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/kaw·reɪdʒ/:

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Fake Painting


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Noah Charney is the founder of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art and the author of the novel The Art Thief. He spoke with New Inquiry editor about his new book, The Art of Forgery

Malcolm Harris: How did you become interested in working around art theft in the first place?

Noah Charney: It started back in 2002 when I was a post-grad at the Courtauld Institute and then at Cambridge. I decided I wanted to write a novel, and I had experience behinds the scenes at the art world. I worked at Christie’s during a summer, I was studying art history, and I had worked at some museums. I thought it would be fun to set a novel in the art world, but as I set about doing the sort of research I was used to as a student, and I realized there was very little from an academic perspective on the subject of art crime. And it sounded more fun than traditional art history.

And then you went on to pursue that professionally as well?

I shifted my research interest from art history to a new field that hadn’t been developed. It was an interdisciplinary study of art crime from the perspective of criminology, art history, archaeology, law, museum studies, security studies, policing and investigating. It’s a whole mixture of things. It had gone really under-studied before. I wasn’t inventing the wheel per se, but I was lucky to be the first person to look at it in a new way.

It is a glamorous field as compared to, say, restoration.

It’s true, it’s one of the things I like about it. Everyone from professors to taxi drivers thinks it’s fascinating. Maybe they’ve just seen Ocean’s 11 or The Thomas Crown Affair, but people find it intriguing.

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Dear Marooned Alien Princess



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Our advice columnist Zahira Kelly specializes in the jolt of recognition that comes from rearranging or inverting mainstream hierarchies. In this month’s column, she dissects the costs of online fame and upholds the dignity of speaking differently than the ruling class.

Dear Zahira, 

Sometimes I wish I had the following you do and then I see all the shit you catch. Is it safe to say social media popularity for WOC is a double-edged sword?

Ay. I want to do the sign of the cross like my Tia-Abuela and pray that you never have to shake with anxiety and fear opening your inbox and mentions because you know there’s going to be a dogpile of hate messages. They call them fans in denial but :/ maybe I’d rather not be on your mind?

This has been my life since I started a Tumblr blog where I openly questioned the social structure that erases and marginalizes me. With a bigger following comes more sharing of your content and more possibilities for people who will miss your point and decide you deserve abuse or threats to find you. Yes, you may reach lots of people who love what you have to say, you will be able to connect with amazing people doing amazing work. You will also reach people who will obsessively stalk and hate-follow you so they can have material to insult you about, so you can be on their mind and keep them up at night tossing and turning. These people are a bit masochistic, if you ask me. If you don’t like what I’m saying, just don’t look?

They will send the most disgusting dehumanizing messages at 4am when they should’ve been sleeping soundly and instead were raging at the fact I have the nerve to exist visibly and not even care what they think. Others send support, love, and fan mail. They engage with honesty and integrity and share their own struggles. There’s the benefit of community with likeminded people. That is the only thing that makes it worth it to me. But online fame is also a cesspool of resentful souls who really have way too much to do with me when I don’t know them from a can of paint and they have way too much time on their hands. They are a relentless gang of angry white bros and a smattering of people of all colors and genders from all over the political spectrum and world, who hate ratchet Black women all the same.

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Sunday Reading

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Karen Gregory:

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Jacob Remes:

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Kerim Friedman:

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Reclaim UC: