Picassos and forgeries

I was looking for leather couches. How I got from there to Picasso is an uninteresting and short tale.

Then I went to Costco’s Fine Art and was amazed to see “La Folie” by Picasso for sale there. It is a serigraph. My husband’s boss owns one. It is actually the only Picasso I ever particularly liked.

Looking on the same page they had a Maimon “Marie: Le Courtesan” for sale for $919. I like Maimon. I decided I would go to ebay to see if it was available there. It was. For $99.

I then went to eBay to see if they had “La Folie,” since I had found the Maimon there for $800 less. They didn’t. (BTW the only other serigraph of that for sale was $15,000.)

I found a purported Picasso original oil for $750. Okay, let’s think on this. Original oils of Maimon and Tarkay, whose work I admire but who are still alive, go for $3,000 to $15,000. Picasso died in 1973. Why would one of his oils go for $750?

If I genuinely believed I had a Picasso oil, I would find an art appraiser. The $100 fee would be little compared to the difference of ten thousand dollars or more. I think the seller would do the same thing. But he didn’t. He did create some provenance (story behind how he got it), but not the other. So I don’t think this is a real Picasso. What is it then?

I found an interesting article on forgeries. It includes discussions of Picasso forgers. Apparently his erratic style and changing modernism is easy to duplicate.

This article gives the life story, with way too much attention to his sex life, of a notorious forger who spent decades hoodwinking the international art world.

An hysterical anecdote about Picasso himself saying his own work was a fake can be found here. If he said it was a fake, surely someone else could make a fake and say it was his? –No, I guess not.

And here’s an article on one of the most famous fakers fakes being faked. Imagine. People selling fake fakes.

Apparently the Picasso Estate isn’t interested in knowing if works are genuine Picassos or not. Or perhaps, they are not interested in having a genuine work which they do not control “out there.” An interesting reaction to a Picasso? work starts here in Art World Reactions.

I am not sure, because I couldn’t find the back link, but this may be talking about the same work as above. It does suggest DNA testing, but I would think that would require defacing the work. And if it were to be found to be a Picasso, the Picassos would have to agree to DNA testing as well. Since they won’t even share a fingerprint, I doubt they are up for that.

I found an interesting article on the use of eBay to sell fakes. There was even a Picasso fake in there. (Not the one I saw.)

Then there’s a short article on fakes showing real and fake works. Of course, the real Picasso is shown next to a fake Braque. Whatever the heck that would mean.

Here is a transcription of a conversation with Picasso that is an excerpt from a book. In it he refuses to sign his own work, saying that would be forgery. –Also note that he says before 1914 he did sometimes sign his work on the back, but only on the back. It says nothing about signing both sides, which would be a bit strange. But the $750 “signed Picasso” has signatures on both sides.

This article is actually about a different artist but compares him to Picasso. Then, the article says Picasso would counterfeit himself to confound critics. What the heck does that mean?

In a discussion of a “museum for forgeries” there is an offhand mention that Picasso once signed a forgery, saying it was in essence a Picasso. The Memetic Museum

In this article onwriting an entire book on women’s breasts the opening has a story on Picasso and counterfeiting. Perhaps this is the same story as the hysterical anecdote mentioned above. Or perhaps he did it often. My son tends to tell the same joke over and over and find it funny. Perhaps Picasso did too.

I guess that’s really all I have to say about Picasso and forgeries and ebay.