February 9, 2006

DRIP/DROP/DRIP, NOT DROP/DRIP/DRIP:

Computer Analysis Suggests Paintings Are Not Pollocks (RANDY KENNEDY, 2/09/06, NY Times)

A physicist who is broadly experienced in using computers to identify consistent patterns in the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock has determined that half a dozen small paintings recently discovered and claimed by their owner to be original Pollocks do not exhibit the same patterns.

You don't need a computer to know the originals and the fakes are crap, not art. But, the more interesting question is why a good fake is any less worthwhile than an original of any artist.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2006 8:01 AM
Comments

A friend of mine just bought his first house and it's got a room in the basement just right for our weekly poker games. I'm getting him a piece of real art to help christen it.

Posted by: Bryan at February 9, 2006 9:56 AM

It IS art. Crappy art.

Posted by: RC at February 9, 2006 10:04 AM

I guess it depends how you define "worthwhile". For the art collector/investor, the original, being one of a kind, may have some potential resale value. For all the rest of us, who might just want something that we think has aesthetic value to hang on the wall, it doesn't matter. If art museums really wanted to educate the public about art, originals wouldn't matter so much either. But museums have to make money, so using only originals gives an air of exclusivity, and hence helps to sell tickets.

Posted by: b at February 9, 2006 10:05 AM

This is one of the central questions of Robertson Davies' "What's Bred in the Bone" (middle book in the Cornish Trilogy). From his well-researched description of all the things that a forger must master to make a credible fake, I would say a good forgery of one of the old masters is a higher technical achievement than a contempory original. For one thing, forgers usually work alone, while the old masters often had plenty of lackeys to help paint backgrounds and minor figures.

Posted by: ted welter at February 9, 2006 10:43 AM

...why a good fake is any less worthwhile than an original...

Interesting question. BTW, I've got a copy of Barry Bond's 73rd homerun ball that I'll sell you for $1,000,000.

Posted by: Brandon at February 9, 2006 10:46 AM

It's not one of a kind, just a kind.

Posted by: oj at February 9, 2006 10:48 AM

> "broadly experienced in using computers to identify consistent patterns in the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock"

How can you be broadly experienced in something that narrow?

I need to update my resume. I'm broadly experienced in using five-tined pitchforks to transport solid waste produced by egg-laying Rhode Island Reds.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at February 9, 2006 10:57 AM

The art lies in the homer and the concept of the baseball itself (read Roger Angell), not in that particular ball.

Posted by: oj at February 9, 2006 10:58 AM

That is why collectibles are not a good investment.

As for Pollock, he got away with a joke, now the joke is on the people who paid money for his "art".

Unlike bronze sculptures, it won't even have scrap value.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 9, 2006 11:18 AM

...why a good fake is any less worthwhile than an original...

In a word, provenance.

Posted by: g at February 9, 2006 11:28 AM

France?

Posted by: oj at February 9, 2006 11:33 AM

What do you call a guy with no arms and no legs who you hang on the wall?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 9, 2006 11:38 AM

Brandon: All I want a baseball for is to play catch with my kids. For that purpose, a "famous" ball is worth nothing more than one from the local sports store.

Posted by: b at February 9, 2006 11:40 AM

Alan rudolph "The Moderns"

Posted by: toe at February 9, 2006 12:01 PM

The goalie?

Posted by: oj at February 9, 2006 12:04 PM

"Art" Budumpump.

What do you call a woman with one leg shorter than the other? Eileen.

I've got a million of them folks. Don't stop me, I'm on a roll.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 9, 2006 2:05 PM

>I'm on a roll

You are the wurst.

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at February 9, 2006 2:45 PM

The Striker?

Posted by: oj at February 9, 2006 3:04 PM

What do you call a guy with no arms or legs hanging from a rack in Wal-Mart?
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Clarence! [rimshot]

Posted by: Ted Welter at February 9, 2006 5:31 PM
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