Author of ‘The Forger’s Apprentice’ to be in Montgomery

On Tuesday at the Art and Heritage Center, Mark Forgy worked on hanging some of the paintings bequeathed to him by artist Elmyr de Hory. This is only the second time in history that the paintings and artwork have been displayed. The first time the art has had any major exposure since the artist’s death in 1976, was at the Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus Adolphus College in 2010. (Wade Young Photo)


Mark Forgy knows a thing or two about art, specifically about a notorious art faker who has forged world-famous art. 
Between 1969 and 1976, Forgy was the apprentice, friend and confidante to Elmyr de Hory, recognized as the world’s most talented and successful art forger. Forgy, who lives in New Prague with his wife of eight years, Alice Doll, shares the tales of his life and friendship with de Hory in the book, “The Forger’s Apprentice: Life with the World’s Most Notorious Artist”.
Forgy will be making several appearances in Montgomery during the month of March. One appearance also includes a display of de Hory’s artwork at the Arts and Heritage Center, starting on Thursday, Feb. 28. The exhibition will  allow people to look at de Hory’s work in oil and water color paintings, and drawings in pencil or pen and ink. It is only the second major exhibit of his work since the artist’s death in 1976.
That will also coincide with a book discussion, and a community presentation (see sidebar). Forgy said he hopes that the display and appearances will introduce Hory to new generation of people.
“What I hope to achieve is to introduce Elmyr as an artist, as a personality and as a name to a whole new audience,” he said. “There’s a new generation, if one is under 40, they have no knowledge of who Elmyr was.”
“The Forger’s Apprentice” is a memoir, a coming-of-age journey of discovery by Forgy. It provides the most up-close account of de Hory, widely known as the worlds’ most successful art forger ever.  For over 20 years, de Hory’s bogus masterpieces in the style of Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, and Amedeo Modigliana, filtered into prestigious art collections on five continents. Hundreds are believed to linger, undetected, in collections around the world. 
Forgy met the artist in 1969, on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza and became his personal assistant, live-in secretary, gallery director, confidante and closest friend. He is excited to bring the display to local people and talk about the artist.
“As his closest friend and heir to his estate, it is my hope to garner new exposure that will hopefully blossom into a new renaissance for his work,” he said. “I have put down roots here and love Montgomery and New Prague.” 
The project is made possible by a grant provided by the Traverse des Sioux Library System and was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage fund. 
It is brought to the community by the Friends of the Library, the Arts and Heritage Center, and TCU Community Education.
Mark Forgy appearances
Book discussion
Thursday, March 7 Montgomery Library 7 p.m.
Display of Elmry de Hory works
February 8 to April 6 Arts and Heritage Center
Thur., Fri. 2 to 5 p.m.; Sat. 9 to 12 p.m
Arts and Eats
Tuesday, March 5 Montgomery Library 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Community Presentation
Tuesday, March 12 Arts and Heritage Center 6:30 p.m.