LETTERS: When does success spell failure?

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The Independent Online
From Mr Eric Hebborn

Sir: In his review of Alice Beckett's Fakes: Forgery and the Art World ("The Art of Lying", 16 September), David Ekserdjiansays that I have been quoted as comparing myself with Michelangelo and Rembrandt, without bothering to say who quotes me, or if I compare myself favourably or otherwise. In response, allow me to quote from my autobiography, Drawn to Trouble: "I have never considered myself a misunderstood genius or for that matter a genius at all."

As for being a failed artist, I don't know what Mr Ekserdjian considers success, but an artist such as myself, who has won such prestigious prizes as the Royal Academy's silver medal and the Rome scholarship, has had innumerable one-man shows, and whose works are represented in some of the most important public and private collections in the world can hardly be considered a total failure.

Unfortunately, Mr Ekserdjian has adopted his slant from the book he was reviewing, where the author writes. "It seems to me Hebborn wrote his book in desperation for recognition." Well, Ms Beckett is entitled to her opinion, but like most of us she believe what she wants to believe. The fact remains that scarce as the supply of truth is, it yet far exceeds its demand.

Yours truly,

Eric Hebborn