Sunday, January 24, 2010

Brand-New Old Masters - Fake Art, Real Money

"Forged Art As You've Never Seen It Before"
Sky News (January 23, 2010)

"A multimillion-pound collection of forged art seized by police has gone on public display for the first time.

"The exhibition, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, features more than 100 fake works from Lowry paintings to Barbara Hepworth sculptures.

"Experts say the collection, which also includes 'paintings' by Thomas Moran and graffiti artist Banksy, would be worth £4m if genuine.

"Many of the works are by one of most notorious forgers in British art history, Shaun Greenhalgh from Bolton.

"Greenhalgh was jailed for four years and eight months in 2007 after police discovered an astonishing cottage industry in his garden shed...."

"...'We hope that by highlighting some of the new techniques criminals use, we can educate people in what to look out for and encourage greater reporting of these crimes.'..."

It's one thing, to copy a painting or sculpture as an exercise, to study how the artist made the original, or for sale - as a copy.

It's something else to copy an original - and sell it as an original.

Apparently, folks aren't quite as careful about checking when they buy over the Internet. Hello? "I found it on the Web" is no guarantee of validity: in information or artwork.

I'm not insulting the Internet. I do most of my research online. Using pretty much the same verification techniques I learned, back in the days when scholars pored over dusty tomes.

No kidding, about the dust: some of those books hadn't been moved in a long time.

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