#109 Play Around with Works of Art

If you’re ever watched the UK programme Fake or Fortune, you’ll know it involves experts investigating the provenance of little known works of art submitted by the owners in the hope that their find is a long lost piece by a Great Master.

Am I the only one who, by the episode’s end, is thinking ‘if it’s so hard to tell the difference between the real thing and this newly discovered offering, does it really matter?’ Although this admission might suggest I know nothing about art.

But the show gave me the idea for a topic to interest my Discovery friends at one of our recent afternoon get-togethers. Why not—

#109 Play around with Works of Art

—to see if we can reproduce them, for better or worse?

The brief was broad. Take any work of art you like and using materials of your choice, recreate it. Then show us a photograph of the original art work and your copy.

To allay any anxiety about the need to create something wondrous, I provided a couple of examples of what could be achieved with simple tools:

On the left is Untitled by R Ryman. It sold for $3.9 Million USD. On the right is my copyWall— worth $0

And another:

On the left: Still Life with Fruit by artist Belinda Nott. On the right: Lemons from the Garden.

Everyone was given a couple of weeks to prepare their masterpiece, and they rose to the occasion with fabulous offerings. I challenge you to pick the original!

One of these is Margaret Olley’s Pomegranates 1 and the other isn’t

Can you tell the real Kandinsky Colour Study from the fake?

The mood of Clarice Beckett’s End of the Garden has been cleverly reproduced.

Can you tell which is Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey and Black and which is the imposter?

An excellent reproduction of Picasso’s Woman with Dove

McCubbin’s Lost (Child) set among gum trees has morphed into Lost (Wallaby) in the scrub

A masterful recreation of part of Bosch’s The Last Judgement (top half)

Portion of Blue Moon by Mirka Mora—copied using Aldi crayons

Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring—and a few years later?

Art in nature. The rainbow lorikeet, but which one is the fake?

A lovingly recreated Tea Set by Charles Sluga

Impossible to pick the real Botticelli’s Birth of Venus

A little-known Chagall: Composition with Goat cleverly reproduced.

And another Clarice Beckett: Moonlight and Calm Sea beside smokey Sunlight on Lagoon

Despite the less than perfect results, our intentions were pure, so surely our imitations can be seen as flattery?

It’s not like a certain famous Swedish furniture company that recreated Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party and van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters so they could build the sets to advertise flat pack furniture no less!




The featured image is from a still life by painter Abraham Mignon (1640-1679). The bouquet to its right was gifted to one of our participants.

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