The infamous literary hoax that fooled the art worldOn January 8 1960, artist Nat Tate set out to burn his entire life’s work.
Four days later he jumped off a Staten Island ferry, killing himself.
His body was never found. When William Boyd published his biography of Abstract Expressionist Nat Tate, tributes poured in from a whole host of artists and critics in the New York art world.
They toasted the troubled genius in a Manhattan launch party attended by David Bowie and Gore Vidal.
But Nat Tate never existed. The book was a hoax. Will Boyd’s biography of a fake artist is a brilliant probe into the politics of authenticity and reputation in the modern art scene.
It is a playful and intelligent insight into the fascinating, often cryptic world of modern art.