Anna Delvey is selling her art online... but would you want artwork by a scam artist hanging in your home?
Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin), has been a busy woman as of late. Shooting to public attention thanks to Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix show about her, Inventing Anna, the fake German heiress has spent the majority of this year in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody over in the US… but that’s not to say that she’s been sitting idle.
Quite the opposite in fact. From podcast appearances to starting Instagram bidding wars, Delvey has definitely been making the most of her newfound “fame”, and her latest project is yet more proof of that. Reentering the art world with an online collection of her designs.
In March, a group art show entitled “Free Anna Delvey” debuted in a Manhattan art gallery. Including pieces from 33 different artists, each one was inspired by Delvey. The show also featured five drawings by Delvey herself (recreations of pencil drawings she did while incarcerated).
According to The Cut, Delvey was supposedly unable to get the right size paper for the show in the detention centre. So, she came up with another plan and connected with Alfredo Martinez – an artist who served time in prison for his forged Jean-Michel Basquiat drawings – who reproduced her original pieces… which were priced at $10,000.
Encouraged by the show’s success, Page Six then reported that Delvey would be launching her own solo show called “Allegedly”. Unlike the group show, the solo show would take the form of a “guest-list focused” event with “celebrity clientele”. Sounds about right.
“This is a collection of sketches I’ve created while in ICE Orange County detention,” Delvey explained in a statement to Page Six. “I wanted to capture some of the moments of the past years, both never-seen-before and iconic, using the limited tools I have at my disposal. Some of the pieces are straightforward, others are more abstract and will be unique in meaning and appearance to the observer.”
“I studied fashion illustration at Parsons in Paris, but haven’t sketched since and only again now in this upstate NY prison,” Delvey continued. “Long story – don’t ask me why. You’ve heard so many voices already, but this is the beginning of me telling my story, my narrative, from my perspective.”
Set in a New York City nightclub, there was a “long-haired DJ blasting radio rap from the corner”, a drag performer who “broke into feverish dance” and yelled quotes from Inventing Anna, and several Anna-inspired cocktails (the signature drink of the night was reportedly called “Anna on ICE”).
Delvey herself wasn’t present, obviously (though she did appear via video chat at one point)… and neither was her art, at first. Seems like yet another scam, don’t it? Well, not so. According to Art Net, Delvey’s latest collection made quite the entrance and debut with thanks to a makeshift catwalk down which “white-gloved models strode holding framed drawings”. Each one wore Versace sunglasses over stocking-covered heads.
The drawings were originally supposed to be priced between $10,000 to $15,000 each, but attendees soon learned that the 21-piece collection would only be available to buy as a complete series… for $500,000. QR codes advised potential buyers that Founders Art Club (the advisory firm in charge of Delvey’s artwork) would be “selling up to 48% ownership in the Anna Delvey ‘Allegedly’ Original Collection to strategic investors”. Organiser of the event, Chris Martine, did not respond to emails asking whether any of the artworks were sold during the night.
Lithograph prints of Delvey’s sketches are now on sale online via the Founders Art Club shop. There are four pieces up on the website so far, available at a tiered system starting at $250.
Her plans to establish the Anna Delvey Foundation may have been thwarted once people discovered she was a con artist, but Delvey is confident that her vision will be realised, “just not in the same form”.