Faking Fine Art for Film

When The New York Times featured the work of Fanny Pereire ’82 in May, she summed up her role on film and tv in one sentence: “I create art collections for people who don’t exist.” Pereire is the curator for movies and TV shows, responsible for the artworks on sets. The New York Times wrote, “She dreams up what Midwestern housewives or New York City billionaires might hang on their walls and then clears the rights to use either real, existing works or, more often, to recreate them on set.” Pereire found her way into this incredibly specialized line of work building on her foundations as an intern at Christies. From there she worked her way into film and TV, helping to build scenes that are credible. “I get a script, I get a character, just like everyone else in the production team. The costume designer will come up with the costume; the production designer thinks about where would they live, what their office would look like. I put what they would have on their wall, and either it says something about who they are or what’s happening in the scene. I have to take all sorts of things in consideration: the period, what we’re trying to say, and the cost — I’m not going to put a million-dollar painting on the wall for somebody who makes $50,000 a year. I want it to be credible.”