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'Invisible Art' Prank Fools Many Internet Users


Circulating report, which features an image of art gallery visitors apparently staring at blank walls, claims that the visitors are viewing 'invisible art' created by artist Lana Newstrom. The report claims Newstrom's 'invisible art' pieces can sell for upwards of a million dollars each.

Invisible Art Prank
© icetray

Brief Analysis

Nobody is selling invisible art. The report is a satirical prank created by Canadian comedians Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring who hosts the popular satire radio show This is That. The image is a digitally altered version of gallery visitors viewing real (and entirely visible) art works.


New York artist creates 'art' that is invisible and collectors are paying millions

Invisible Art Prank

27-year-old artist Lana Newstrom says she is the first artist in the world to create invisible 'art.'

Detailed Analysis

Internet Users Taken In By 'Invisible Art' Report

Many web users have been taken in by a report that discussed the 'invisible art' of the artist Lana Newstrom. The report, published on Canada's CBC website, featured an image of gallery visitors staring intently at the gallery's blank walls.

A caption on the photo noted:

Art enthusiasts admire Newstrom's paintings and sculptures at the Schulberg Gallery in New York.
'Art is about imagination and that is what my work demands of the people interacting with it. You have to imagine a painting or sculpture is in front of you, ' notes the 27-year-old artist.

The report raised the ire and consternation of many readers who condemned the artist as a fraud and her rich customers as fools for buying her 'works'.

But, in fact, the report was satirical. Nobody is exhibiting - or selling - invisible art. The hoax was created by comedians Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring from the popular satire radio show 'This Is That'. The show's About Page notes:
This Is That is a current affairs program that doesn't just talk about the issues, it fabricates them. Nothing is off limits--politics, business, culture, justice, science, religion--if it is relevant to Canadians, we'll find out the 'This' and the 'That' of the story.

Image is Digitally Manipulated

The image of the 'invisible art' featured in the prank article is a digitally manipulated version of a photograph by Adriano Castelli. The original, which shows the same gallery visitors admiring normal - and quite visible - exhibits at a gallery in Milan, can be seen on stock image site ShutterStock. The pranksters have digitally removed the exhibits in the original image so that visitors appear to be staring at blank walls.

Always Verify Before Sharing 'News' Stories

These days, many of us are somewhat nonplussed by what is sometimes palmed off as art. So, it is perhaps not so surprising that so many people fell for the prank.

But, as I've noted many times on these pages, it is increasingly important to verify any 'news' items that come your way before you share them.

Invisible Art Prank

© uatp12

Last updated: October 7, 2014
First published: October 7, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

New York artist creates 'art' that is invisible and collectors are paying millions
Invisible art: the gallery hoax that shows how much we hate the rich
About This is That
Adriano Castelli's Portfolio
Shutterstock - MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 16: People looking at Phil Stern photograhy exhibition