From the author of, I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon), comes a new written series, I Authenticated Andy Warhol: Andy, Alice Cooper and the Precarious World of Art Authentication that focuses on the frustrating but always fascinating process of Warhol authentication. Polsky is a leading expert in the Warhol market, and trusted advisor to MyArtBroker. He began his career in the US in the 1980s, and he has more than a few good stories to tell.
After spending the last seven years authenticating art, I’m often asked, Why are there so many fakes out there? The short answer is that the art business is unregulated. The long answer is what I will go on to explain in the chapters ahead. By following Alice Cooper’s peripatetic journey to get his red Andy Warhol Little Electric Chair painting authenticated, you will learn not only about fakes and forgeries, but about why authentication matters.
Owners of blue-chip works tend to become very upset when a painting of theirs is called into question. They tend to take it personally, as if possessing a bogus Warhol is referendum on their character. While I think it’s wonderful when a collector emotionally connects with a picture, they always grow more passionate when money is involved. Selling a painting for a big profit is a rush unlike no other; you feel so smart. Without provenance and authenticity, your work is almost unsellable. Not being able to sell a painting feels tragic — especially when you discover it’s a counterfeit. Still, every now and then it all works out.