If you have ever been to an art museum, looked through an art book, or even seen a picture of the Mona Lisa, you have seen how intricate and spectacular most famous pieces of artwork are. Now I know for a fact that I would never be able to recreate Starry Night or Scream and have it come out looking a fourth as good as the real thing. That is why I am not an artist. Someone that is talented enough to recreate such well-known paintings and even have them look treated and aged in the same way as the originals would, by my definition be considered highly gifted. In our society, however, this is not the case. In fact, art forgery is considered an offense by local, state, and federal laws in America, but could forgery not be considered an art form of its own.

When looking at it from a law standpoint, art forgery clearly fits the description of a crime, but I think that it is also an art form of its own. Not only is the recreation of a famous painting an impressive accomplishment, but the process that a counterfeit painter must go through to make the ice look authentic enough to pass inspections is amazing as well. Counterfeit painters of today have mastered the art of aging. From tricking black light tests through heat treatment to painting on top of other paintings to create an aged look, there are trade tricks to get around just about every inspection to prove that a painting is authentic.

The art of counterfeiting art is not a new art form either. People have been faking famous artworks dating back 2000 years. Jewelry, sculptures, pottery, paintings, metalwork, you name it. If there is a famous artwork in any form, someone can probably recreate it. The dilemma that I run into with this idea is that the original artists names go down is history, yet those who are just as good at painting, carving, crafting, etc. and can pull of the impressive trick of counterfeiting are forgotten.
There have been several movies and documentaries made about counterfeit culture and counterfeit artists, demonstrating how difficult and impressive it is to recreate famous works or art, and still the artists are recognized only for their crimes and not for their talent. I think that we as a society should take a step back and take a deeper look at the art that goes into faking art.

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Hannah W

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