Friday, December 13, 2013

On the other hand

Soaring insurance premiums, powerful conservation departments and simple competition are making it more and more difficult to transport important works of art around the world (or in our case around the country). Over the last 20 years the mantra of the art museum has become - “This will be the last ever exhibition” to gather together all the works of this or that artist So here’s an idea whose time may have come.

Dr. Mariella Remund, an expert in branding and neuro-marketing, and her partner Hans-J├╝rgen Gehrke have put together an exhibition of the entire works (123, count ‘em) of Frida Kahlo.  There's just one small catch. They were all made by Chinese copy painters. But before you dismiss the idea, imagine the chance to be in a gallery with everything Kahlo painted. The works would be to scale so think how much closer the experience might come to the real thing than looking through a book with small size reproductions. That's a debate running in the States at the moment. To be fair the debate is not so much about whether or not the paintings are of any quality but as to how the public is being ripped off by something it believes to be genuine.

But it makes you think, doesn’t it. A complete retrospective of Gordon Walters or Colin McCahon is unlikely any time soon but how hard could it be for the Chinese to bang up a couple of convincing survey shows?

Image: Left, Chinese replica and original on the right…or was it original on the left and Chinese replica on the right? (It's definitely one or the other)

DISCLAIMER: OTN in no way encourages or endorses the copying of the  complete works of New Zealand painters for exhibition. Please note the views expressed on OTN are not necessarily the views of the writers, editors, owners or readers and any similarities to material written here and activities in the real world are purely coincidental. OTN reserves the right to dissemble on the issue of copy painting and for that matter original painting when and where it is deemed necessary.