author of "Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger"
Giampiero Ambrosi, author of "Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger"
Giampiero Ambrosi is a writer, investigative journalist, and producer of documentary films. His latest work, an offbeat investigation into the hidden world of art forgery with Academy Award Director, Kief Davidson is currently in post production. His recently co-authored book, a memoir of a world renowned art forger, will be published by Hachette in November of 2022.
Giampiero is the founder of Oak Grove Films, and was the co-founder of documentary production company, News Media America. He is a veteran of investigative and hard news documentary. He has researched and field produced over 50 pieces for international TV. From groundbreaking stories about the spread of AIDS through the commercial blood supply, to the illegal patenting of human genes, to the expansion of Chinese soft power in the South Pacific. He was part of the team that was awarded the Prix Italia and the team that was nominated for the Galaxy Award.
The world’s most renowned art forger reveals the secrets behind his decades of painting like the masters—exposing an art world that is far more corrupt than we ever knew while providing an art history lesson wrapped in sex, drugs, and Caravaggio.
The art world is a much dirtier, nastier business than you might expect. Tony Tetro, one of the most renowned art forgers in history, will make you question every masterpiece you’ve ever seen in a museum, gallery, or private collection. Tetro’s “Rembrandts,” “Caravaggios,” “Miros,” and hundreds of other works now hang on walls around the globe.
In 2019, it was revealed that Prince Charles received into his collection a Picasso, Dali, Monet, and Chagall, insuring them for over 200 million pounds, only to later discover that they’re actually “Tetros.” And the kicker? In Tony’s words: “Even if some tycoon finds out his Rembrandt is a fake, what’s he going to do, turn it in? Now his Rembrandt just became motel art. Better to keep quiet and pass it on to the next guy. It’s the way things work for guys like me.” The Prince Charles scandal is the subject of a forthcoming feature documentary with Academy Award nominee Kief Davidson and coauthor Giampiero Ambrosi, in cooperation with Tetro.
Throughout Tetro’s career, his inimitable talent has been coupled with a reckless penchant for drugs, fast cars, and sleeping with other con artists. He was busted in 1989 and spent four years in court and one in prison. His voice—rough, wry, deeply authentic—is nothing like the high society he swanned around in, driving his Lamborghini or Ferrari, hobnobbing with aristocrats by day, and diving into debauchery when the lights went out.
He’s a former furniture store clerk who can walk around in Caravaggio’s shoes, become Picasso or Monet, with an encyclopedic understanding of their paint, their canvases, their vision. For years, he hid it all in an unassuming California townhouse with a secret art room behind a full-length mirror. (Press #* on his phone and the mirror pops open.) Pairing up with coauthor Ambrosi, one of the investigative journalists who uncovered the 2019 scandal, Tetro unveils the art world in an epic, alluring, at times unbelievable, but all-true narrative.