Anna Delvey's art is another scam

Words by
Lee Cassanell

19th March 2022

A new exhibition in New York brings fake Basquiats and the ‘Soho Scammer’ together. 



The subject of Netflix’s hit show ‘Inventing Anna’, has teamed up with a convicted art forger for a pop-up exhibition on New York’s Lower East Side. 

Russian born Anna ‘Delvey’ Sorkin, conned NYC high society, restaurants, hotels and several banks out of thousands of dollars claiming she was a German heiress worth $60 million dollars. 

In 2019 Sorkin was convicted of larceny and sentenced to four years in prison but was released in 2021.

The exhibition, titled ‘Free Anna Delvey’, is curated by artists Julia Morrison and Alfredo Martinez. Martinez was arrested in 2002 for selling fake drawings by Jean-Micheal Basquiat and sentenced to 21 months.

Featuring five drawings by Delvey herself, depicting her sporting a a pair of shades in the prison yard getting a sun tan and wearing Alexander Wang whilst asking people to send Bitcoins to her prison bank account. 

Sorkin herself may never attend the exhibition. Six weeks after her release on parole in 2021, she was taken back into custody by Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) for overstaying her visa. Martinez said he and Morrison plan to contribute 25% of proceeds from sales directly to Sorokin to support her legal case.

“We want to show she has grassroots support from the art world,” said Martinez, noting that women artists were particularly enthusiastic about participating in the show. “Especially in the art community, women completely see what’s going on. A lot of people, especially the women, feel like the only way to get ahead is to cheat.”

The Free Anna Delvey Exhibition is being held at 176 Delancey Street, Manhattan, until 24 March 2022.