The Jordan Harbinger Show

282: Ken Perenyi | The Secret Life of an American Art Forger

Ken Perenyi is a former art forger who spent 34 years creating fake paintings that passed muster among the experts in the world's major auction houses and galleries. He comes clean to tell us how he got away with it in his book Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger.

What We Discuss with Ken Perenyi:

  • How Ken, as an academically disinclined New Jersey teenager with no artistic background and zero plans for the future, fell headfirst into the New York art scene of the '60s and '70s.
  • What a fortuitous trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art awakened in Ken and how it led from technical curiosity to natural talent to outright forgery.
  • How Ken prematurely aged his work to appear hundreds of years old, the materials he used, and how long it took him to create forgeries that would fool even lifelong, devoted experts.
  • The first nervous deal Ken ever made and how it fed an ambition to take his talents as far as they would go.
  • How Ken survived scrutiny by the mafia and FBI, changed his ways, and now works on the level selling "high-class fakes" rather than "forgeries."
  • And much more...

Full show notes and resources can be found here:

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