Showing posts with label fakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fakes. Show all posts

October 29, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015 - ,,, No comments

i2MStandards offers systematic approach to problem of fakes and forgeries in the art market -- Colette Loll, ARCA Alum

Colette Loll, Art Fraud Insights
Tom Mashberg's article for The New York Times, "Art Forgers Beware: DNA Could Thwart Fakes" (October 12, 2015) discusses "a new authentication system that would let artists sign their works with specks of synthetic DNA."

One method is being developed at the Global Center for Innovation at the State University of New York at Albany. The school said it had received $2 million in funding from the ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, which specializes in art.

Here's a link to the program's website:

Colette Loll, of Art Fraud Insights -- quoted in Mashberg's article -- consulted on the project. Loll attended ARCA's program in International Art Crime in 2009 and 2010. In October, Ms. Loll was in London with artist Eric Fischl "and some of the top conservation and materials scientists in the field," Colette wrote in an email. "I have been consulting on this initiative for over a year now." Ms. Loll explained:

“The i2MStandards initiative offers a systemic approach to fighting the prolific problem of fakes and forgeries in the art market. We have been talking about the problem for a long time, it’s wonderful to participate in a very real solution.”

Here's a link to the program's video:

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor

August 1, 2013

Thierry Lenain on "The Question of the Value of Doubles in Autographic Arts" (The Journal of Art Crime, Spring 2013)

In the Spring 2013 issue of The Journal of Art Crime, art theorist Thierry Lenain writes on "The question of the Value of Doubles in Autographic Arts".
This essay seeks to analyze the concept of the artistic value of copies, taking into account the comments of Renaissance, Early Modern, and Modern thinkers and artists, from Vasari to Friedlander. The essay is more philosophical/theoretical, rather than criminological, dealing with ideas rather than case studies. In the course of the essay, the reader is introduced to factions who praise skillful copies and others who dismiss any copy, no matter how skillful, out of hand as inherently worthless and bad. This overview shows the extent to which the treatment of the question of the double in painting has varied over time.
Thierry Lenain is a professor of art theory at Université Libre de Bruxelles. His latest book is Art Forgery: the History of a Modern Obsession.

The ninth issue of The Journal of Art Crime, edited by Noah Charney and published by ARCA, is available electronically (pdf) and in print via subscription and The Associate Editor is Marc Balcells (ARCA '11), Graduate Teaching Fellow, Department of Political Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice -- The City University of New York.

November 12, 2012

Conclusions of Interpol's first international conference on counterfeit art

Last month Interpol's first International Conference on Counterfeit Art arrived at a list of "Conclusions" in Lyon.  The conference identified "a rising trend in all forms of counterfeit art, fakes, forgeries and international misattribution of works of art and cultural heritage" causing "significant economic prejudice and non-material damage" by "substantial criminal assets generated by the production and distribution of counterfeit art" due to the lack of awareness and of appropriate national laws and international legal instruments."

The Interpol conference recommended that member countries:
"(1) RAISE public and political awareness of the increasing trend in counterfeit art, fakes, forgeries, and intentional misattribution, and the impact on cultural heritage, the art market and historic and scientific knowledge";  (2) ENFORCE, review and, if necessary, adapt existing national laws to be able to fight the above-mentioned crimes effectively;  (3) CALL FOR counterfeit art to be explicitly included in regional and international laws criminalizing other types of counterfeiting or DEVELOP specific regional and international legislation on this subject;  (4) DEVELOP mechanisms and procedures to fight counterfeit art effectively, if necessary by creating working groups and inter-sectorial commissions;  (5) SUPPORT national  law enforcement agencies in preventing and suppressing the above crimes and in allocating adequate resources;  (6) DEVOTE, where possible; additional efforts and resources to tracing assets generated through the above crimes so as to dismantle the criminal networks involved;  (7) ENHANCE the information exchange on the above crimes through INTERPOL channels, and share experiences and best practices among member countries; (8) DEVELOP AND DISSEMINATE a checklist of precautions to be taken by potential customers to prevent them from acquiring fake objects; (9) DEVELOP AND DISSEMINATE a set of principles for professionals to prevent them from becoming invovled in the commerce of fake objects.
Here's a link to an article published last week in the New York Times: "With rules Murky, Fake Artworks Stay on the Market."

July 6, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Spring/Summer 2012: Thierry Lenain on "The Forger's Point of View"

Thierry Lenain writes about the psychology of a forger in "The Forger's Point of View" in the Spring/Summer 2012 electronic issue of The Journal of Art Crime (now available with a subscription).
Abstract: Adopting an interpretative perspective aiming to shed light on the forger’s point of view – the ideas he has of the art, of its history and of his own practice – implies an initial paradox. By definition, the forger would not attribute his productions to any other but himself without concealing his own artistic subjectivity. This is why only failure on the forger’s part or a discovery of the fake can lead to an understanding of his point of view. Under this condition, two pathways open up to the hermeneutic inquiry. It can first be based on the examination of the works themselves. The stylistic distortions and, more importantly, the way of combining the iconographic borrowings betray the imaginary of the forger, working with the intention of deceiving. Their study most often shows a figurative spirit torn between literal imitation and the paradoxical desire to invent what the imitated artists could have created. But beyond that, the words and writings of the forgers also call for interpretation. Whether it means, for them, to revive the destabilizing power of their practice or, in contrast, to legitimize it, their discourse assumes a “theory” of the history of art that inscribes itself as well in the realm of tension and paradox. We see them, indeed, dismiss the historicist reason while at the same time relying on it. On the one hand, they rely upon an aesthetic of the expressive trace according to which all original work translates the spirit of its author as a historically placed subject. On the other, they like to imagine that the spirit of the imitated masters comes to visit them across time (spiritualism), unless they refer to eternal laws of art (idealism), whose notion leaves no room to the difference between the fake and the authentic.
Thierry Lenain is a professor of art theory at Université Libre de Bruxelles. His latest book is Art Forgery: the History of a Modern Obsession.

July 5, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Spring/Summer 2012: Duncan Chappell and Saskia Hufnagel on "The Beltracchi Affair: A Comment on the "Most Spectacular" German Art Forgery Case in Recent Times

Australian criminologist Duncan Chappell and Dr. Saskia Hufnagel write on "The Beltracchi Affair: A Comment on the  "Most Spectacular" German Art Forgery Case in Recent Times" in the Spring/Summer 2012 electronic issue of The Journal of Art Crime (now available by subscription).
Abstract: On the 27th of October 2011 the four persons accused of the ‘most spectacular’ art forgery case in German post-war history were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 21 months to 6 years. The accused were Wolfgang Beltracchi (61), the painter of the forged works; his wife Helene Beltracchi (53) and her sister Jeanette Spurzem (54) who helped him in various ways; and the ‘logistical expert’ in the case, Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus (68). Considering the financial damage the forger group had caused, the embarrassment of buyers, dealers, experts and auction houses, as well as the considerable publicity the trial incurred, this seemed a remarkably mild verdict. However, observing the way in which art forgers at large appear to be dealt with by the justice systems of various countries, it could be said that the case just confirms a reoccurring pattern of lenient sentencing. This article will examine the case and its repercussions.
Duncan Chappell is a lawyer, criminologist and former Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology. He is also the Chair of the Australian Research Council’s Center of Excellence in Policing and Security. Currently an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney he has researched and published on art crime as well as acting as an expert in art crime cases. His recent publications include Manacorda, S. and Chappell, D. Crime in the Art and Antiquities World. Illegal Trafficking in Cultural Property (New York: Springer, 2011).

Saskia Hufnagel is a Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS), Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Her PhD studies were completed at the Australian National University (ANU) on the topic ‘Comparison of EU and Australian cross-border law enforcement strategies.’ Her current work focuses on comparing legal frameworks in Australia and the EU, particularly in the fields of mass gatherings, surface transport, maritime and aviation security. She conducts further research in the field of EU and Australian police cooperation and more specifically the policing of art crime. Her publications include 114 ‘Cross-border police co-operation: Traversing domestic and international frontiers’ (2011) Crim LJ 333 and she co-edited ‘Cross-border Law Enforcement - Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation - European, Australian and Asia-Pacific Perspectives’ (2011) Routledge. Saskia is a qualified German legal professional and accredited specialist in criminal law.

September 14, 2011

"Fakes, Forgeries and the Art of Deception": A Lecture at the Smithsonian by Colette Loll Marvin

Independent curator and researcher Colette Loll Marvin is lecturing on "Fakes, Forgeries and the Art of Deception" at the Smithsonian on Wednesday, September 21.

Ms. Marvin was a student in the first 2009 class of ARCA's Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime and Cultural Protection Studies.

Colette Loll Marvin, Paris
You may find out more information about this program at this link, including how to order tickets.

ARCA program attendees or alumni may contact Colette Marvin at for courtesy tickets.

January 28, 2011

The Journal of Art Crime: Contributor John Daab on Art Fraud

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin

The Journal of Art Crime’s fourth issue dated Fall 2010 includes an academic article, “Art Fraud: Deflecting Prosecutorial Intervention Away from the Defective Art Product,” by John Daab, a Certified Fraud Examiner specializing in art and forgery research. Mr. Daab writes in the article’s abstract:
“Historically, art crime consisted of looting, stealing, and burglarizing museums and creating art forgeries, to name a few. Scholars have recently broken down the category into street and white-collar art crime types. For example, the common museum burglaries fall under the street type while art forgery and art fraud are found in the white-collar realm. The notoriety of the break in is hyped by the mass media in their various presentations. Art crimes of this sort are definite, often leaving a trail. Ultimately, the culprits are captured by tips or forensic examination such as fingerprints, burglar tool matching, and so on. In the case of art fraud or forgery, which Starnes has characterized as the “invisible crime,” such definitiveness or clarity of criminal act is often missing (2002). Such indivisibility combined with factors hindering prosecution allows the art criminal to push the envelope to the point that this form of white-collar crime becomes a non-crime. The study below offers an identification of the factors and the consequences surrounding white-collar art crime, leading to a suggestion that art fraud is a gold mine for the white-collar criminal.”
Dr. John Daab is a Certified Fraud Examiner specializing in art and forgery research with Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and a Certified Forensics Consultant, Accredited Forensic Counselor and a Registered Investigator with the American College of Forensic Examiners International. John holds Diplomate status (DABFE) with the American Board of Forensic Examiners and holds Certified Homeland Security I (CHS-1) and Certified Intelligence Analyst (IAC) member status with the American Board of Certification in Homeland Security.

An academic with various undergraduate and graduate degrees from philosophy to business with a focus on art authentication, John is a sculptor who works can be seen on the Fine Art Registry (his works can be seen in his FAR online portfolio). He has published more than 80 articles and recently authored, "The Art Fraud Protection Handbook" (Kindle Edition). He is currently completing studies in Art Appraisal at New York University, completing a docent program at Princeton, and has completed a second book, "Forensic Application in Detecting Fine, Decorative, and Collectible Art Fakes" (Kindle Edition). He is developing a third book on the "Business of Art."

ARCA blog: John, in your article, you study the way Ely Sakhai processed his frauds and comment: “Over the 13-year period it is alleged that 12 million dollars in forgeries were sold with many still in the hands of the unwary.” He was charged in federal court with wire and mail fraud and received four years in jail. Were you surprised?
Dr. Daab: I was surprised that Sakai was prosecuted. White collar crime is rarely prosecuted. I was not surprised how the prosecution was processed. Most art fraud prosecution usually ends up under the wire and mail fraud statutes. Fraud statute violations are difficult to prosecute because of the conditions of intentionality, gain to the fraudster, and loss to the victim usually found as the requirements in the statute. Intentionality is difficult to prove since there are many levels to the processing of the crime. Sifting through all the parties involved takes time and may lead to a total dead end. Prosecuting via the wire and mail fraud statutes is a more efficient method of prosecuting resulting in a higher probability of conviction.
ARCA blog: In your second case study, you describe the art fraud paradigm of selling art of questionable authenticity and value at galleries selling art at sea. No government intervention has taken place according to your article. What do you think it will take to close these dubious practices?
Dr. Daab: I think that selling at sea represents a significant problem for US prosecutorial and probably international agencies since there is an undefined area where the crime takes place, and a difficulty in establishing the conditions for the violation. Lacking this defined area prevents pulling in that prosecutorial agency responsible to charge the alleged criminal, and since consumer protection laws are not operable at sea the conditions supporting the violation are ineffective. Some even argue that the consumers purchasing the art should know better. Supposedly the US policing agencies have cooperative undertakings with foreign governments for crimes at sea, but based on the fact that very few prosecutions have taken place for murder, rape, theft and assaults on board it would be unlikely that any activity will close down the selling of fake art. If the US policing agencies do not go after violent criminals at sea they will certainly not go after art fraudsters.
ARCA blog: Is the term “defective product manufacturer” sufficient to describe what is going on in the art market? How can a buyer feel safe?
Dr. Daab: The art market is an unregulated, uncontrolled and non-transparent market. There is more control over selling used cars than art costing millions of dollars. While there are some organizations like Fine Art Registry focused on vetting fakes, most art is turned over with the assumption that it is genuine. Scholarly investigations have found that art found in some prestigious museums is only 60% authentic. Given that 40% of museum art is of questionable authenticity and surrounded by the foremost art historians and curators, it would be difficult to argue that the art market selling the works of collectible artists lacking this pedigree would hold works of a higher probability of authenticity. I would argue that buyers of art have no safety net in the present art market except to assume that there is a 40% chance that the collectible art one is considering is bogus, and as such maybe one should just walk away from the purchase.
To seek out this piece, and many others, consider a subscription to the Journal of Art Crime—the first peer-reviewed academic journal covering art and heritage crime. ARCA publishes two volumes annually in the Spring and Fall. Individual, Institutional, electronic and printed versions are all available, with subscriptions as low as 30 Euros. All proceeds go to ARCA's nonprofit research and education initiatives. Please see the publications page for more information.