Showing posts with label forgery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label forgery. Show all posts

Monday, June 30, 2008

art & quality 14: personal fabricator 2 (digital fabrication)

to continue with this line of thinking, a question relevant to the quality of an art work also seems: how difficult is it to make such an art work?

with nanomachinery, the time is nearing where we will be able to manufacture many things from a digital blueprint.

consider a van gogh. the oil paint has a certain age, the brush strokes are (say) thick and impasto-style. it is as much a 3dimensional work as a twodimensional one. which is part of the reason why photographic reproductions don't work, and why it is hard to forge a van gogh.

but now suppose we can create a nanomachinery-driven 3d copier, which replicates paintings down to the very essence of a brushstroke, down to the chemical components, say molecule by molecule (or very close).

suddenly, everyone can have a van gogh in her/his room IF the museum would allow the nanomachinery-driven blueprinting, and subsequent distribution. everyone can have brancusi's sleeping muse, in any wanted material too.

think about it.

what would it mean for art & quality? how would it change our perspective of forgery? and what does that say about the validity of our current perspective?

quality & art 13: forgery 3: andy warhol

obviously, other people are thinking on the same issues. i came across edward winkleman's blog (the posting of thursday 26 june 2008, i cannot link to it directly), where he discusses a current forgery issue which tallies with my previous post.

it concerns works by -or not by- andy warhol, such as the work below:

andy warhol? 315 johns

andy warhol?, 315 johns

the issue is also discussed in the new york times of 26 june 2008.

the interesting thing these articles show is that intrinsic value of an art work seems to be considered completely derivational to who made it, generally without any questioning whatsoever as to whether this is a sound principle. by contrast winkleman runs an open thread on what makes an art work `good', and he is clearly thinking about art & quality somewhere along the same lines as the thread art & quality of this blog (he doesn't make a pagerank comparison though, which i believe to be a key issue).

would you -i mean seriously, would you really- believe there is such a thing as the andy warhol art authentication board? it would lead one to not ever take the modern art world seriously again. perhaps unless an art work strikes you as inescapable, unless you are rooted to the ground, or you find yourself coming back to an art work either physically or in your mind over and over again.

i doubt that art works made by artists who produce works by the dozen a day will fall in the above category.

when an artist doesn't produce works as if every scribble, every scrap, every idea, every execution is brilliant deep art - in other words when an artist takes time, effort, mistakes, reworking etc. before releasing art to the world, then i think there will be much less need for an authentication board.

i have seen exhibitions of joseph beuys for instance, serious exhibitions mind you, where it seemed that the curators thought that every scrap of paper that the good man ever touched was transformed into breathtaking mindboggling art.

all the more is the pity, because in my eyes beuys was a very talented draughtsman...but how to find these wonderful drawings amidst all the nonsense? how difficult to fake/forge a beuys? well that depends on the work, but in general it should be extremely easy. just take any oily substance (wax, linseed oil, cooking oil, motor oil) smear it on an envelope, add some pencil, maybe a little ink/paint and you are done. the less you think about it, the more convincing. if you want to do a good job, study beuys' handwriting carefully, and add some mystifying terms. in german.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

quality & art 12: forgery 2

returning to `quality and art', although really this theme also underlies all the previous posts, i would like to add some extra background to the post on anonymous art and forgeries. [where anonymized art as well as forgeries are presented as methods to prick through the balloon of art legitimization. a balloon which floats most of the contemporary art scene. don't be impressed by it, is what i'm saying.]

so, forgeries. what do they have to do with quality?

suppose i would brilliantly forge a scarlatti sonata. [you should read this, to be honest about my musical ablities, as: suppose i COULD forge a scarlatti sonata ;-)]. i would claim i was cleaning some attic, conveniently dating back to the 18th century, when suddenly my eye fell upon...etc.

experts go wild. in all the texts 555 has to be replaced by 556. special performances are given all over the world. reviews are raving.

then, i'm found out. boohoo. BUT does it make the music any less beautiful? is its QUALITY any less for having been found out as a forgery?

well, in the visual arts this is not a question. so-called experts even frown upon this question. a forgery of a matisse, when found out, will be removed from the museum's exhibition. how hard is it to forge a matisse? well, to be honest, i don't think that should be too difficult.

henri matisse, icarus

henri matisse, icarus

in fact i have sold a number of...oh. perhaps i should wait a little with this revelation, since the centre pompidou is already in trouble with another suspected forgery, see below.

ralf kwaaknijd, paradise snake

ralf kwaaknijd, paradise snake / hidden in plain sight xxxiv, 2005, centre pompidou paris

rather exact replicas of this work from controversial dutch visual artist ralf kwaaknijd have been acquired by a number of other museums of modern art, raising serious questions as to its authenticity. [ralf kwaaknijd is preparing a statement on the issue, it is said. more work by kwaaknijd later.].

Saturday, May 31, 2008

quality and art legitimization: anonymous art

mare de deu amb el nen, anonymous artist (detail)
anonymous artist, mare de déu amb el nen

anonymous art is exempt from artist legitimization. it speaks for itself mostly in terms of what i would perceive as quality. [but see the previous posts on quality & pirsig]

as promised in the previous post, i see 2 obvious ways to prick through the excesses of art & artist legitimization which seem so abundant in the current art `scene'.

the first way is to take an artwork, and present it stripped of any additional information such as who made it, when was it made, what is the price etc. then let people take a shot at valuating the art work.

the second way is to forge a work, supposedly by a well-known `master' artist. and then again let people take a shot at valuating the work.

both ways have been done, with interesting results (works by chimpanzees hailed as profound, forgeries disputed until the forger gave demonstrations...)

i get the impression that modern artists are marketed like brand names. the artist's name comes first, then the work. this influences what type of art is being made. if art were to be presented anonymously, i believe we would get other art works. better art works? i don't know. what is better? it's an even more difficult question than `what is good?'.

but the purpose of this post is mostly to express why an artist need not worry about legitimization, if (s)he knows her/his `stuff'.

if you know your stuff, the inner qualities are bound to come out. it may take a while, a long while sometimes, but i do believe that the appreciation of inner quality is something sufficiently shared by people to allow recognition in the end.

what remains for the artist to be done? deepening inspiration, approach, technique, ambition maybe - ambition in the expressive sense i would say, but perhaps ambition in the social sense is a good motivator too. personally i get very tired of all the competition mechanisms that modern society seems to embrace with such abandon and without much reflection. but you reader will have guessed as much if you read more than one of these `quality & art' posts.

co ngo, untitled
co ngo, untitled