Blackpool 'art forger' displays fake Caravaggio paintings in new exhibition at HIVEArts Gallery

An ex-tattoo artist is launching at exhibition at HIVEArts Gallery on 15 June 2022, with replicas of Italian renaissance paintings by Caravaggio.

By Lucinda Herbert
Monday, 13th June 2022, 3:45 pm

Peter Sinclair started doing forgeries in the mid nineties, so owners of fine art paintings could keep their originals in a safe.

Now the 58 year old artist is displaying a full range of his ‘genuine Caravaggio fakes’ to show how easy it is to fake a painting.

Peter, who used to own Hawk Eyes Tattoo Carnival in Cleveleys, said: “It’s my way of rebelling against the art establishment. I have no respect for so-called experts, who pretend they know what they are talking about. They pontificate over a painting that will turn out to be something that was scribbled yesterday. I love it when they are wrong.”

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Peter Sinclair, an artist who is getting ready to launch his exhibition at HIVE in Blackpool. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Peter was inspired by an artist called John Myatt, who created fakes with emulsion paint. And Tom Keating - a Cockney who was jailed for conspiracy to defraud after passing off his forgeries as originals by old masters.

But he is not trying to pass his work off as originals.

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“Each painting has a deliberate flaw. A varnish that didn’t dry properly, a ruined canvas, or one that was damaged and then repaired. I want to show what can be done with forgeries. It’s an art, and it’s all perfectly legal. If you try to sell it as an original you’re in trouble.”

Peter Sinclair, an artist who is getting ready to launch his exhibition at HIVE in Blackpool. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Peter, moved from Hampshire in 2000.

In ‘96 his work was spotted by art restorer, Peter Schmidt, who asked him to paint a Caravaggio copy for an Irish collector.

“I was selling paintings at art fairs - the buyers would put the copies on the walls and keep the originals in the safe. But because the art fairs were all held on agricultural land they stopped because of BSE.”

His paintings are all acrylic, done on stretched canvas in a range of sizes. He hopes the exhibition will inspire others to start painting.

An example of Peter Sinclair's work, Peter is an artist who is getting ready to launch his exhibition at HIVE in Blackpool. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“I just make use of what I’ve got. You don’t need fancy colours and expensive canvas. All you need is primary colours, black, white and brown and you mix anything. You can paint with mud and a stick.

The Art Of Forgery runs from 15 June – 27 July 2022 at Hive Arts on Church Street, Blackpool.