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1,000 Warhol pieces are sold for only $ 250 each.But only one is real

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Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

The art group buys the original Andy Warhol painting for $ 20,000 and sells it to one lucky buyer for only $ 250. But there are pitfalls. The artwork is provided with 999 high quality counterfeit products, and even its creator cannot distinguish them.

This is the latest stunt by MSCHF in New York, a group of about 20 artists notoriously accused by Nike for creating modified “Satan” sneakers containing real human blood.

Called the “Museum of Forgeries,” the group purchased the real Warhol pen painting “Fairies” in 1954 and used digital technology and a robotic arm to recreate the artist’s exact strokes before applying heat, light, and humidity. Used to artificially age the paper. ..

After mixing the 999 fake with the only original, MSCHF now claims to be unaware of which is the real Warhol. And starting Monday, collectors will be able to buy one of 1,000 pieces, each entitled “A Probably Real Copy of the’Fairy’by Andy Warhol,” for $ 250.

In the future, to take seriously the gallery that offers this work as (real) Warhol, you have to worry about it … I hope the chain of trust is irreparably broken here. I am.

Kevin Wiesner

If all the works were sold, the group would have made more than 12 times what they originally drew. However, MSCHF also wants to entertain industries that are more interested in the credibility of the artwork than the art itself, or those who created the artwork, said Lucas Bentel, chief creative officer. increase.

The 1954 painting “Fairy” is copied by a robot arm before the paper is artificially weathered to create a real look. Credit: Courtesy MSCHF

“For the vast majority of wealthy people who collect art, it’s not about aesthetic value,” he said in a video call from New York. “It’s just about investment value. Will this be appreciated in time?”

“It’s always very interesting,” added creative director Kevin Wiesner. -But better “

Destruction of history

The group believes that anyone who buys a real Warhol may never understand it. While experts admitted that the difference might still be decipherable, Wiesner said the counterfeiting was good enough to cast permanent suspicion on the source of the work.

“In the future, to take seriously the gallery that offers this work as (real) Warhol, you have to worry about it … here that the chain of trust is irreparably broken. hoping.”

In addition to commenting on the subjective nature of value, MSCHF wants to make Warhol’s work available to those who might otherwise not be able to afford it. According to Bentel, the project not only destroys the value of one piece of artwork, but also creates a whole new piece of artwork co-owned by all 1,000 buyers.

Aside from expert opinion, the group believes that counterfeiting is very good and permanently questions the authenticity of the work. Credit: Courtesy MSCHF

“Warhol’s work is completely unrealistic when approached by most people,” he said. “In a sense, we are democratizing it by giving everyone something that can be Warhol.”

Wiesner believes that an artist famous for exploring and misusing mass production in his own work will approve the project.

“I think he’ll get a kick from it,” Wiesner said.

Terrible children

It remains to be seen if the Andy Warhol Foundation, which manages the property of pop artists, is so enthusiastic about stunts.

MSCHF said it did not anticipate legal issues. But, as Chief Revenue Officer Daniel Greenberg admitted, the group teamed up with rapper and singer Lil Nas X to create the controversial bloody “Satan” shoes earlier this year. I thought.

In March, sportswear giants infringed MSCHF, claiming that “unlicensed Satan shoes could cause confusion and dilution and create a false relationship between MSCHF products and Nike.” I appealed.

“I will never forget what I said at that time,” Greenberg recalled. “One was’I hope Nike will sue us’. And (the other),” This is 10,000 percent legal. And man, did they grant my wish? “

Nike sued MSCHF for trademark infringement in March. Credit: MSCHF

The parties eventually reached a settlement, which drew worldwide attention to MSCHF in the process. However, the group has been a hot topic since 2019, selling laptops with some of the world’s most dangerous viruses installed for over $ 1.3 million. Since then, we have embarked on a series of irreverent “drops.” This is a series of heartwarming art projects that are announced every two weeks.

In 2020, the group spent more than $ 30,000 on one of Damien Hirst’s famous spotted artwork. After that, each of the 88 colored dots was manually cut out and sold separately for huge profits. Later this year, Collective disassembled four Herms Birkin bags to create the world’s most expensive sandals (called “Birkinstocks”), priced between $ 34,000 and $ 76,000.

By creating Warhol’s work, Bentel wants to continue to “create value through destruction.” And the latest fans of the art world seem terribly enthusiastic about raising a mirror to the industry along the way.

“If it’s a satire and there’s no response, it’s just an explanation of reality,” Wiesner said.

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