Monday, March 7, 2016

Modern Art Fraud

     The March 7 edition of Time magazine has an interesting article on The Rise of Modern Fraud in the Art World - by Belinda Luscombe. Apparently, the rich see great work by the right artists as a surefire investment. The money involved brings out the fraud artists. One Swiss lab estimates the 50% of the works on the market today are forged.  Older works can be tested -one forgery was found when titanium white, which wasn't available before 1921, was found in the painting. Another when pencil marks, indicating the tracing,  were discerned below the signature. Robert Genn used to say that people would know which of his paintings were painted when by the dog hairs in it, but apparently one forger was betrayed by the number of cat hairs in the paintings.  However, modern artists are easier to forge because it is easier to find pigments, brushes and materials true to the era. Not only dealers, but even family members are no longer willing to authenticate works that come to the market. Due diligence alone won't be enough.  Apparently, some collectors are now only buying directly from the artists. They won't necessarily be of the same value, but at least the buyers know what they are getting.  Now there is a novel idea! ( and DoorsOpen will be June 4th and 5th this year)
     The Seated Figure above, turns her back on the whole subject.  She has been signed, sold and gone on to a good home.

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