Experts are warning a rise in the sale of forged prints.

                               Roy Lichtenstein’s Crying Girl (1963)

The need to buy artworks from reputable sources is increasing in accordance with technological advancements. Experts have warned that improvements in photochemical and reproduction techniques, spurred on by the increased demand is leading to an increase in forged prints.

The pioneers of Pop art are forgers’ favourite, according to The New York Times – the likes of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol are among a number of fakes being attributed to artists and being sold online. However, other fakes also include a number those attributed Matisse, Picasso and Paul Klee.

Typically, the forgers/sellers have no connection to the artist and have fabricated certificates of authenticity. However, the Lichtenstein estate has said that it does not, and never has, produced certificates of authenticity. The estate has asked the FBI to aid them in fighting against this new wave of forged works.

As well as fabricated certificates of authenticity, forgers are also selling prints with fake signatures. And, although these prints usually only fool the novice buyers, experienced dealer Susan Sheehan has said that some are faked so well that it can take three or four days before she can conclude whether a work is a genuine or a fake.


Matisse Blue Nude (III) 1952

“A real good reproduction can fool a lot of experts,” Manhattan dealer John Szoke told the New York Times. In order to detect a fake you have to look at the “colour of the paper, the quality of the printing, the condition of the print, all of which you compare with the original,” he said. “And then you need years and years of experience.”

In an attempt to combat this fake art market online retailers such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy have introduced limited protocols, which are only effective if a member of the public raises concern about the authenticity of a work, as they have no one vetting the works before the go on sale.