73-Year-Old Immigrant Responsible for $80 Million in Art Forgeries

  • Posted 60 months Ago

An unassuming 73-year-old Chinese immigrant has been unveiled as the man responsible for more than $80 million USD worth of fine art forgeries. According to a recent New York Times article, Pei-Shen Qian was part of an experimental art movement in his youth, but quickly became frustrated with the American art market and found it difficult to find a foothold as an artist, causing him to turn to fraud. His work includes over 60 highly accurate forgeries of "undiscovered masterpieces" by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Barrett Newman, Robert Motherwell and Richard Diebenkorn, which he has been selling oblivious art dealers since 1994. These illegal activities were first brought to the attention of the FBI in 2009 when questions were raised about some of the artworks. Since then many of his art world accomplices, including art dealers, have been charged for their crimes, but Qian himself is still at large.