I spent most of the Year of the Plague, 2020-21, working on a new podcast series with North American production company Antica about crimes, scandals and general murkiness in the art world. We have covered six stories in ten episodes. The first two are now online here on Apple Podcasts and on the UCP (Universal Content Production) website.
It was amazing to be able to interview art-crime-fighters from the FBI and the Manhattan DA’s office and hear their investigations of the Golden Coffin of Nedjemankh, of the forger William Toye who faked 100s of paintings by the black American artist Clementine Hunter, and of Don Miller , the collector-cum-graverobber whose basement contained a horde of artifacts from Africa and the Americas… and also a vast collection of Native American human remains. In this podcast series I also tell the story of the Benin Bronzes, of the formerly high-flying young British art dealer Inigo Philbrick now sitting in a US jail, and of the Gurlitt Affair through the battle of two Jewish families to get their masterpieces, looted by the Nazis, back.
My colleagues and now friends at Antica were absolutely brilliant at getting access to people who are usually very difficult to persuade to talk in detail about their lives and work… and also brilliant at turning a handful of interviews and narration by me into irresistible ripping yarns about the art world.