Friday, June 14, 2013

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Claire Roth has a decision to make.  While she was in graduate school, she became embroiled in a scandal over whether she or her professor/lover had painted a picture considered his greatest success.  As a result, she has been shunned for several years.  Her work gets no consideration from the critics and she has resorted to making high-end copies of famous art for a reproduction company so that she can pay the bills and continue to paint her own pictures.

But things might change now.  The owner of a successful galley has come to Claire with a proposition.  Twenty-five years ago one of the most famous art thefts in the country occurred in Boston at the Gardner museum where pictures of unimaginable value were stolen, never to be seen again.  It is the biggest mystery in the art world.  Aiden Markel, the galley owner, comes to Claire and asks if she would be willing to make a copy of Degas' After The Bath.  He claims to have the original that was stolen and wants Claire to make a copy that he can sell while keeping his copy.  Along with the money, there is the promise of her own show at the galley, a way she can redeem herself.

The Art Forger tells the story of what occurs once Claire agrees to the deception.  There are layers upon layers of misdirection and lies, of loyalties betrayed and truths uncovered.  The reader is caught up in the story and eager to turn each page to determine the truth of what happened twenty-five years ago and what will happen now with Claire and her career.

B.A. Shapiro has written an engaging, well-researched novel of the art world and its players.  Readers learn about famous paintings, famous collectors, famous artists and famous forgers.  The craft of making a forgery that can pass testing is explained in intricate detail.  Along with the knowledge, the story is compelling; a race to see whose version of the truth will be the winner.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction, for mystery lovers and for art lovers. 

1 comment:

Miava said...

This one sounds perfect for a gift to my highly artistic sister! She likes to read but isn't much of a "reader". The reason is because she rarely finds a book that she can relate to.

Are there other books that you could recommend that appeal to the fiction reader/art lover?