Forged: Why Fakes Are The Great Art Of Our Age

Forged: Why Fakes Are The Great Art Of Our Age

Book - 20130103
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Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA 20130103
ISBN: 9780199928354


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Is It Art? Is It Fake?

Did you know that the root of the word artifice is art?  Does that mean that all art is artificial?  Perhaps the great 20th century surrealist Rene Magritte illustrated it best with his painting, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” which translates as “This is not a pipe.”  In one simple statement, he shows that both images and words are mere symbols for something we understand to be real. However, i… (more)

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Aug 25, 2013

Forged is entertaining to read for characters like Tom Keating. It's satisfying when the elitism and pomposity of the art establishment are justifiably exposed to ridicule. If Keats had been content to do that, this would be a much better book. Ironically, both his thesis and his attempts support it are just as pretentious as the connoisseurs and art historians he lampoons. He provides footnotes for nearly everything except specialized terms which is annoyingly snobbish. And, beyond that, if you're trying to pillory the experts, you need to get your own facts right. Misspelling Urbino (one of the most famous and prolific of Renaissance courts) as Urbano in the title of Titian's Venus of Urbino TWICE doesn't help Keats' credibility. Nor does failing to mention that scholars Lisa del Giocondo isn't the only candidate for the subject of the Mona Lisa. We're usefully reminded that concern about authenticity on the part of collectors and institutions is a fairly recent phenomenon, but the text becomes very muddled towards the end. Ruminations on appropriation art, culture jamming, etc. are tangentially and tenuously related to Keat's dubious premise and ultimately lead nowhere.


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