When William Boyd published his biography of New York modern artist Nat Tate, a huge reception of critics and artists arrived for the launch party, hosted by David Bowie, to toast the late artist's life. Little did they know that the painter Nat Tate, a depressive genius who burned almost all his output before his suicide, never existed. The book was a hoax, and the art world had fallen for it.
Nat Tate is a work of art unto itself-an investigation of the blurry line between the invented and the authentic, and a thoughtful tour through the spirited and occasionally ludicrous American art scene of the 1950s.
William Boyd is the author of nine novels, including A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice-Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize and shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year Award.
Praise for Nat Tate:
"William Boyd's description of Tate's working procedure is so vivid that it convinces me that the small oil I picked up on Prince Street, New York, in the late '60s must indeed be one of the lost Third Panel Triptychs. The great sadness of this quiet and moving monograph is that the artist's most profound dread-that God will make you an artist but only a mediocre artist-did not in retrospect apply to Nat Tate."-David Bowie
"A moving account of an artist too well understood by his time."-Gore Vidal