It's not too difficult to imitate the artwork of Damien Hirst. Paint some circles on a canvas, throw some crystal on a skull, or encase a big-ass animal in a tank of formaldehyde and call it a day. But you didn't think of it first, did you? Which is at least part of the idea anyway.
Well, Miami resident Kevin Sutherland has been indicted in New York City for allegedly trying to sell some fake Hirst artwork.
Last year, Sutherland offered a forged painting in Hirst's "spin" style to Sotheby's for a March auction. He also claimed to have some other limited-edition prints produced by the conceptual artist.
Sotheby's didn't take Sutherland at his word, though, and after examining the work in conjunction with Hirst's London studio, it determined the piece was in fact a fraud.
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The auction house contacted police, who then set up a sting. According to the AP, Sutherland offered the two paintings he had mentioned to Sotheby's plus three other fakes to a buyer in NYC for $185,000. It turned out the buyer was an undercover officer.
He was indicted today on charges of attempted grand larceny.
Odder still, Sutherland is a pastor and runs the Miami Mosiac Church with his wife.