After his arrest stopped Geert Jan Jansen with the counterfeiting of art. Or isn’t it? In a castle in Utrecht he sells his work, both in his own style as in Appel, Picasso or Monet. “I am ashamed for my past, but it remains to me a stick.’
Saturday attracts a journalist Geert Sels in dS Weekblad to Geert Jan Jansen, the forger, who himself betrayed with a fatal ‘S’ and had caps with his vervalserscarrière. Jansen tells how he ever got away with 76 counterfeit lithographs by Karel Appel, and dealers and auction houses to the garden led. Read below for a preview.
‘In France you can at the notary, the atelierrechten buy. That you take about of the heirs and then can you have a catalog to publish. There are all the recognised pieces of an artist. Such a catalogue of Raoul Dufy includes all eighteen volumes, and then every five years, is still an appendix. Again, a hundred new work. That can not be? That man is not 300 years old? As soon as you know that it works so, you can take advantage of these opportunities.’
In the oeuvrecatalogi of Dufy, Utrillo, or The Vlaminck of the work for you?
“A few, yes.’
What trick has the best rendered?
‘In France, should first of all along an expert to pass for it at auction. I came home with drawings of Matisse to go and I did feel a little silly for. Do you think this is worth anything? I have the most earned.’
A forger can’t every week a Picasso or Chagall to discover. How did you that?
‘First I tried the work through friendly vendors at the market. But then you are continuously rolled. All smoezen I have ten times heard. That the international payment systems was long overdue. That the customs of a piece in possession had taken. Therefore, I am in the course of time itself on the market. You can do that by wide. I started more artists to imitate and also, I did more auction houses.’
How many aliases did you have?
‘Jan van den Bergen, Jan van Gestel, Jan van Tongeren, I’ve had a few. If my wife my clothes in the was did, she said that I have more passports than pairs of trousers.’
Well then: how many pairs of trousers did you have?
(thinks) ‘A piece or seven.’
At Drouot see that, behind those passports the same man in disguise?
“In the beginning I sent someone else. So I came myself not in the picture. Drouot is actually a large building. There, organizing a whole series of auctioneers as their own sales. If you like the game appeals to, you not so soon in the holes.’
You could, nonetheless, not every time to say that you have a painting in the attic had found?
‘Painting is one half of the work, to demonstrate where it comes from, the other. You can look up where an artist has been exhibited. If the galleries no longer exist, nobody can ask. You can on the back of a work stickers from galleries or museums to paste. I put sometimes pictures of my work in the folders of the RKD (the art-historical archives of the Netherlands, red). A week later I came back with a customer and showed him that folder. There he discovered the work that he was considering to buy from me.”
With which artists did you do that?
‘That I do not say.’
Come on, the case is still barred.
“Well, I will you two give: Van Dongen and Van der Leck.’
Which documents are in which folders?
‘I would be surprised.’
“We browse through the paintings as if the posters are in a museum shop. On Waterloo Bridge by Monet is no name. ‘So you made Monet there are five or six, ” he says. “This would be number seven. This is the version that a few years ago from the Kunsthal in Rotterdam is stolen. I asked them if they have no vervangexemplaar wanted. There they saw the humor in that.'”
Read Saturday in dS Magazine for the full interview.