Plenty of coffee shops boast about displaying local art on the walls, but Think Coffee’s Soho location has one-upped them all by snagging a copy of the Mona Lisa. Okay, not the Mona Lisa: the one hanging on the wall is actually by Mark Landis, art forger par excellence.
If you saw Art and Craft when the documentary about Landis premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, then you know the troubled Mississippian managed to pawn off forged works to more than 40 museums, including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, before he was finally outed in 2010. He posed as both a priest and an art collector, but was never arrested since he donated rather than sold the forgeries.
According to a press release, Landis created the faux Mona — his first Renaissance work — in just 90 minutes. It’s selling for $25,000 at Think’s cafe at 248 Mercer Street, and proceeds from the sale will go to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Laurel, Mississippi, the hometown museum he fooled.