The Controversial Artist Who Makes "Invisible Art" Turns Out to Be a Hoax

A Canadian radio show tricked people into believing that someone got rich selling invisible art.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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It's becoming harder and harder to believe what you read on the Internet. Late last month, news circulated about a 27-year-old New York-based artist Lana Newstrom with an "unusual artistic process." A feature on the artist revealed that she was creating "invisible art," and her agent was quoted as saying that her works "can fetch upwards of a million dollars." Newstrom explained the bizarre notion by saying that "art is about imagination and that is what my work demands of the people interacting with it. You have to imagine a painting or sculpture is in front of you."

News outlets and blogs picked up the story and expressed their anger at the idea that people would throw their money away on art that doesn't exist. "Just because you can't see anything, doesn't mean I didn't put hours of work into creating a particular piece," said the artist to CBC. As it turns out, the whole thing was a fake, and there is no emerging artist named Lana Newstrom selling invisible art in New York or anywhere else.

Artnet reports that there were clues that the whole thing was a farce, including the funny dialogue in Newstrom's interview, her name not showing up in any Google search, and the fact that the installation photo from her supposed gallery show is actually an altered version of a Bert Stern show in Italy. The Guardian found that those who believed the story and wrote about it were more concerned with attacking the rich than commenting on the idea of invisible art being a thing. "The reason CBC’s joke story had legs is not so much that we want to laugh at contemporary art, as that we are so shocked and repelled by the art market," writes Jonathan Jones. "The image of rich people forking out for invisible art and proudly showing it to their friends as the very latest thing is such a glorious image of plutocratic idiocy that it just had to be true."

We're going to wait a few years and try to actually sell invisible art to someone...maybe it'll work?

[via Artnet]




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