Art is in the eye of the living.
After years of drug abuse, and a recent suicide attempt, Nelson has finally put the pieces of his life back together. Deeply in debt, Nelson is at his first art exhibit in nearly five years. Selling off his own personal collection, hoping it will inspire him to be able to start painting once again. But the evening does not go as planned as Nelson Turner, one of the most popular, world-renowned artists ever, is kidnapped backstage before toasting the opening of his biggest exhibit ever. A body double is waiting in the wings. He gets a signal and walks out to the cheers of the crowd as the real Nelson Turner is placed in the back of a limo and driven away, unconscious. Later, Nelson is told he’s been commissioned to paint fifty original pieces in exchange for his dear mother’s life. She’s his whole world, and he will do anything to keep her safe.
Just before the Nelson double goes on stage, Nelson’s best friend, Charles, runs up to him, breaking past security, saying he forgot his notes at their table. The crowd is cheering, anxiously waiting for their esteemed host. The double takes the paper and quickly turns away without acknowledging him. But Charles noticed something. His friend’s face looked…wrong. His eyes, too. Something was different about his eyes. He watches, bewildered, as his friend walks out on stage. The room is dark. There’s a lone table at the front of the stage covered with a pink tablecloth. A single glass of wine at its center. His instructions are to walk to the table while the lights are low, then lift the glass into the air to give his toast. The imposter does all of this perfectly, then a spotlight turns on. The crowd goes wild at the sight of Nelson Turner holding up a glass. Then a shot rings out. Nelson’s double falls to the stage floor clutching his chest, blood seeping through his fingers. Charles rushes the stage to help his friend. He gets blood on his hands before being pulled off by several security guards who were curiously close by. A few minutes later, distraught, Charles wipes the tears from his face getting blood in his mouth. He’s sickened, but then realizes something. The “blood” tastes like chocolate syrup. Later that night, Charles calls one of his close companions, William Carter, one of the top fraud investigators in the country. Charles tells him what happened. They plan on meeting the next morning. Carter waits at the coffee shop for over an hour. Charles doesn’t show, and isn’t answering his phone. He makes a few calls and starts to look into the shooting. Later that day, he goes to Charles’s apartment, but it’s completely empty. A for rent sign in the window. He soon discovers that all evidence of Charles’s life has been erased. He starts investigating in earnest, and survives several attempts on his life. Back at the warehouse, Nelson completes his first painting. He demands to know what’s going on, but a video of his mother going about her day is all he needs to comply. Nelson starts on the second “commissioned” piece. Carter finds an important clue that convinces him he’s on the right track. He tells Nelson’s agent, and lover, Renee, what he’s found. Renee is shocked and wants to call the police right then and there, but Carter calms him, saying they need proof first. And he knows where to get it. He says he’ll be in touch and hangs up. Meanwhile, Nelson’s art is skyrocketing in value. His partner, Renee, is sole heir to all of the proceeds. Carter returns home and is arrested and fired from his job after drugs are planted at his house. He gets out on bail and narrowly escapes being killed.
Carter continues the investigation on his own and discovers the location of the warehouse. He goes there, but it’s been abandoned. Looking through the empty space he finds something in the corner of the expansive room, etched into the concrete floor. Nelson’s initials. And yesterday’s date. He was there! Nelson follows another clue and finds the new location where Nelson is being held and breaks him out. With the help of a random taxi driver they make a quick exit. They’re being followed by a black SUV, but the taxi driver’s skills keep them safe while sending the car behind them spinning out of control. Nelson and Carter arrive at his own memorial service exposing Nelson’s lover as the culprit behind the entire thing. Renee is immediately arrested while millions of people watch online. When the scandal is revealed, the painting Nelson finished while being held prisoner is sold for twenty five million dollars.