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Free Anna Delvey art exhibition
Free Anna Delvey art exhibitionVia Instagram/@theannadelvey

Anna Delvey launches her fine art career with a convicted Basquiat forger

The fake heiress is set to stage her debut solo exhibition, hawking prison sketches for $10,000 a piece

Since she was charged with fraud, theft, and grand larceny in 2017, socialite scammer Anna Delvey (née Sorokin) has spent four years in a New York correctional facility, followed by almost a year in an ICE detention centre, where she was detained just weeks after her release, and awaits immigration officials’ verdict on deporting her back to Germany.

Over the course of her sentence, Delvey offered us glimpses of her life behind bars, including her struggle to get her hands on an Hermès blanket, and the effects of coronavirus. “Being in prison mostly feels like extended quarantining,” she wrote in her 2020 blog-slash-prison diary. “Only with a bunch of murderers, and we still can get our hair done.”

Like many of us, Delvey also explored her passion for visual art during coronavirus quarantine, via autobiographical sketches that see her requesting bitcoin over the inmate payment platform JPay (dressed in prison socks and Agent Provocateur, no less), or lounging around the prison grounds in contraband Miu Miu shades.

Unsurprisingly, Delvey is now looking to cash in on her prison sketches, as part of her latest scheme to profit from her newfound notoriety. Also unsurprisingly – given her art world antihero status and subsequent Netflix fame – she’s already found an exhibition space, showing five artworks at a pop-up on New York’s Lower East Side, alongside other pieces dedicated to the “Soho scammer”.

Running from March 17 to March 24, the Free Anna Delvey exhibition is curated by artists Julia Morrison and Alfredo Martinez. Martinez himself spent two years in prison two decades earlier after he was caught selling forged Jean-Michel Basquiat drawings, and apparently fell for Delvey’s sketches when he saw them on Instagram, so she’s in good company.

Given the restrictions on Delvey’s materials in prison – which didn’t include large-format paper – Martinez personally enlarged her drawings for the show, and even coloured one illustration with watercolours. Judging by videos posted to Delvey’s Instagram (see below), the show also included live music, while several attendees chanted: “Free Anna Delvey.” Other bemused onlookers claimed: “It’s a cult.”

Presumably still stuck in immigration limbo, Delvey herself couldn’t grace the opening in one of her luxury lewks, but did drop in for an awkward conversation over speakerphone, which apparently cost $1,000 to set up. “Thank you so much, guys, for all of your support, and I hope you’re enjoying the night,” she drawls in one of the videos. “I can’t wait to see all of the pictures.”

Following the Free Anna Delvey exhibition, the fake heiress (sorry, rising artist) is now planning her debut solo show, according to Chris Martine, who is handling the sales of her art. “The solo show will be more guest list focused with a celebrity clientele as opposed to the grittier group show,” Martine tells Page Six. Could we see her podcasting pal Julia Fox make an appearance? Either way, her original art will reportedly be priced at around $10,000 – that’s if you trust her with your bank details.