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ART AND CRAFT is the story of the charismatic, complex Mark Landis, perhaps the most prolific art forger in US history. For over 30 years, he’s duped curators throughout the country with precise imitations of a vast range of works, from fifteenth century masterpieces to Picasso.
His actions are mysterious to many – while he could fetch millions on the open market, he donates his counterfeits for free, going so far as to pose in such guises as a Jesuit priest or a philanthropic donor. Enter Matthew Leininger, a registrar from Cincinnati who was conned by Landis years ago and who has been pursuing him obsessively ever since.
"Tells a too-good-to-be-true story with humor and empathy."
"As compelling as it is inspiring."
The Film Corner
"Perversely satisfying... because this sly trickster who operates under multiple identities is not in it for the money, he couldn't be called a criminal. The art world deserves him."
The New York Times
"A crowd-pleasing character study that doubles as an art-world detective story."
Wall Street Journal
"With his Truman Capote-like chirp and innate shyness, Landis will charm you."
The Village Voice
"Landis looks at what he does as crafting, but as the doc, which falls somewhere between CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and GREY GARDENS, makes wonderfully clear, what's art - outsider or otherwise - is all a question of context."
"Captivating...one of the largest and most unique deceptions the art world has ever seen."
The Daily Beast
"A documentary is only as good as its subject, and Art and Craft has a truly unique and astonishing one....a portrait of, if not a painter of real renown, a devious and generous charlatan of the highest order."
"Jaunty and engaging, an expertly crafted mystery about art crime that is right out there in the open for everybody to see."
"A layered study of mental illness, talent and the museum-industrial complex."