No market is immune from potential fraud, criminal activity, or outright fakery. Whether it be in the equities, commodities, currencies, financial, or art markets, one should remain skeptical about what is offered for sale, and know your market. I consider myself to be rather knowledgeable about several different markets, including the art market. Although I don't claim great expertise in the art market, I do know how to avoid paying retail in most cases, and have a good eye for art. Since I'm not an insider in the art market, I have to rely on the expertise of others, trust the provenance being offered, and trust the dealer's due diligence. Sometimes, even those safeguards fail. I recently had my entire collection checked out and verified for insurance purposes, and one of the pieces was determined to be a fake, a forgery. This opinion was confirmed by a third and fourth party, and the insurance company dropped the coverage on the piece. The rest of my mid-sized collection passed with flying colors, and the company only raised my premium by 30%. The dealer I bought the work from went out of business in the 90's, so I'm out of luck getting any restitution. Although I can get tax treatment on the loss, I'm feeling the sting, and am just glad the fake was only a minor piece in my collection. Whereas losing trades are a cost of doing business, and don't rile me much, I was always of the opinion that beautiful art would never be a losing proposition. The fake that was hanging on my wall is beautiful, but it's still a fake, and therefore a losing proposition. The mistress of the market can offer objects that appear to be very enticing and beautiful on the surface, but scratch that surface, and the ugliness of deceit, dishonesty, and criminality will be evident. Whether it be the art market, used cars, the grains, stocks, bonds, or anything… one can be assured that there are participants that are less than honest, that have absolutely no conscience when they rip you off. Frankly, I'd prefer to be mugged in a back alley than be swindled in the purchase of fake art. Since my art is so beautiful and completely moves my heart, there's something very tawdry about the idea of that a fake invaded my personal space.





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