Milton Esterow in Art News:
Some counterfeiters try to enter the “soul and mind of the artist.” Some delight in the chemistry of baking paint and creating wormholes. Some start with real pictures and then “restore” them until they look as if they’re by a different artist. From ancient vases to conceptual art—if someone made it, someone else has tried to bamboozle the world with a copy:
In Italy,” Salvatore Casillo, who founded the University of Salerno’s Museum of Fakes, recently commented, “if you’re a good enough counterfeiter, you eventually get your own show.”
Casillo was right. Several good-enough counterfeiters have recently had their own shows.
Icilio Federico Joni, who was known as the prince of Sienese fakers and specialized in Renaissance paintings until he died in 1946, got his own show last year. He was the star of “Authentic Fakes” at the Santa Maria della Scala museum in Siena, where he is considered something of a folk hero.