing if you are not an expert in Diamonds and if you're not a world class Expert as good as the people that are Selling those diamonds on the auction Market or wherever if you're not as good As them don't mess around in the Marketplace because you're going to get Taken

Now the same thing is true in artworks If you love or loving art is not enough Investing in art is a whole different Ball game and if you don't know what You're doing you better either save your Money invest in something else buy a Print buy a fake but be very careful About buying paintings in auction houses Because when you read the disclaimers in The back of the auction catalog and as I Say in Caveat Emptor if you could find a Magnifying glass powerful enough to read The disclaimers that they print in the Back of the catalog you can't say it's Not there but if if you can find a Magnifying glass of that spring You will see that there's every kind of Excuse in the world is built in to their Disclaimers in legal Jargon that the average person may not Quite understand that Tells you in so many words that anything You buy in those sales rooms Might be real and it might not but they Ain't guaranteeing nothing in that place I forgot about it You're on your own Okay you're on your own So the thing is Well and and you know I I I know this From experience because through the Years I I've uh made personal friends With some very important people in the Art world at collectors and so on

And I'm not going to mention his name but One of the most important experts in the Country has turned to me for my Expertise in his area of specialty he And we've become good friends he's Recently passed away he's a great guy I Talk about him in my book but he's a Good sport he loved my book he was an Old friend of Jimmy Rico and we became Great friends in his last use and we he We exchanged all kinds of stories about The art world and everything it was a Great guy But uh uh I have I have been called upon To highball paintings for my own Expertise and I have known people that Have had a lot of money and think that They're experts and go to sales rooms And buy paintings that are Abominations And it's not that they're fakes They could be original paintings but They are heavily restored they are Very poor aesthetically even great Artists don't have good days they are Paintings that you could identify as Hanging around and bouncing around from Dealer to dealer they never find a Permanent home okay and they're the the Dealers put these in the sales rooms and Bid on them themselves so often and I Had a friend of mine that bought a Painting like that once and proudly Showed it to me I told him it was a

Piece of garbage and he found out how he Spent tens and tens of thousands of Dollars on this piece of junk and I told Him what it was I told them it had all Been skinned out the whole thing was Repainted you couldn't get a third of This back and he found out that that I Was so right about that so the thing is If you're not an expert yourself you Better be very good now look there are People that say oh okay I'm going to do this I'm not going to Buy in the sales rooms because that's Risky you have to be an expert yourself To buy them so I'm going to buy from Some big Gallery okay some big Well-known Gallery with a reputation This way if I pay twice the value of the Painting like for instance big galleries If they buy something for a million Dollars in the sales room they'll mock It up to 1.5 million in the gallery okay But you could say I'm safe because I Have them their reputation standing Behind this work they could tell me the Condition of it and this so I'm going to Pay a premium for this thing but I'm Getting their reputation behind it to Stand up to it okay fine so you and I Know a case of this I know that this Couple that spent Several hundred thousand dollars two Well no it was 200 250 000 plus dollars on an English painting

From a gallery on Bond Street in London And it was an awful painting and they Have no taste this couple and they paid This Gallery this kind of money for this Painting and I looked at it it was the Most boring thing in the world I don't Know how anybody could live with this Painting Okay so It was a painting of a young peasant Girl if you have to know it was like a Barbizon painting but it was a very Off-putting painting okay it was the Last thing you want to have in your And you're like oh come on A girl looked very sad you know she died She was in rags you know I don't know so Anyways they they paid this but it was For this big island one of the big name Said you know I won't mentioned in there So A few years later they have it two or Three years and they figured you know we Don't like this painting I I don't think It does anything for us it doesn't do Anything for a room if people come here And they don't like looking at it so They figured we'll go get our money back We'll take it back to the gallery Because they're a big name hey Gallery Says sure yeah we'll take it back we'll Tell you about I said to you I'm not Kidding I'm not good I'm not making this A gallery say they said what can we get

For it now we'd like to get our money Back oh the gallery said well you know These things times have changed you know They said These are kind of like out of fashion Right now They told this couple they could get Them thirty thousand dollars for that Painting there was nothing they could do About it 30 grand they said that's it The people gave it to him and they Couldn't even get there 30 for the band This is a true story okay this is a true Story and I told this this woman I said why didn't you talk to me about This before you spent the money I could Have told you this is this has no Aesthetic appeal to anybody and you're Way overpaying on this Barbizon painting It is It is Hideous Okay And they laid up but you know what this Guy made a lot of money anyway so 250 ah You know but they learned a big lesson But nobody likes to lose that kind of Money on but that's a true story so you You have to be very very careful if You're buying paintings for investment You have to be careful it's as simple as That now If you really know what you're doing and Again buy it be what you could go to the

Sales rooms and if you know where to Place your money in the right time in The right place you could make a good Buy on a good quality painting and you Know what in a few years you could Double your money but it's no different Than the stock market you could buy a Stock have it for five years and get a Quarter of your money back right uh and The same thing in the sales rooms Paintings go in fashion they go out of Fashion right now the paintings that I Was making home my money with a 19th Century American painting they're not in Fashion so much they haven't really Cratered in value but they're not Accelerating like doubling in value Every couple years anymore those days Are over but they're holding their value So you have to just be very very careful It's just it could even be more Treacherous than investing in the stock Market so that's where I get the title From and also there's also the Possibility that there's always going to Be fakes out there there's always going To be fakes out there and you have to be Able to prove to Sotheby's or or Christies I shouldn't just pick on them Sotheby's Christie's barnums Phillips Number that the picture is Scientifically designated as a fake And then he could bring it back to them And get a full refund so they say in

Their microscopic uh terms of business Published on the back of every catalog [Laughter] The brilliant colorful Ken perenni your Book remains one of my favorites to this Day and you have met and exceeded all of My expectations for this conversation Which now this conversation is one of my Favorites to this day you are infinitely Entertaining and fascinating and Um I think no one can help but root for You from start to finish and I love that You're this hidden gift as you call it It actually wasn't hidden it actually Was brought to fruition to the tune of Over 30 years and so much money and so Many countries and so many people to This day Enjoy or perhaps are frustrated by this Amazing gift that you have Um that you serve with honor for these Masters and that the fat boy your your Most prized possession and and the the Really the Hallmark of your painstaking Talented devoted efforts that that's What in the end protected you because I See you as the kindling and the match Would have been the indictment that you Were the kindling that shows the Fallibility of the art world the Fallibility of a world in which public Dollars flow Billions of dollars flow between Countries

And in Legacy ways that have have Contributed to and or set the value of a Lot of things in this world that would Absolutely crumble should that Indictment have come to pass so I'm so Glad that that you're a free man and Always have been because I just um you Are delightful in so many ways and I Encourage everyone uh to read this Delightful book caveat mtor The Secret Life of an American Art Forger because There's really amazing details in there And um I wish you the best and before we Close do you have any final thoughts any Final message that you would like to Share with our undoubtedly wrapped Listeners right now well uh thank you And thank you for those kind words I Really appreciate it and they mean a lot To me and uh uh I would say that uh To any aspiring art foragers I would say Don't do it it's very dangerous I was Lucky but if you must make sure you do Business with nothing but the best Sotheby's Christies and if anything goes Haywire You'll be in fine shape

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