Intrinsic value of forgeries

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Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 10:46 am
Does an authentic Van Gogh have more intrinsic value than a forgery that doesn't look significantly different?

And if not (which is what I think) why does our current culture value them way more?
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 12:19 pm
@Jebediah,
It's all in your mind, it's about hysteria, group think ..and idiocy.

In countless experiments, snobs enjoy cheap stuff and poor quality stuff, only because through suggestion and group think, that it is "of superior quality", when it's actually piss poor quality.

Ie, in the 80'ies Lacoste (cloth with a crock as logo) many snobs would have that brand, only because of that logo, yet the quality was piss poor.

Same goes for anything else, food, wine, cigarets, drinks ..etc..etc.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 02:29 pm
@Jebediah,
Yes, I agree Hex. We have the same phenomena in many areas.

I think my phrasing it in terms of intrinsic value was a mistake though. I mean, what's the intrinsic value of paper money, or of something that has great sentimental value.

But, people treat authentic paintings as if they have great intrinsic value--much greater than insignificantly different looking forgeries. I can't see that as being other than foolishness. Paintings should derive their value from how they look. The added value of a name and reputation is a twisted kind of conspicuous consumption--the paintings are used as social stepping stones. But that's a pervasive problem.

Anyway, I was reading the wiki on forgeries and came across some interesting and some amusing tidbits:

Quote:
During the classical period art was generally created for historical reference, religious inspiration, or simply aesthetic enjoyment. The identity of the artist was often of little importance to the buyer.
Notice how differently they treated art back then...

Quote:
Following the Renaissance, a redistribution of the world's wealth created a fierce demand for art by a newly prosperous middle class. Near the end of the 14th century, Roman statues were unearthed in Italy, intensifying the populace's interest in antiquities, and leading to sharp increases in the value of these objects. This upsurge soon extended to contemporary and recently deceased artists. Art had become a commercial commodity, and the monetary value of the artwork came to depend on the identity of the artist.
I don't know how accurate the historical details are. But it seems clear that at some point, artworks became trophy items.

Quote:
Forgeries painted by the late Elmyr de Hory, featured in the film F for Fake directed by Orson Welles, have become so valuable that forged de Horys have appeared on the market.
And this is just funny Laughing
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 04:28 pm
@Jebediah,
It's very simple.

Why is an original more highly regarded than a forgery? Because specially with painting, both it's style of paintint for some paintings is pioneering such as Micheangelo and Sixteen Chapel was just unpreceeded, and specially good light was precious, as the sun sets fast and lights fades ..no good light ..no good painting.

..to make a forgery is very easy, you don't have to "catch the light" as it is already predefined in the original, you don' thave to fiddle with objects you paint, how they move around or be patient to catch the right mimic ..etc.

That's why this hysteria about original paintings.

Artists ..even the greatests artists often died poor and forgotten, the arrogance towards their human value didn't exist, they had the same value as a fly you squish. Often the artists had to find a wealthy noble whom they could beg and plea with to live out their profession.

Many anal fixated people often wants prestige at any cost, and will gladly buy a forgery, as the audience often doesn't know the difference.
 
Huxley
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 03:35 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;173823 wrote:
Does an authentic Van Gogh have more intrinsic value than a forgery that doesn't look significantly different?


I think it does.

First, the painting itself is well regarded: This is why we reprint the painting and teach about the painting in art classes.

Positing additional value to the original explains why we preserve the original painting in a museum. It's not about consumerism as these paintings are kept in museums for public observance. It's just cool to see the actual painting that Van Gogh (or whoever your favorite artist is) painted. I would also say that there is value in preserving historical reference material.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 03:54 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;173823 wrote:
Does an authentic Van Gogh have more intrinsic value than a forgery that doesn't look significantly different?

And if not (which is what I think) why does our current culture value them way more?


I've thought about this myself. Let's make it more distinct and say that we have an exact copy, except that we know which one is the copy and which the experiment.

Art seems to play a sort of religious role in some cases. I work at a museum. If religion is now a crude or taboo topic, one can flaunt one's soul by mentioning the originals one owns or has at least seen. Now I do love a good painting, but indeed it's the appearance that matters. If we could make 10000 exact copies of all great paintings, this would be great. And wouldn't most of the painters be pleased, if they were alive to see it?

I like to think that artists want to share beauty, even if they also need money. Of course a way to generate exact copies would mean they could sell more, even if human vanity would offer less for something that isn't one of a kind. Aesthetic greed?
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 04:17 pm
@Reconstructo,
Huxley;174355 wrote:
I think it does.

First, the painting itself is well regarded: This is why we reprint the painting and teach about the painting in art classes.

Positing additional value to the original explains why we preserve the original painting in a museum. It's not about consumerism as these paintings are kept in museums for public observance. It's just cool to see the actual painting that Van Gogh (or whoever your favorite artist is) painted. I would also say that there is value in preserving historical reference material.


Hmm, but people buy them for 100's of millions of dollars. Why do we care about seeing the original rather than the replica? A superstitious fear that it isn't the "real" thing? And in other times, they did not place such a value on it. Art work wasn't signed, or it was but the apprentices did much of the actual painting.

Reconstructo;174362 wrote:
I've thought about this myself. Let's make it more distinct and say that we have an exact copy, except that we know which one is the copy and which the experiment.

Art seems to play a sort of religious role in some cases. I work at a museum. If religion is now a crude or taboo topic, one can flaunt one's soul by mentioning the originals one owns or has at least seen. Now I do love a good painting, but indeed it's the appearance that matters. If we could make 10000 exact copies of all great paintings, this would be great. And wouldn't most of the painters be pleased, if they were alive to see it?

I like to think that artists want to share beauty, even if they also need money. Of course a way to generate exact copies would mean they could sell more, even if human vanity would offer less for something that isn't one of a kind. Aesthetic greed?


Yes, exactly. To me the value of the painting comes from the experience of viewing it. I think to truly appreciate art you have to judge it by your own personal experience of it--it's reputation and the experience other people have is interesting, but in a different sphere.

Music and film are areas where we don't seem to care at all about having an "original". There truly are 10,000 exact copies of albums.

But with books, people play the first edition game, and buy them for thousands of dollars.

This instinct, whatever it is, seems like a bad thing.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 04:40 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;174378 wrote:

Yes, exactly. To me the value of the painting comes from the experience of viewing it. I think to truly appreciate art you have to judge it by your own personal experience of it--it's reputation and the experience other people have is interesting, but in a different sphere.

Music and film are areas where we don't seem to care at all about having an "original". There truly are 10,000 exact copies of albums.

But with books, people play the first edition game, and buy them for thousands of dollars.

This instinct, whatever it is, seems like a bad thing.


I agree. I have actually thought a lot about this issue. For one thing, I love art. But then I also am amazed at what digital means. My love of math connects directly to this. Digital information is ideal, even if it requires a non-ideal medium. Computers use binary because voltage fluctuation is more manageable. The logic gates inside are ideal. The bit itself is one of humanity's ultimate sculptures. It's minimal perfection and power is overlooked, I think.
As far as original painting lust, perhaps it's because "analogue" painting makes exact copying so difficult. On the other hand, there is so much vanity in art. I hear the chatter. It's so much about the beauty of the art but about the prestige of those who behold or own it. It's something like the ugly side of religion. It's a safe middle way to elevate one's soul above the souls of others.
The first-edition game in books is indeed a bit silly, at least to me. It seems shallow in a classic way to covet the mere paper and not what it offers.
I can see the difficulties involved, but I have played w/ the idea of musuem walls being giant flat screen hi-res monitors. Our "paintings" could then be made of pure light. But then I recognize the important of texture in painting. So perhaps we will have to wait for holograms. And even here we have the problem of shadows and lighting.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 05:55 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah

Imo all is answerd in my former posts, just need a bit expansion on the reasoning, as it may be a bit unclear.
 
thack45
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 05:59 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;173823 wrote:
Does an authentic Van Gogh have more intrinsic value than a forgery that doesn't look significantly different?

And if not (which is what I think) why does our current culture value them way more?
Because the original is the one with its history beginning from Van Gogh's first brush stroke to an individual's posession? The forgery's story could never offer such intrigue.
 
Huxley
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 06:17 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;174378 wrote:
Hmm, but people buy them for 100's of millions of dollars. Why do we care about seeing the original rather than the replica? A superstitious fear that it isn't the "real" thing? And in other times, they did not place such a value on it. Art work wasn't signed, or it was but the apprentices did much of the actual painting.


I don't know why we do, but I know why I do. It's because I value the action of the artist, and like seeing the actual object that the artist worked upon. I like the fact that the object is so old, and has been preserved over time. I don't mind copies of the original: These are what hang in my room. But I still liked seeing the direct creative object of the artist's action. I liked that their work, and the work of at least some artists, are thought of as being so valuable that we preserve and display them for generations.

Also, on a more practical level, I'm not certain you could actually make an exact copy. I like having original source material to reference, and I imagine that copies would morph with time.
 
 

 
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