12 October 2005

What I really want for Christmas this year

Here's a fun fact about mid-career Andy Warhol:
In 1968, a short-on-cash assistant produced a new series of silkscreen paintings, forged Warhol’s signature, and made a deal with a gallery. All of this transpired without Warhol’s knowledge, who found out about the paintings only when the gallery owner asked for authentication of the works. Warhol authenticated them, but directed the gallery to send the check directly to him--too bad for the assistant.

The actually-fake-yet-authenticated Warhols were of Che Guevara, and I have to hand it to the assistant who dreamed up the idea. In 1968, Guevara was already dead, so it went along well with Andy's earlier death thing. Guevara was also iconic, legendary, and Andy certainly had a fame thing. Furthermore, Warhol went through a period of work devoted to Communist imagery: the famous Mao pictures and the hammer and sickle images easily come to mind.

So the question is this: are they really Warhols when Warhol didn't have anything to do with them except say they were his? I'd love to know what these actually-fake-yet-authenticated pieces are worth. I'd love to know if they are available. And I'd love to have one for Christmas this year.

Since that wish is not likely to come true, I'll settle for one of these shirts instead.

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