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Designer: Ben Henley
Players: 9-21
Stuff required: A non-representational artwork OR artist; a collection of craft materials and assorted random junk; screens; caption cards; pens; a box for each team; Monopoly money; gavel
Crew required: One.
Preparation: 20 minutes.
Time required: An hour.
Place required: Ideally somewhere with at least two separate rooms
Activities: Art, bluffing, bidding
This is an untested game. Its rules are written, but it hasn't been tested out yet.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

Teams of players make fake artworks. The fakes are then auctioned along with a genuine work of art. The aim of the game is to buy the real artwork.


Buy or commission a genuine work of art by an art student or professional artist. It should be non-representational and must look like it could have been assembled in half an hour or so. It must be relatively easy to transport in a box - no huge installations. Have the artist fill in an explanatory caption card, in the same prose style as the captions in the best galleries.


Find a friendly artist or artists.

The Fakery

Divide the players into 3-7 teams of 3+ people.

Each team must create a fake work of modern art, keeping their work hidden from the other teams. If using live artist(s), the artist(s) create a genuine work of modern art at the same time.

Give each team some basic craft materials like card, balsa wood, craft knives, paint, glue, pipe cleaners plus a load of random bric-a-brac which they can use as they wish to make their 'artwork'.

Tell each team the title of the piece they are going to make. Remind them it must fit in the box provided.

Provide screens/windbreaks or separate rooms so that other teams can't see their work. Any team attempting to peek at another team's piece should be disqualified.

When the artwork is completed, each team must then fill in a preprinted explanatory caption card giving the title of the piece and explaining its deeper meaning.

The Auction

The teams box up their works of art and take them to the auction room. While the works and captions are being set up, the players should leave the room to mingle and drink wine and exchange art world gossip. Serve canapes if possible.

Let the teams examine all the artworks and captions for ten minutes or so.

Give each team the same sum of Monopoly money, and tell them that they must try to buy the 'genuine' artwork (either the pre-bought one, or the one made by the real artist(s).

Auction off all the lots in a random order.

The team that buys the real artwork wins. The prize is that they get to keep the genuine artwork. All teams keep whichever pieces they bought.