17 December, 2005

How to Make a Fake

Buy a mid-level Gauguin. Duplicate it. Slap the original papers on the copy. Sell both paintings to gullible collectors, while the art world looks the other way.

from newyorkmag

"To this day, the FBI agents do not know who actually painted the forgeries. Copying of a painting is itself not illegal; it’s only when you try to sell it as authentic that it becomes fraud. Some experts say the painter is unlikely to have been American, because American art schools now rarely teach traditional oil technique. They suggest that a more likely place is China, which is flush with ultracheap labor. “The Chinese have a lot of people doing it,” says Denis Dutton, an art expert and professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Given the high quality of the Gauguin copy she saw, the Wildenstein Institute’s Sylvie Crussard thinks the painter must have been young and vigorous. “You can’t be old,” she says, “to do that.”"

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