Insane prices in the art market make art forgery a potentially high-profit business. So how do art buyers tell real undiscovered artworks from fakes? To analyse and identify forgeries, experts must apply their knowledge of art history, plus the science behind the materials and techniques of artists.
In the video below, forensic scientist Thiago Piwowarczyk and art historian Jeffrey Taylor show Wired how they identified a forgery of Jackson Pollack’s drip paintings (which are actually famously hard to forge).
The signs of a forgery can take many forms. The marks of the Pollack forgery include:
Factual errors in an accompanying document
Signs of painting techniques that don’t match Pollack’s style
A stapled canvas, uncommon during the period
Chemicals that indicate faked “ageing” of the canvas
That’s just a sample of the errors riddling this sloppy forgery. Watch the video to see what else Piwowarczyk and Taylor caught as they analysed the painting.