JR Boronali, aka Aliboron’s Sunset 1910

“Sunset over the Adriatic” was exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in March 1910. It was praised by the critics and recieved an offer of 400Francs from an art collector. It was said to have been done by JR Boronali, proponent of a new school of painting called “excessivism.”

However, days later, art critic Roland Dorgelès came out with the truth saying he came up with the idea to have a donkey “paint” the drawing with a brush tied to his tail. He did it as a way to play a joke on his Impressionist painter friends


JR Boronali, 1910



The Three Modigliani Heads, 1989


Pietro Luridiana, Michele Ghelarducci and Pierfrancesco Ferrucci, 1989

Pietro Luridiana, Michele Ghelarducci and Pierfrancesco Ferrucci, 1989

In the city of Livorno, there was a canal which artist Amedeo Modiglian was rumored to have dumped a few of his sculptures in 1909. In 1989, the city spent $35,000 on the project and eventually came up with three sculpted heads. The heads were appraised by experts and concluded as legit giving them a 1.5 million dollar value.

Unfortunately for the city, a few days later the truth came out. One of the heads was actually made by three university students with a screwdriver and a drill (with video documentation of the work), and the other two made my another former art student Angelo Froglia. Their reasons for doing this, they said:  “to reveal the false values of art critics and the mass media.”

MortgageHippo Hippo Hoax, 2014

A video was put on youtube that gathered a lot of attention about a hippo spotting in the chicago river. Two weeks later another video of the same hippo in a different location in the chicago river was posted as well which caused more of a stir.

Many people were skeptical of the hippo being in the river, and the chicago police later came out with a statement that there were no reports of any sightings of the wild animal and was unlikely the hippo could survive in the water’s cold climate. The video still circled social media.

But eventually, MortgageHippo came out with another video and statement providing the hippo was a hoax and a publicity stunt. Used to promote their company.

The hippo sighting


The Men Who Conned the World, 1976

Doug Bower And Dave Chorley, 1976


The crop cirlce Hoaxers that started a world wide cultural phenomena.

They created their first “flying saucer nest” in a wheat field in Wiltshire, England, in 1976. At the time, the artist and his friend had no idea what shock their creation would create on the world. From then on believers and nonbelievers would contemplate the legitimacy of these other- worldly markings in the fields.

In 1991 they came out with their story and explaination. They demonstrated with their simple instruments to show how they created the perfect circular patterns. However, there still are “circle experts,” with authority in the field of circle studies of these kind that don’t believe the men were capable of it.

Many people still believe they were created by spacecraft and that these men are hoaxing to seem like the creators of such a work. It becomes a hoax within a hoax.

The question remains, who is hoaxing who?

Video of Doug and Dave sharing their story through the Today Newspaper


Hoax is Art, 2009

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Image of UFO’s Over Haiti by Barzolff814, 2009


“UFO Over Haiti” video that received 3 million views the day that it was posted on YouTube posted by Barzolff814, a 35-year-old French creator, a professional animator.

He made the videos as research for a feature-length film he was working on and when it became so popular, he decided to explore the idea further.

He went on to develop it into an art movement “Realitism,”that he believes is an “artistic and philosophical movement at the root of this questioning of reality.”

Overall, the website he created is planned to be a movement that uses hoaxes as a new media to reach the public. It also involves the public into the art work in a way.


Museum of art Fakes, Present


The Museum of Art Fakes


A museum in Germany that only shows false paintings copied from original works. They explain the legitimacy of art fakes and describe the line between illegal and legal production, display and sale of the fakes. As long as the art isn’t being displayed at the original or isn’t forged as the original artist, the artwork is legal. The work cannot be sold with false information about its originality. Also it is illegal to forge verification certificates.


Copy of Rafael’s Madonna in the Belvedere, year unknown




Pierre Brassau, by Åke “Dacke” Axelsson, 1964

In February 1964, four paintings by a previously unknown avant-garde French artist named Pierre Brassau were exhibited at an art show in Göteborg, Sweden.


Original Brassau work, 1964


Critics claimed “Pierre Brassau paints with powerful strokes, but also with clear determination. His brush strokes twist with furious fastidiousness. Pierre is an artist who performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer.”


Brassau at work, 1964 

Åke “Dacke” Axelsson was a journalist at the Göteborgs-Tidningen, one of Goteborg’s daily papers and he was the one to come up with the idea of exhibiting the work of a monkey in an art show. The purpose was a way of putting critics to the test — would they be able to tell the difference between modern art and monkey art?


Peter at work, 1964

Brassau was a four-year-old West African chimpanzee named Peter from Sweden’s Boras zoo.

After Axelsson revealed the hoax, the critic who had praised the work, Rolf Anderberg, insisted that Pierre’s work was “still the best painting in the exhibition.”

A private collector bought one of Brassau’s works for $90 (the equivalent of $600 in 2008).

Invisible art: the gallery hoax that shows how much we hate the rich, 2013

Invisible art Lana Newstrom CBC hoax

Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring, 1998.


The gallery was a hoax arranged by professional radio parodists Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring. They set up the hoax as a gallery of the invisible art of Lana Newstrom.

“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”

The reason this stunt had such an impact for outsiders was not only to poke fun at the world of contemporary art, but also shows that we are so shocked and repelled by the art market. The image of rich people forking out for invisible art and proudly showing it to their friends as the very latest thing is nothing short of idiocy. But it nevertheless was the case in this hoax.