Framed: America's Art Dealer to the Stars Tells All

Framed: America's Art Dealer to the Stars Tells All

by Tod Volpe
     
 


Tod Volpe had an appetite for the finer things in life and was savvy at selling them. Once widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost art dealers, Volpe launched a feeding frenzy in the international art community when he founded the Mission arts and crafts movement. He was rewarded with fabulous wealth, enormous influence, and a client list that… See more details below

Overview


Tod Volpe had an appetite for the finer things in life and was savvy at selling them. Once widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost art dealers, Volpe launched a feeding frenzy in the international art community when he founded the Mission arts and crafts movement. He was rewarded with fabulous wealth, enormous influence, and a client list that included Andy Warhol, Jack Nicholson, and Bruce Willis. At the height of his success as "Art Dealer to the Stars," Volpe self-destructed in a scandalous case of fraud that made headlines and threatened to blow the lid off the shadowy world of art dealing in a star-studded trial. Opting to remain silent, he pled guilty and spent two years in a federal prison. That silence has now been broken. Framed is a shocking account of how the life of one man who struggled to have it all spiraled out of control. Volpe’s tale of corruption and excess is both his own and that of the international art world — a world where high culture and civility conceal boardroom swindles, illegal price-fixing, and money laundering.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even in a world of endless high-flying corporate scandals, with the "perp walks" of accused miscreants a beloved staple of TV news, the systemic chicanery of the art and antiques business can still inspire jaw-dropping awe. This self-told tale from Volpe, a kid from Yonkers who rises from mortuary college to the mansions and ateliers of Hollywood and subsequently descends to the concrete cubicle of a medium-security prison, is compelling and cautionary reading. Afflicted from early youth with an unquenchable desire for fine objects, he eventually parlays a few well-chosen tchotchkes into a thriving business. In describing his dizzying ascent, Volpe also depicts a world in which naked ambition, aesthetic impulse and nouveau riche pretension intermingle, where sticks of furniture purchased for tens of dollars are resold for thousands, where major institutions conspire with dealers to jack up prices, where the rich and famous amass collections only to sell them at a profit and start again. But whether describing his part in the virtual invention of "Mission" as a collectible category or delivering a dozen rocking chairs for Harvey Keitel to choose from, Volpe's enthusiasm is infectious. While greed, vanity and larcenous ambition play their part in his story, Volpe's delight in the trappings of success (30 illustrations not seen by PW) and the company of the rich and famous are conveyed with such unembarrassed exuberance that one is inclined to forgive. The law didn't, and despite stalwart support from friends like Jack Nicholson, Volpe ended up going to prison for fraud. Emerging bloodied but unbowed, Volpe offers both a detailed look at the art world and a celebrity-studded gossip fest that should be a Hamptons bookstore staple. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550226157
Publisher:
ECW Press
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.93(d)

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