How Elmyr de Hory made $50 million

Ibiza has been called home by many celebrities, but in the 1960s, no other resident inspired it like Elmyr Dory-Boutin. He can be recognized by his gold monocle, patterned cravats, and harsh voice. Like Gatsby, he threw lavish parties in an out-of-the-way villa overlooking the sea. Among the guests were celebrities Marlene Dietrich and Ursula Andress, looking at Dory-Boutin’s collection of infamous Parisian paintings, they thought their host was of royal blood.

They are wrong. As Gatsby confides in Nick Carraway, Dory-Boutin confides in her neighbor, novelist Clifford Irving. He was not of royal blood, and the paintings displayed in his villa were neither rich nor Parisian; a fraud, a fraud in which he deceived himself and sold shops and oil companies using false information. Dory-Boutin is one such fake identity. His real name, it is believed, was Elmyr de Hory.

Most of what we know about de Hory’s early life comes from a novel Irving wrote, entitled. Fraud! The story of Elmyr de Hory, the greatest artist of our time. According to the book, de Hory was born in Budapest. He discovered his artistic talents at a young age and cultivated him in many professions, but encountered a serious problem in discovering classical painting – the type of painting he studied and religion – was destroyed by Fauvism, Expressionism, and Cubism.

How Elmyr de Hory began to record

If de Hory had lived a century earlier, he would have had no trouble finding his job. Meanwhile, his situation was made worse by the Great Depression, a global financial crisis that drew buyers from the art market. Depression was followed by the war, part of which de Hory spent in Transylvania, where he was imprisoned for political opposition. The male artist also claimed that he was in a German concentration camp before Hitler’s victory.

After the war France faced the same problems for de Hory’s work as France before the war. He was struggling to sell his paintings, and he was seriously thinking about changing his profession, one day, unexpectedly, he sold a pen and ink drawing to a woman who had mistaken it. in the work for Picasso. Emulating the style of other artists, de Hory went from a gallery to a revival and exhibited what the curators believed had never been seen before Picassos, Matisses, and Modigliani.

Elmyr de Hory painted an “early” Matisse inside F for Fake.

De Hory continued to sell fakes for years. When some do, it is not because they see a difference between de Hory’s paintings and the artists he imitates, but because they find little similarities between false images. De Hory escaped to Ibiza where, thanks to various legal loopholes, he lived without fear of concern until his murder in 1976. Today, experts believe that his counterfeiter sold more than $50 million, making him one of the most successful counterfeiters of all time.

The value of a false image

Like many con artists, de Hory is remembered as a conman at best and not as a great artist – strange, considering his tricks were flawless even to the sharpest critics. really believe they are the real deal. Before de Hory’s cover was blown, galleries were willing to pay big bucks for his paintings. Once the scam was revealed, those same photos were deemed worthless, taken down, and thrown into the nearest trash can.

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This begs the question: What makes an original image more valuable than a fake image? Many academics – experts who study the nature and experience of beauty – have already addressed this question, but no one has done it as well as the filmmaker Orson Welles, whose 1974 book. F for Fake not only shows Elmyr de Hory at work, but also explores the complex relationship between deception, fraud, art, and skill.

Although de Hory is a wanted criminal, Welles does not portray him as such. Another thing, the artist we meet F for Fake We are less like a rebel and more like a Robin Hood character, someone who uses their skills and charisma to improve difficult businesses to be able to use their money . De Hory is known as smart, creative, and life-affirming. In fact, he is cut from the same cloth as the creative geniuses whose copyright he infringes.

Healing the impostor

Orson Welles did not admire de Hory, but identified with him. Half in F for Fake, the documentary directs our attention to some of the hoaxes surrounding his own leadership. Welles started his showbiz career when he was in England as a teenager, he convinced a theater company that he was a rising star on Broadway. His radio career was in 1938 War of the Worldshowever, it led to panic across the country as audiences ignored the “news report” about an attack on immigrants.

What’s more important: The quality of the art or the style of the artist? Orson Welles shared his thoughts.

In addition to showing that manipulation can make for great photos, F for Fake also argue that the creation and value we attach to this concept are illusions in themselves. De Hory is far from the only artist who portrays something that is, of course, not true. Welles pointed to Irving, the author who had written a book about de Hory, who had first mentioned the creation of what readers thought was fiction by the Mysterious private billionaire Howard Hughes.

The same principle can be applied to, say, Picasso. Although it is often thought of as a genius painting in a creative cradle, in fact, it owes a lot to – and often steals from – artists. This is not to say that it is theft, but that making art is a collaborative and multifaceted process. As Orson Welles put it to the stories he had to do F for Fakeso also Elmyr de Hory – in creating works from other artists – creates images that are very unique and, in many ways, just as valuable.

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