Mid Sussex master forger becomes a victim of his own success

A master forger who has fooled the art world with his works has now become a victim of his own success.

Artist Max Brandrett spent years faking some of the world’s most famous masterpieces and ended up being jailed three times.

But, since turning his brushes to what he calls ‘fake but legit’ works, Max has discovered that forgers are now forging him.

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Max, 72, who lives in Burgess Hill, has recreated works by artists such as Caravaggio, Reubens, Jack Vettriano and the street artist Banksy.

Master forger Max Brandrett with some of his work . Photo: Steve Robards SR1832515 SUS-181217-115048001

But all his legitimate recreations are now signed with his name and include a logo on the back.

He was surprised then when a London art dealer contacted him saying someone was trying to sell one of his legitimate copies of a Banksy.

“My name was on it but there was no monogram on the back.”

Max, who was brought up in a Barnado’s home and learned to paint while signwriting in a circus, now gets orders from across the world for his works.

Max Brandrett displaying his work at the art gallery, "A Room with a View". Worthing, West Sussex. Picture: Liz Pearce 29/06/2019 LP190647 SUS-190630-213526008

And a film of his life - he was a one-time associate of the Kray twins - is expected to be screened on TV after Christmas.

“I know I’m a forger and I’ve done a bit of bird, but I’m happy now,” said Max.

He is currently mid-way through creating another ‘Banksy’.

“Banksys are so popular at the moment,” he says.