Why invent an artist?
13/01/12There are hundreds of examples of people inventing an artist complete with biography and art works. The motives of which could perhaps be deemed as pseudonym, alter ego, propaganda, satire, homage, fraud and others. Many artists were and are tied to exclusivity agreements with art galleries and sign works with a pseudonym in order to earn extra revenue on the side; others have used pseudonyms to create distinction between their primary "creative" artworks and those that pandered to say a "tourist" market. Some have used alter ego for purposes of subversion, humour and critique.
The naivety of the art world is oft exposed and curiously celebrated, with hoaxers and fraudsters gaining the celebrated status of the anti-hero, perceptively beating the establishment at its own game. I can take pleasure from a good hoax, but more sinister applications leave you contemptuous, resentful and out of pocket. I'm not exactly sure where the line is, but there must be one, surely? As for the people who claim to know these fictitious characters: well, some people apparently talk to aliens, others to God and most talk complete b*ll*cks.
Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with www.kutefineart.com/ and owner of www.paragonprints.co.uk/