Henry Classico, the esteemed New York art dealer, crosses the line when his genuine love of art is co-opted by greed. Having squandered much of the capital from his private equity art fund, the sub prime mortgage meltdown hits and threatens to bury him. After selling a rare Picasso twice, his only redress takes him to the exotic underbelly of the Beijing art scene to commission the world’s best forger. Unfortunately, he double-crosses the Chinese Mafia kingpin whose tentacles reach all the way to New York.
Alouisha Jones first met Henry Classico at her Yale MFA vernissage,
where he was trolling for his latest art find. Instead of a show at his gallery,
he offers her a job as his sentry-receptionist. Reluctantly, the former scholarship student accepts and is quickly seduced by her boss’s glamorous, bling-enshrined world.
Soon, her innocence and career are on a dangerous collision course with the art establishment with whom she must curry favor. Unwittingly caught in Classico’s subterfuge, she acquires the power to take down the entire global art market. She is fraught with indecision—do the right thing and be vilified by the art world; do nothing and be guilty of collusion. Tomorrow, her name will appear on the front page of every newspaper—but not to applaud her life’s work.
If you ever wanted to know the events lurking behind a black on black painting that sells for tens of millions, Rochelle Ohrstrom’s debut novel scrapes away the veneer of art-speak gloss and reveals the grit and dirt rabbit-glued between the stretchers.