Friday, January 28, 2011
Outlaw Artist: The Curious Case of Mark Augustus Landis
Forgery is the bane of the art world. An artist passes his work off under another artist’s name and reaps financial gain. But what does it mean when a forger practices his trade for art’s sake without accepting a cent in return? In a recent issue of Financial Times, John Gapper documents the curious case of Mark Augustus Landis (shown above), a forger who for the past three decades donned disguises to coax museums across the United States to accept his work as a “donation” done by a name (but not too big a name) artist. As far as anyone can tell, Landis hasn’t broken any laws by asking for nothing in return for his art, but has he violated a different code through his actions? Or has this strange outlaw given a unique testimonial to the power of art to drive an individual to go to any lengths for self-expression? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Outlaw Artist."