Watch Masterpiece or Forgery? The Story of Elmyr de Hory
- 51 min
Masterpiece or Forgery? The Story of Elmyr de Hory is a documentary film that explores the life and work of Elmyr de Hory, a notorious art forger who created and sold thousands of counterfeit paintings during his lifetime. The film follows Elmyr's career from his early days in Hungary to his final days in Ibiza, where he died under mysterious circumstances. It features interviews with Elmyr's friends, family, and associates, as well as art experts, historians, and journalists who knew him or studied his work.
The film is narrated by the writer Clifford Irving, who himself became embroiled in a scandal involving forgery when he wrote a fake autobiography of Howard Hughes. Irving, who befriended Elmyr in the 1960s, provides valuable insights into the mind of a forger and the psychology of deception.
The film explores the question of whether Elmyr was a master forger or a talented artist in his own right. Some of the experts interviewed in the film argue that his forgeries were so skillful that they should be considered works of art in their own right. Others take a more critical view, arguing that Elmyr's forgeries were morally and ethically wrong and that they undermined the integrity of the art market.
The film also examines Elmyr's troubled personal life, including his relationships with both men and women, his frequent travels, and his ultimate decision to end his own life.
One of the highlights of the film is its rare footage of Elmyr at work in his studio, where he paints and creates his elaborate forgeries. The film also features interviews with some of the people who were duped by Elmyr's forgeries, including a wealthy oil tycoon who spent millions on what he thought was a collection of works by famous artists.
Overall, Masterpiece or Forgery? The Story of Elmyr de Hory is a fascinating look into the world of art forgery and the colorful life of one of its most infamous practitioners. With its mixture of interviews, archival footage, and narration, the film tells a compelling story that is both informative and entertaining.
Masterpiece or Forgery? The Story of Elmyr de Hory is a 2008 documentary with a runtime of 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.