If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Bullet Shih Nov, 2012 0
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The New York Times has an interesting piece regarding the nine lives of art forgeries stating that most art forgeries even after being outed as such, are often quietly resold to another unsuspecting buyer as an original.  The Times writes,

Jack Cowart, executive director of the Lichtenstein Foundation, said that during the years that it authenticated works by Roy Lichtenstein, he regularly noticed that collectors informed that they had a fake would later quietly sell it as genuine. “And then we’d find somebody else would send the same work to us six months later” asking for it to be authenticated, he said.

In essence, the article states that over the years even the forgeries seem to acquire a provenance with many individual fake paintings revisiting authenticating boards and experts on seven year cycles.  Of course one solution would be to follow in the footsteps of the super strict French luxury brands such as Hermes which will immediately destroy any fake merchandise sent in for authentication or repair.  However, most experts agree that the cost of getting an attribution wrong and destroying a genuine artwork is too high leaving the better option of merely stamping or labeling the object as fake.  As long as the art market continues to command huge sums of money, these cat and mouse games are certain to persist.

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