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18.08.2011

 

Real Fake Art by Michael Wolf - on originality and its value on the art market

Young Chinese men and women present oil paintings of American and European artists from various ages against the backdrop of typical Chinese-urban settings.

Including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, even photographers such as Lee Friedlander, William Eggleston, Bernd and Hilla Becher or August Sander. Now what is the point of that you may be asking yourselves?

Truth be told, we are witnessing the visualisation of a multi-million Dollar industry – the manufacturing of copies of famous pieces of art which are sold for next to nothing around the world.

Van Gogh: $ 75, Andy Warhol: $ 45, Ed Ruscha: $ 50. The majority of the hand-painted copies come from China and the buyers all hail from the USA or Europe, the origins of the unaffordable masterpieces.

Michael Wolf has photographed the Chinese copy artists and far from focusing on the superficial comic effect, he established relationships between the visual motifs, the urban environment and the portrait artist in his or her pictures.

The list of questions that come to mind is long: Did Rubens and Rembrandt really paint all their works themselves? Are copies being made for the sole purpose of selling them to collectors under the pretence of their alleged originality?

Who buys these copies? Why are the Chinese supplying this market? What are the repercussions for other industries? What marks the value of an original? Is the era of the original coming to an end?

These and other questions are the subject of Boris von Brauchitsch’s elaborate essay that accompanies the pictures series, published by Peperoni Books, Berlin.

Hannes Wanderer founded the publishing house in 2004. Peperoni Books regularly publishes sophisticated picture books, the focus of which is contemporary photography.


Michael Wolf
Real Fake Art
Essay by Boris von Brauchitsch
112 Pages
53 Colour pictures
25 x 32 cm
Hardcover
English
ISBN 978-3-941825-20-8
EUR 40

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf

REAL FAKE ART by Michael Wolf