Anna Delvey launches Art career with convicted Basquiat forger


words by: Sahar Khraibani
Apr 17, 2022

Anna Delvey has begun her career as a fine artist by working with a convicted Basquiat forger. The fake German heiress is selling jail sketches for $10,000. Since being charged with fraud, theft, and grand larceny in 2017, socialite scammer Anna Delvey (born Sorokin) has spent 4 years in a New York correctional facility, followed by nearly a year in an ICE detention center—where she was detained just weeks after her release—and now awaits the decision of immigration officials on whether or not she will be deported back to Germany.


Delvey gave us snippets of her life behind cells during the duration of her term, including her quest to obtain a Hermès blanket and her experience with coronavirus. In her 2020 blog-slash-prison diary, she said, “Being in prison mostly feels like extended quarantining, only with a bunch of murderers, and we still can get our hair done.” Delvey shares.


During quarantine, Delvey, like many of us, explored her passion for visual art through autobiographical sketches. Some depicted her requesting Bitcoin via the inmate payment platform JPay, or lounging around the prison grounds in contraband Miu Miu shades.


As part of her latest ploy to profit from her newfound fame, Delvey is attempting to cash in on her jail doodles. She’s also secured an exhibition space, presenting 5 artworks at a pop-up in New York’s Lower East Side with other pieces dedicated to the “SoHo scammer,” which is predictable given her art world antihero status and subsequent Netflix stardom.


Julia Morrison and Alfredo Martinez created the Free Anna Delvey exhibition, which ran from March 17 to March 24. Martinez served 2 years in prison after being caught selling forged Jean-Michel Basquiat drawings two decades ago, and he apparently fell for Delvey’s designs after seeing them on Instagram, so she’s in good company.


Martinez manually enlarged Delvey’s drawings for the display, and even colored one illustration with watercolors, due to the limitations on her materials in prison, which didn’t include large-format paper.


Delvey couldn’t attend the opening because she was presumably still in immigration limbo, but she did drop in for an awkward talk over the telephone, which reportedly cost $1,000 to set up. “Thank you so much, guys, for all of your support,” she says in one of the videos, “and I hope you’re enjoying the night.” “I can’t wait to see all of the pictures.”


According to Chris Martine, who handles her art sales, the false heiress slash rising artist is currently arranging her debut solo show following the “Free Anna Delvey” exhibition. “The solo show will be more guest list focused with a celebrity clientele as opposed to the grittier group show,” Martine tells Page Six. We’ll be looking forward to that one.


ICYMI: Here’s where to buy art that wasn’t designed by fake heiress criminals.


Photo via Instagram/@theannadelvey