The British artist Robert Thwaites is out of prison and looking to cash in on his new found notoriety as an art forger. Thwaites was sentenced to two years prison after he was charged with forging the work of the 19th century painter of fairies John Anster Fitzgerald.
He told the Guardian “It wasn’t a disaster. It was a risk I took and I was pragmatic enough to realise it could all go wrong and that if it did go wrong I would be punished. I deserved it. I wouldn’t do it again but if I can use the notoriety, why not? I love to paint.. And I am very good.”
One victim of his forged Fitzgerald paintings was an expert featured on the Antiques Roadshow program from the BBC. Rupert Maas paid 20,000 pounds for “The Miser” and insisted on keeping the work, even after finding out that it was a fake. I wonder of it was because it was such a good painting or Maas (a gallery owner) wanted to remind himself to be more careful in the future?!
I can’t help thinking we live in a mixed up world. As an artist and a (wanna be) art collector (of very affordable works), I wouldn’t support the life of a fraud by buying his paintings. If the artist was “very good”, as he puts it, he wouldn’t need to be copying the work of others.