A demand gives a supply – more Kabakov’s fake products appear at the art market

Unknown paintig. Was given out to be the I. Kabakov’s work

During last ten years the Russian art has been going through unprecedented upswing. Every year there appear new names and the prices of the classics’ works of the second half of the 20th century are rising rapidly. A demand gives a supply and the rising of works’ prices causes the rising of their fakes. Ten years ago falsifiers preferred to «deal» with legacy of the first half of the 20th century; today they more often appeal to the creation of the living masters. Certainly to those ones whose paintings are the most expensive.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakovs are on the list of the most famous artists of modernity who are in demand. The cost of their works began rising in 1990, but the last years this rising turned into a real boom. In February Kabakov took the 9th place on the list of the most expensive painters when one of his paintings the «beetle» was sold by the auction Philips de Pury for £2 932 000. The consequence of his popularity wasn’t a long time coming: Not long ago the couple of artists officially declared the presence of their works’ fakes at the market.

Emilia Kabakova says that the first fake paintings appeared at the beginning of 1990 and had some details of the real paintings. In 2005 there was found the first full-blooded fake – the imitation of the painter’s style of the high quality. The falsifiers tried to sell the canvas for $200 000.

In November of 2007 the Kabakov’s wife found three fakes in the catalogue of the Russian auction at the British house MacDougall’s Art Ltd. Despite a controversial attribution the paintings were sold in the range from £3313 to 57 282. Replying the question why the painters were not informed about the availability of controversial paintings the joint owner of the house William MacDougall said that every painting had a plausible provenance.

As the practice shows nobody can determine a fake better than a painter by himself. At the beginning of October Emilia Kabakova found one more fake when London art-dealer Yelena Walker asked her to confirm the attribution of the painting, intended for Russian client. Walker said that she was alerted because there was abundance of details and the picture was painted on the canvas, though Kabakov prefers a drawing board. The artist’s answer was predetermined – there appeared a recurrent fake at the art market.

On the 15th of September there was opened a great retrospective exhibition of Kabakovs, the first since they moved to the USA in 1989. The exposition caused a serious rising of the interest to the creation of the artists and the reaction of the falsifiers was immediate. In a few days one of the capital collectors was offered to buy seven paintings all at once which were ostensibly «confiscated at the time of Soviet government».

«Swindlers exist at the expense of purchasers’ naivety and their aspiration for buying paintings of famous artists for lower prices, – Emilia Kabakova says. – We can report back for every Ilya’s painting, – she continuous, – we have just finished the composing catalogue and now we can say where every painting was and is now». As the artist says there will appear the list of famous fakes at their site. However if the situation is going to get worse, they will be forced to appeal to the international organization of preservation of law.

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Published in: on November 26, 2008 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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