The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
Tube of liquor hidden in prohibition-era boot, 1920s
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
Modern Art or Childs Art
A popular genre of art hoax involves a collector being conned into praising (and often buying) a work of art that he believes to have been done by a great artist, but which is later revealed to be the work of an animal or a young child. (See Monkey Art Fools Expert.) An example of this hoax is reported by Keith Allen in his autobiography, Grow Up. The Telegraph reports:
The esteemed theatre director Sir Trevor Nunn was left with a face the colour of a blank canvas after being told the £27,000 painting he had splashed out on really was thrown together by a two-year-old and his friend. Sir Trevor had spent the money on a work by Damien Hirst - only to be told during a later conversation with the artist that it was created by two children. In fact, Hirst claimed that the piece, one of his "spin paintings", was a collaboration between his son Connor, who was two at the time, and the actor Keith Allen's son Alfie, younger brother of the pop singer Lily Allen, who was 10.
There's no verification that this actually happened, so perhaps Allen was simply making up an amusing story. However, the Telegraph notes that Sir Trevor later sold the same painting for £45,000. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Art
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 19, 2007
Comments (8)
So you can con somebody by telling them the painting is done by an adult when it's really done by a child.

You can also con them by telling them the painting is done by a child when it's really done by an adult.

The art world is a bit screwy.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Jun 19, 2007  at  01:01 PM
My kids are really creative, I need some cash fast. Wonder what Sotheby's can do for me by net Wednesday?
Posted by Jean  in  SJNB Canada  on  Tue Jun 19, 2007  at  03:33 PM
Do your kids have a CV, Jean?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jun 20, 2007  at  05:36 AM
Maybe this sort of thing happens because "modern art" has little, if any, talent required. I remember a satire on Picasso, I don't remembe where it was published, where he drew on a canvas conveyer belt. And when he got tired, or bored, the rags he wiped his brushes on were sold for a million of so each.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Wed Jun 20, 2007  at  02:21 PM
Yeah, but it's not like Damian Hirst just grabbed a couple of kids off the street. One child is his, the other is the son of a famous actor, brother of a rapidly becoming very famous singer, who has written a song about him. It'd have curiosity value just being done by those two.

Personally, I find most modern art to be utterly souless and wouldn't pay a penny for it.
Posted by Nona  in  London  on  Thu Jun 21, 2007  at  08:53 AM
CONNOR! That's kind of funny. smile
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Fri Jun 22, 2007  at  08:59 AM
modert art is cool, but i like lessdert art, whether kids or monkeys make it, less dert is better than mo
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Jun 22, 2007  at  02:29 PM
you know what, I'm really sorry... The title to this thread is obviously a typo, like I shouldn't have guessed when I read "modert". It plainly should have been "modirt". I feel like a rube. Kids making modirt art is cool, but dirty monkeys we don't need. I feel so derty
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Jun 22, 2007  at  02:33 PM
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