Which Warhol?

You may remember our post a while back about the Art Series Hotel‘s campaign called “Steal Banksy,” where guests of the Melbourne hotels were challenged to steal an OG Banksy titled “No Ball Games.” Well, the hotel brand is at it again with an outrageous new campaign which, to be honest with you, almost outshines the last one – and we’re not even sure how this is possible. For their new game, “Which Warhol,” the hotels have commissioned world famous art forger Tony Tetro (who was arrested in 1989 and did a significant amount of jail time for art forgery) to do nine replicas of an Andy Warhol piece, which will be on display in the Art Series Hotels (The Cullen, The Blackman or The Olsen) along with the original.

The challenge? Guests must determine the real Warhol against the nine forgeries for a chance to win, and they have until August 3, 2012 to do so. So if in Australia, why not partake?

“Tony is known for his perfectionism in copying artwork from a diverse range of artists including Dali, Chagall and Rembrandt. He has never had any formal training or a desire to develop his own style. His forgeries are a scientific masterpiece with the materials selected to age at the same speed/level as the originals. He often traveled to Europe to source canvases from the same locations as the originals. His paintings and lithographs were sold by art dealers and auction houses as legitimate works and hung in museums and galleries around the world. He was caught in the late 1980’s after Hiro Yamagata found a forgery of his own work for sale in a gallery.”

It’s estimated that more than 15% of all paintings sold in the world are forgeries, and Tetro’s possibly the best candidate to offer some pointers on how to distinguish the real from the fake:

1: Provenance – History of the work. Find out the story behind the piece. What is its history? Does it match up to the artist’s history?
2: The fine details – Look out for the even spread of the paint. It should not have any dots. In the past this was not so easy to replicate but today printers can do it in a flash.
3: Do your research – Find out the style of the artist. Did they use stamps, watermarks etc. How did they look? It’s easy to fake a rubber stamp.
4: Put things in context – See if the objects painted fit in with the artist and his era.
5: Don’t always trust authenticity certificates – They can be faked too. Always buy from a reputable dealer.

Good luck! You may walk away with an OG Warhol – which would pretty much make you a millionaire.

L’Agent Goodies…