The Artist Who Made a Career Out of Forgery—Dressed as a Priest

More

A connoisseur of art, Father Arthur Scott dresses in all black, his ensemble complete with a clerical collar and Jesuit pin on his lapel. Collector Steven Gardiner has been applauded for his museum donations in the name of deceased family members. But it is Mark Landis, the 57-year-old Mississippi native behind both of these nonexistent personalities, who refers to himself as a “philanthropist.”

Directed by Terri Timely and produced by Brady Welch and Sophie Harris, the documentary below profiles an ingenious oddity, a man who has managed to dupe nearly 50 regional art institutions into accepting forged artwork (there are several museums that remain unaware that they have been tricked). Working from a dim-lit workspace in his own apartment, he produces spectacular copies of lesser-known, 19th century impressionist works. Landis maintains that he never profited directly from the donated works, and according to The New York Times, it is unclear whether he has broken any laws. As some observers have suggested, Landis gleans satisfaction from museums curators believing his work to be authentic rather than monetary gain from the forged works themselves. 

For more by The Avant/Garde Diaries, visit their site.

Via Vimeo Staff Picks.

Jump to comments

Alessandra Ram is a former writer and producer for The Atlantic Video Channel. Her work has also appeared in Foreign Policy.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In