With the advent of digitalization and technology, the ways to con man have also increased. Some say it right that every boon is actually a boon in disguise. The same applies to the art world. if you are planning to buy contemporary paintings online then you need to keep a few things in mind.
Imitating art is not a crime. It is a legal act practiced with due diligence and with the express permission of the artists in a way that doesn’t harm them professionally. The main purpose behind that is to promote the discipline of art. but, passing off a fake as an original with a criminal intention to gain wrongfully from the transaction is an act of fraud.
There are many ways in which the deceit is carried out. The first one is when an artist copies a piece of art made by some other artist with or without his permission and later pass them off as original. The second category includes people who were themselves lured into buying some fake art and they chose not to care and pass them off as originals. The third category takes advantage of the buyer’s naiveness and ignorance and sells them something different under the impression of the other. For example, suppose a seller sells a piece of antique that is said to be excavated from the casket in which king Tut was mummified but actually that antique was buried with him in that chamber and not his casket.
So here are some tips to overcome the fear of being conned and go find yourself a piece of art that you have been dreaming of from so long-
- Check the state in which the painting or sculpture was held.
If the sate in which the artwork is not good then it may have affected the longevity of the material from which it has been made. There are many techniques through which curators and conservatives successfully able to save the artwork form natural degeneration. Sometimes restoration of the work is done to preserve it.
These things may fool the eye of a layman but not that of an experienced art curator. You may also look out for marks that may have developed along the edges of the painting because of the use of non-archiving material. This may result in severe discoloration. Adding grooved cardboard to increase the rigidity and strength in an older painting leaves it with paper burns which culminate into the painting having dark stains all over it. Varnish applied to oil paintings become yellowish with the passage of time.
Craquelure is developing fine cracks that look like a spider web into the color of a painting. this may lead to caking and flaking of the painting. Make sure that paint doesn’t look as if it is about to fall. Otherwise, you need to call in a professional.
- You need to dig deeper than you think!
If you have an object and you can attribute it to something or someone, try to find about the provenance by looking into the factory where it was made or artist who has the copyright for the design. Generally, when decorative art pieces are made, they manufactured in bulk. If you find a piece that is similar to other ones made by a known manufacturer or artist, start making a list that distinguished them and features that they have in common. Look out for hallmarks that may have been put there for establishing the identity of the article. You may also research the website or brochure or an art library’s catalogs for these kinds of marks for that matter.
You may also check online databases of research institutes, galleries, auction houses, exhibitions, art events, art schools, etc. to find more information about the style that has been adopted in the work. if you are not sure what you are looking for, in case names of two artists concide, check the style of signature they have put across their works and compare them to find which one of them you possess. The purpose of the research or investigation is to unearth the truth.
If you can’t ascribe the artwork to anyone, try looking out for articles produced in a specific time period, the type of article, the material which is used to make it, etc. make comprehensive and generalized research to narrow down the identity.
- Don’t pay more!
Narrowing down the identity of the artist and the provenance of the artwork means that you have put all the pieces of the puzzle together but one- The correct price. Now, you need to investigate about the worth of the article by rummaging through databases of auction houses or any other place that keeps tabs of their sales. It is not necessary that a piece is valuable if the previous owner brought it for a fortune. Everything looses shine as the tides of time pass.
Follow these steps and there is no chance that you become a victim of art fraud.