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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Art
World’s Largest Lamb Sculpture
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 09, 2008
Some guy named Bill Veall claims to have discovered the world's largest rock sculpture. It's somewhere in the Peruvian Andean mountains, and it's in the shape of a "sacred lamb". He says he found it by using satellite imaging techniques to search for ancient shapes and formations. I guess that rules out any possibility he's just seeing what he wants to see. (sarcasm) From Sky News: "Mr Veall, who studies the relationships between astronomy and archaeological monuments, has faced a series of doubters who claim he doctored the images to create an elaborate hoax." Big red flag indicating the skeptics may be right: Veall won't…
Categories: Art, History, Places Comments (25)
Cranial Painting
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 05, 2008
In 1966, before becoming a regular on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and before launching his perennial campaign for the US Presidency, comedian Pat Paulsen got into newspapers by pretending to be a "cranial painter". From the March 6, 1966 Mansfield News Journal: USING HIS HEAD -- Artist Pat Paulsen, who shuns more traditional means of painting, demonstrates how he produces masterpieces -- with "cranial painting." The 35-year-old San Franciscan, now appearing at the Ice House in Glendale, Calif., smears paint on his beard. top: really…
Categories: Art Comments (6)
The Mona Lisa Suicide
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 27, 2008
Occasionally I've run across references to a French artist who supposedly committed suicide because he was driven mad by the mystery of the Mona Lisa's smile. There aren't many details to the story. The Telegraph, in an article from 2003, summarizes the entire tale: On June 23, 1852, a young French artist, Luc Maspero, threw himself from the fourth floor window of his Paris hotel. In a final letter, he wrote: "For years I have grappled desperately with [Mona Lisa's] smile. I prefer to die." Many articles about the Mona…
Categories: Art, Death Comments (4)
Benjamin West and the Venetian Secret
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 19, 2008
The Yale Center for British Art is hosting an exhibition about an obscure 18th-century art hoax (one that I had never heard of before). The exhibition is titled "Benjamin West and the Venetian Secret" -- which makes it sound a bit like a new Harry Potter novel. From Art Knowledge News: In 1796 Benjamin West, the American-born President of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, fell victim to a remarkable fraud. A shadowy figure, Thomas Provis, and his artist daughter, Ann Jemima Provis, persuaded West that they possessed a copy…
Categories: Art, History Comments (1)
Frenchman Collides Sacredly with Nessie
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 19, 2008
Frenchman Don Jean Habrey, whose stage name is Hors Humain (beyond human), has announced his intention to embark on a "sacred collision with Nessie." Specifically, he plans to dive into Loch Ness and "breathe with the monster to send ultimate breathing to the world of childhood.” Later, he'll make a Christmas Eve visit to the Loch and "conjure the mythical creature from the loch, with chants, drumming, burning flares and bonfires round the shore." “Nessie will breathe golden pearls for all the children from the earth, this endangered innocence that badly needs air. “A boat…
Categories: Art, Cryptozoology Comments (2)
Pietro Psaier: Real or Hoax?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 17, 2008
Pietro Psaier was an artist whose works fetch thousands of dollars. He was said to be a friend of Andy Warhol, which helps his saleability. But the question now perplexing the art world is whether Psaier ever actually existed. This, from the Telegraph, is the little that's known about his life: Information provided by an agent for the artist's estate states that Psaier was born in Italy in 1936 and died in the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. He left Italy as a young man and went to America, where he met Warhol while working…
Categories: Art, Identity/Imposters Comments (1)
Art Object Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 18, 2008
Small, round, orange stickers are appearing on objects all over downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. The stickers are stamped with the phrase "art object" and a price (ranging from one cent to $10,000). They're appearing on park benches, fire hydrants, store windows, etc. No one seems to know who's responsible for the stickers or what their purpose is. From the Appleton Post-Crescent: Police Lt. Steve Elliott said putting stickers on public or private objects without the owner's consent falls under the same local ordinances governing graffiti. "Definitely, it is against city ordinances. If…
Categories: Art, Pranks Comments (2)
Waterboard Thrill Ride
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 08, 2008
Visitors to New York's Coney Island amusement park now have the opportunity to try the "Waterboard Thrill Ride." As the sign outside proclaims, "It don't Gitmo better!" According to Reuters: A man with a black hood pours water on the face of a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit strapped to a table... The scene using robotic dolls is an installation built by artist Steve Powers to criticize waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique the United States has admitted using on terrorism suspects, but that rights group say is torture... The public can peek through window bars and feed a…
Spiderman Tattoo
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 16, 2008
Photos of a Spiderman tattoo, showing an illusion of skin tearing away to reveal a Spiderman costume beneath, have been circulating around, prompting people to wonder if the images are real or photoshopped. They are real. The tattoo is the work of Milwaukee-based artist Dan Hazelton. Check out his site for other examples of his work. He very briefly discusses the Spiderman tattoo on his myspace page in response to a question from someone who asks, "can i get a tear out like the Spiderman one??" Hazelton responds:
Radioactive fallout helps authenticate art
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2008
This news is about a month old, but it's new to me! Russian curator Elena Basner thinks she might have developed a foolproof way of determining whether a work of art was made before or after 1945. She tests the paint for radioactive isotopes. From the Times Online: The first nuclear bomb was successfully tested in July 1945 in New Mexico. On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and three days later a second, more powerful bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. About 550 further explosions were carried out by the United States, Britain, the Soviet…
Categories: Art Comments (12)
Arboleda’s Assassination Exhibit
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 09, 2008
Last week 28-year-old artist Yazmany Arboleda rented an empty storefront across the street from the New York Times building near Times Square to house his art exhibit. He then posted the title of the exhibit in the window: "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton / The Assassination of Barack Obama." It didn't take long for the secret service to show up and haul him in for questioning. Arboleda pleaded innocence, insisting he was referring to character assassination (by the media), not the murder-type of assassination, and the secret service released him a few hours later. Arboleda insists that what he did…
The World’s Largest Drawing
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 29, 2008
I'm very late with this one, but I thought it was worth including on the front page. I'll defer to David B. who posted about it a few days ago in the forum: A Swedish artist, Erik Nordenankar, recently made more that a few waves by claiming to have drawn the biggest picture in the world, a portrait of himself constructed of a single line 110 thousand km long. Nordenanker said his amazing drawing had been sketched out, not in ink or paint, but by the movements of a special briefcase fitted with a GPS tracker. This case,…
Categories: Art Comments (4)
The Museum of Fakes
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 21, 2008
Smithsonian Magazine has an article about the Museum of Fakes, located in southern Italy. (Thanks, Joe.) It's like a real-life Museum of Hoaxes, but devoted exclusively to art fakes. Thanks to a special arrangement with the Italian police, it has become the repository for all counterfeit works of art confiscated in Italy (and there are a lot of them). Its director, Salvatore Casillo, is a sociologist who has spent 20 years studying counterfeits. My favorite detail in the article: Casillo says that counterfeiting is a group effort involving a chain of corruption that ends at the unscrupulous seller's door.…
Categories: Art Comments (3)
Fake Road Signs
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 07, 2008
Fake road signs have been popping up around Frankston, Australia, amusing some and outraging others. The signs are said to be the work of a "mystery artist." From the Frankston Leader: The mystery Frankston signs have been carefully made to look like official road signs. Drivers have reported seeing them in Cranbourne-Frankston Rd, Langwarrin. Some think they are funny while others - and officials - aren't laughing... Although VicRoads' media department thought the signs were "very amusing", its regional director Steve Brown was not laughing. The placement of inappropriate signs such as these was unsafe and…
Categories: Art, Pranks Comments (3)
Abortion as Art
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 18, 2008
Yale undergraduate Aliza Shvarts' senior art project has created a little bit of controversy. She has apparently created "a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself 'as often as possible' while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages." That's just lovely. (Already posted by whoeverur in the forum, but so bizarre it warrants being on the front page.) Shvarts insists that her project was not designed for "shock value." Funny. I would have thought it was designed precisely for shock value. She also says that "she was not concerned about any medical effects the forced miscarriages may have had on her body. The abortifacient drugs she…
Categories: Art, Birth/Babies Comments (15)
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