Friday, October 24, 2008

Chicago Writer Sends Out Fake Picassos

Chicago artist Keith L.T. Alexander sent fifty Picasso prints to entertainment industry executives across the country to sell his collection of stories entitled Forgery of the Month Club.

Alexander printed the Picassos and his mother Anita signed them with the famous artist's name, a practice she adopted in the 1950s. "That's not illegal," says Alexander. "It would be illegal if we told you Picasso printed and signed the prints. Everyone knows exactly what they are getting from us."

The title is taken from the company Alexander and his mother started in 1984, and vividly recounts the daring illicit adventures of Anita and "the Crowd," a group of colorful cronies that consisted of gays, lesbians, hookers, and other outcasts --- the author's beloved "aunts and uncles" --- and the hustles they perfected in Chicago during the 1950s and, 60s in order to survive. They include:

-- Stealing the field of experimental Marijuana from the University of

-- Operating a twenty year-long bicycle theft-to-order ring

-- Scaling Chicago's statute of Alexander Hamilton to "liberate" its gold
leaf and

-- Selling fake Picasso prints and Rembrandt sketches.

"Anita's criminal antics are original, and her lifestyle bold and courageous. Keith's telling of them is a hilarious read," said the late Warren Casey. "Growing up, I wanted to be just like her," said Alexander who sees his collection of stories as a character bible for several television or film projects. In addition to apprenticing under his Mom as an art forger, he:

-- Looted burned-out buildings; robbed an art museum; masturbated against
women in crowds

-- Broke into Al Capone's vault a week before Geraldo Rivera

-- Painted illegal murals on rooftops and lead illegal tours through the
understructures of bridges.

Margo Howard, aka 'Dear Prudence' said: "In all my years of being a columnist, interviewing 'Anita the Burglar' was one of the highlights. A brilliant character, she gave a good name to art forgery, and other unusual ways of breaking the law."

Told lightly, lovingly and humorously, Forgery of the Month Club will compel viewers to examine the lessons they teach their children, and the legacies they leave them. These delightful, heart-warming stories will uplift viewers, tug at their emotions and make them laugh out loud.

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