EXCLUSIVE: Art forger Mark Landis has been plying his talents for three decades, creating masterful knock-offs of some of the greatest painted works in history and skirting the law by donating his forgeries to museums and collections around the world – for free. His work, psyche, and motivations, along with the efforts of one dogged museum registrar to bring him down in the name of authenticity, are the subject of Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman’s upcoming documentary Art and Craft. Oscilloscope Laboratories picked up the film in March before it premiered at Tribeca and now Deadline’s got the exclusive trailer (watch it below).
Cullman was Oscar-nominated for co-directing 2011 docu If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front while Grausman helmed the Emmy-nommed 2008 docu Pressure Cooker. They’ve got a curious subject in Landis, a former gallery owner and diagnosed schizophrenic driven by the philanthropy of his one-man counterfeiting cottage industry: He’s successfully placed his forgeries in 46 museums – each institution believing his paintings to be the real deal – by assuming disguises and aliases to pull off each con. Landis and his registrar nemesis, ex-Oklahoma City Museum of Art staffer Matthew Leininger, have both participated in exhibits of Landis’s faux work, which sent a ripple through the art community after they were first discovered in 2007. Oscilloscope will release the pic September 19 in NY and September 26 in LA with a nationwide rollout to follow. Watch the trailer: