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Art and Craft2014

  • 4.3
Mark Landis has been called one of the most prolific art forgers in US history. His impressive body of work spans thirty years, covering a wide range of painting styles and periods that includes 15th Century Icons, Picasso, and even Walt Disney. And while the copies could fetch impressive sums on the open market, Landis isn't in it for money. Posing as a philanthropic donor, a grieving executor of a family member's will, and most recently as a Jesuit priest, Landis has given away hundreds of works over the years to a staggering list of institutions across the United States. But after duping Matthew Leininger, a tenacious registrar who ultimately discovers the decades-long ruse and sets out to expose his philanthropic escapades to the art world, Landis must confront his own legacy and a chorus of museum professionals clamoring for him to stop. However, stopping isn't as simple as it might appear. Landis, it turns out, struggles with mental illness and over the years he's developed an outright "addiction to philanthropy" as his elaborate cons offer him the chance to cultivate connection and respect. ART AND CRAFT starts out as a cat-and-mouse art caper, rooted in questions of authorship and authenticity – but what emerges is an intimate story of obsession and the universal need for community, appreciation, and purpose.

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Member Reviews (1)

Beautiful film about the most fascinating and audaciously authentic human being. Personally I was a bit disturbed with how the art community treated Mr. Landis in the film in terms of their obsession with conventional ideas of originality, especially given his mental illness, but was happy to hear him say the directors are his best friends in the below article, which the viewer can also pick up in the film from the soundtrack. Regardless, one of the best films I've seen this year - also the article below is a perfect follow-up to watching the film.

https://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/qa/mark-landis-interview-52568