Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge is a new Sky Arts
TV series, presented by Giles Coren and art historian Rose Balston, which will change the way that you look at art by replacing priceless masterpieces with fakes. It has been produced by IWC Media and GroupM Entertainment.
In summer 2016, Sky Arts switched priceless masterpieces for specially made copies at art galleries and museums around the UK. The British public were invited to see whether they could find the fakes among a group of original paintings hanging on the walls. Over a thousand people from across the country entered the competition, with just ten finalists selected to participate in the nail-biting series finale at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Now Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge will be broadcast on Sky Arts on Tuesdays, 8pm, from 28 March 2017. Each episode explores a different era of British Painting and gives insight into the genius of some of the UKs most exciting painters of their day through the eyes of the artist employed to copy their work for the exhibition. We also meet the members of the public who are trying their hands at detective work, with families and friends, experts and amateurs, artists and ordinary people all in competition and divided over their opinions.
This is the first Sky television series to be presented by Giles Coren, award-winning critic and columnist for The Times, following his debut on Sky Arts in an episode of My Failed Novel. His other broadcast appearances involved the hit BBC Back in Time for... series and the landmark Supersizers series with Sue Perkins. The series is the television debut for Rose Balston, an Edinburgh-educated art historian and writer who lectures for the V&A and founded her own company, Art History UK, to run bespoke guided tours of art and architecture both in Britain and abroad.
The first episode of Fake! takes us to Manchester Art Gallery where we meet the public trying uncover the copy of a Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece hidden amongst the collection, and discover the techniques used by the artist who has been employed to copy it. Along the way we learn more about this group of revolutionary young painters and gather some top tips on how to spot a fake. With family disputes and duped experts, the big reveal may well take you by surprise.
The first seven episodes will also feature:
· The Victorian Narrative Painting collection at Guildhall Art Gallery, London
· The Golden Age English Portraiture collection at Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, Wirral
· The Lowry and Valette collections at Manchester Art Gallery
· The British Landscape collection at National Museum Cardiff
· The Art of the Stuart Courts collection at Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
· The Animal and Sporting Art collection at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
The series finale will bring together the best art detectives from the series together at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to compete for a chance to win their own copy of a masterpiece to the overall winner.
Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, comments: This series will change the way you see art, which really does get more interesting the closer you look. Were thrilled by the response we had to the competition and are sure that Sky Arts viewers will enjoy trying to spot the fakes in the company of Rose and Giles as much as our contestants did. Viewers will also learn about the work of these great British Artists from the artists we commissioned to make the copies, but the answer is often not the one you might expect!