make me a fake


I want to own art like this, but I’m not rich, and I also think it’s a conflict of interest for a critic to own work that he or she may write about. (Reviews can affect market value.) So, last winter, I put out a call on Facebook. I’d pay anyone $155 plus the cost of materials to make me a perfect fake by Richter, Ryman, Flavin, Fontana, Du­champ, Hirst, Guyton, or Agnes Martin. (Why $155? It’s enough money to me that the painting had to be worth it, and 55 is a funnier number than 50.) You can’t just call up a guy and order an ersatz Hirst or Richter—unless you are seeking a flat-out forger, but those folks don’t work for $155 and their numbers aren’t listed. Besides, in the art world, noncriminal fakes aren’t news. We don’t even call them “fakes.” We prefer the term “appropriation,” whereby a new artwork incorporates or reproduces another. Copyists lie on a continuum: At one end, you have extremely original artists (Richard Prince, Elaine Sturtevant) who use the old to make something new.

more from Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine here.