Drawn to Trouble

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Eric Hebborn was born in 1934. Horribly abused and neglected, Hebborn spent his entire financially and emotionally deprived childhood and youth in the English equivalent of foster care. Somehow his intelligence and tenacity earned him the attention and respect of a few caring teachers and artists who fostered his talent and supported his efforts so that he managed to achieve a credible formal art education along with an extremely useful informal education in art restoration, authentication, and dealing.

Even before his formal education was complete, Hebborn was earning desperately needed money doing Old Masters restorations. He was intensely interested in, and a student of, many famous artists and possessed an uncanny ability to produce superb works in the style and manner of these artists, an ability which grew with age and experience. By simply arranging for his own unauthenticated works to be discovered by only the most reputable international art experts and dealers, literally hundreds of Hebborn’s creations became authenticated over a period of nearly thirty years and hang to this day in museums and private collections all over the world.

There is no such thing as a fake or a forgery, Hebborn argues. There can only be an original work of art valued by the quality of its rendering and the pleasure it provides. While true art scholars and experts may be forgiven occasional appraisal errors, art dealers should never be forgiven their avaricious desire for revenue-producing “authentic works.” Hebborn’s warning to all aficionados is simple and straightforward: “never invest in art—buy it!” Spend money only for the joy the art provides, never for the investment value of an art dealer’s stamp of authenticity. Hebborn’s memoir provides clear, convincing, and entertaining evidence of the merit of his advice.