Art Authenticity
December 22, 2014 7:51 PM   Subscribe

Part 1: This Is Not a Vermeerâ„¢ "Can anyone own a masterpiece? Five very dissimilar people share a common desire: To own a Vermeer."

Uber for Art Forgeries - "So you want to own a masterpiece? It's easy! In part two in this series about artistic authenticity, we explore how to score that painting you have always wanted."

Forgeries Gone Wild! - "How widespread is art forgery? Experts say it's wildly rampant. Is it time to reconsider the economy of images?"

The End Of Authentication - "Woo-hoo! You just discovered a Vermeer in your aunts basement. But who will verify if it is real? Maybe no one."

The Artist, The Thief, The Forger and Her Lover - "How did the Mona Lisa become famous? The biggest art heist of all time connects the forger and the thief."

posted by the man of twists and turns (7 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Who among us does not own more Vermeers than one could shake a stick at? And I speak as someone who devotes at least 14 hours of the day to stick shaking.

I swear these things breed when my back is turned!
posted by fallingbadgers at 8:19 PM on December 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

You tha man! (of twists and turns). Wonderful series of art-icles.
posted by oluckyman at 8:21 PM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Longish read but thoroughly worth your time. Fantastic post.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:02 PM on December 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Yeah I knew this would involve Xiamen. But I think this is Japan's fault, not China's. Back during the bubble era, Japan couldn't pour money into public construction projects fast enough. Lots of public museums were built all over Japan. But then the bubble popped and there was no money to buy art to put in the museums. And despite huge tax incentives, they could not get the rich to take their blue chip art out of the vault to hang it in a museum, not even if the state paid for insurance and conservation. So they bought fake art.
This galls me to no end. People would rather see bad copies of famous old artworks, than good new work by unknown artists. They could have filled all the museums with artists who are dying to get people to see their work. But no, cheap Chinese fakes are what you get.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:26 PM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

This was fascinating! And with a complete rabbit hole of links in the article and article notes.
posted by carter at 1:58 AM on December 23, 2014

Also, Tom Keating (mentioned in passing in part 5) had a BBC series 'On Painters' that looked at the techniques of different artists.
posted by carter at 4:39 AM on December 23, 2014

And with a complete rabbit hole of links in the article and article notes.

One of the links was to the site of a guy who buys a Warhol -- that seems at least as real as any other Warhol out there -- but he can't get it authenticated. That was great as well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:41 AM on December 23, 2014

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