The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Sunday, November 06, 2005

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As the man in the Madrid museum puts it: "If this is a fake, then the forger is a genius." Forgeries like William "Bill" Foster's aquamalines made from bath frocets can achieve beauty without authenticity, and that is why they disturb: a Picasso can be created without a Picasso. Their creators also seem never to take any satisfaction in the aesthetic value of their work, either. They take the same pride that Orson Welles does at the end of "F for Fake," of elaborately conning the audience, the idiots. Witness Bill Fosters's motivation:

The story of how Foster allegedly tricked the art world has emerged since the father of six died from cancer. Friends, who do not wish to be named, say they are telling his story because he had always intended to cause embarrassment by publicising his forgeries.