Book Review: Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger by Tony Tetro

December 26, 2023

About:

Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger by Tony Tetro and Giampiero Ambrosi is a memoir of Mr. Tetro’s career in the art world.

  • 288 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hachette Books
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0306826488

Book Review: Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger by Tony Tetro
My rating for
Con/Artist – 4
BuyCon/Artist from Amazon.com*
More books by Tony Tetro*
More books by Giampiero Ambrosi*

Thoughts:

Books about forgery, whether art or otherwise, always seem fascinating to me. Even in Argo by Antonio Mendez forgery and slight of hand was a big, and intriguing, part.

The one thing that comes clearly across in Con/Artist is how pleased Tony Tetro is with… Tony Tetro. His methods were certainly clever, even though he is the first one to admit that they are antiquated and would not pass today’s scrutinization techniques. Nevertheless, he comes across more of a con artist than an art forger.

The author tells of his childhood, his marriage at the age of 16, and his dreams of making a lot of money. He realized that he has a talent and transformed his hobby into a career of conning customers, as well as art dealers (who were con artists themselves and turned a blind eye).

This brings up a point that I see come up repeatedly in all the books I read, or documentaries I watch, about all kinds of forgeries – most don’t care. Maybe buyers might care, most dealers certainly didn’t, and most surprising neither did appraisers. The old saying that no art museum director will be able to tell you how many forgeries they have is true.

I specifically enjoyed Mr. Tetro’s techniques of aging his paintings. How he managed to buy old paper, as well as interesting tidbits about art history.

While I don’t think Mr. Tetro is the “greatest art forger” by any means, he still has an interesting story to tell. The narrative was exciting and moved quickly, there’s a bit of introspection but the author spends most of the time explaining his techniques and the world around him.

BuyCon/Artist from Amazon.com*
More books by Tony Tetro*
More books by Giampiero Ambrosi*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I bought this book.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger by Tony Tetro and Giampiero Ambrosi
Author Rating
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Wrap Up

Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger by Tony Tetro and Giampiero Ambrosi

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