Art and Craft | Chicago Reader

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89 minutes · 2014

In 2011, Mark Landis went from obscurity to international celebrity when the Financial Times published a piece on his activities as an art forger, revealing that for more than 20 years he'd donated hundreds of fakes to museums across the U.S. This documentary depicts Landis as a pitiable but compelling eccentric who fools collectors just for the pleasure of it; he's never been prosecuted because he's never asked for money for any of his paintings. A lonely, childlike schizophrenic, Landis claims he "got addicted to playing a philanthropist," and the movie shows him taking great care in forging paintings and creating aliases for himself. Directors Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman maintain a bright tone and a melancholy undercurrent, which combine in an eminently watchable character study.

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