Psychoanalyst Meets Helene and Wolfgang Beltracchi
Artist Couple Meets Jeannette Fischer
Emotional prodigy—and brilliant art forger
1st edition, 2022
188 pages, 20 color illustrations
11.5 x 16.5 cm
Wolfgang Beltracchi is the greatest phenomenon of the international art world. His name is inextricably entwined with one of the greatest upheavals in the global art market. Emulating numerous world-famous artists, he developed and painted new paintings, continued their narrations and biographies, and concluded them with a forged signature. His wife Helene Beltracchi then smuggled them onto the art market. Many experts were deceived by Beltracchi’s stupendous skill and auctioneers cast many doubts aside in the interests of insatiable market demand, selling the paintings as authentic works by the purported artists.
Reading the artistic handwriting of a painting requires an exceptional willingness and ability to be able to empathize and identify with the artist, until you “can feel what the other feels” (Wolfgang Beltracchi). Through extensive discussions with the painter and his wife, the psychoanalyst Jeannette Fischer explored this capability that is so pronounced for Beltracchi. In her new book, she places this in relation to the disappearance of Beltracchi’s own signature. As with her previous highly successful book about the performance artist Marina Abramović, Jeannette Fischer has created an exceptionally insightful portrait of a fascinating artist personality.
Jeannette Fischer has been practicing for more than thirty years as a Freudian psychoanalyst in Zurich, with a special focus on the topics of violence, power, and powerlessness. She has also curated exhibitions on these topics and produced two film documentaries.