The Art Forger
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There was never any doubt that Claire Roth was an exceptionally gifted painter. But in The Art Forger, by B. A. Shapiro, her troubles begin when she creates a piece for her boyfriend Isaac, a famous but blocked artist. He gratefully submits the work as his own for a prestigious MoMA commission. The painting becomes an instant sensation, and overnight Isaac is the new darling of the art world. He unceremoniously dumps Claire but continues to reap the benefits associated with her work. Disgusted with Isaac’s refusal to acknowledge her part in his meteoric rise to superstardom, Claire takes matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, her efforts only result in her immediate status change to pariah. No one of any consequence will even preview her new paintings. Out of the blue, Claire is offered a solo exhibit in a trendy gallery. But there is one stipulation. How far will Claire sink to get visibility for her latest series of masterpieces?
The Art Forger is a beautifully crafted novel that brings the art world to life. Shapiro blends facts from the largest art heist in history into an intriguing mystery featuring a young artist, Claire Roth, who has been blackballed in the art scene. Claire is very talented in reproductions and specializes in the works of Edgar Degas. When the owner of one of the most prestigious galleries offers her a one woman show in exchange for forging one of the paintings that was stolen from the Gardner Museum, she is both flattered and morally challenged. When the painting arrives in her apartment to copy she begins to question whether or not it is in fact an original painted by Degas. Alternating between her current situation and the scandal from the past that has caused Claire such pain and introspection, Shapiro creates an intriguing glimpse into the world of art.
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