Monday, February 24, 2014

Stephanie's Article posted week of February 24th - 28th

Hello all, I am posting the weekly article, and I came across this 60 Minutes section, the video is only about thirteen minutes long. Here's the link:

My response is in question to the Van Gogh that was on display in the Nevada Museum of Art late this past year. I had come to the conclusion after having visited the painting and read the evidence supporting or disclaiming the work as being authentic, that the Van Gogh was in fact a fake. I think that my point is backed up by this 60 minutes video, but please tell me what you think!

Here's a link to the controversy surrounding this Van Gogh self-portrait:

Imagery from Vincent van Gogh's self- portraits, beginning with the controversial one on top:

Nevada Museum of Art and the Controversial Study by Candlelight



  1. This article was very interesting to me. Not only the lengths that this man and his wife went to in order to keep their false story going, but also how wonderful some of the artwork was! Part of my sympathizes with him a little because I think its funny that some of the best eyes in the art world were not able to tell that his paintings were fake or not. At the same time, however, that same thing upsets me because I feel like history I thought I have experienced with my own eyes, could potentially be fake. I do feel better however, that he did his time in jail and is out there trying to make a name for himself as an artist instead of being an impostor. **My favorite line was when the interviewer asked Wolfgang is he had any regrets and he says "Yes, I shouldn't have used Titanium White." HA HA

  2. I am totally impressed with this Wolfgang Beltracchis character! He has set the art world on edge. He is, obviously an incredible artist on his own, but to be able to fake so many world class artists and get away with it for so long makes him even better than they were, in my opinion. Using their names was definitely wrong but he sure made a lot of money doing it. I can see why nobody wants to commit to verifying art work anymore. There is just too much at stake ~ monetarily and their reputations too. I would actually be proud to own a Beltracchi myself ~ he certainly does beautiful work, but I would be incredibly upset if I had paid for a VanGough for the sake of it being a VanGough, only to find out that it's not! I, myself can't afford artwork from the masters so the artwork I buy is just because I LIKE it… I agree with the last collector that was in the interview ~ I'd keep the fake too if I thought it was the "best Max Ernst I'd ever seen" and I would get a kick out of telling people about it!

  3. Like everything in life, with more risk comes more reward. This is particularly prominent with the elite 1% who's tendencies to risk immaculate amounts of money on things like the stock market, or horse races are driven by far more than profits. Considering the fact that the wealthiest of the wealthy make up a large portion of the people in the market for masterpieces, the ever-growing risk for forgeries fits right in with their lifestyles. It is incredible that with all the technology we have access to, it is still difficult to tell a fake from a 200 year-old masterpiece. Beltracchis is not a traditional forger in the sense that he copies other works. He takes on the mindset of various artists in order to make paintings that he believes those artists would have made if they were still alive. It is an art in of itself. The VanGough in the Nevada Museum of Art looks questionable to me. Given the state of the art world today, I do not think any authenticator will stick their neck out for this piece. For the VanGough, and all of the Beltracchis (both known and yet to be discovered), it is more about the journey than the artist.

  4. I think that no a day with all the teachers teaching these amazing students how to paint is crazy. The skill of painting is off the charts. I think that if there is not enough evidence to prove a painting authentic, than it is a fake. there are million of fake paintings out there today. The are even paintings on display at famous museums. the 60 minutes video on the man who painted fake paintings is so interesting. this guy was such an amazing painter that no expert could prove that they were fake. This guy could paint any painting with any technique and make it look authentic. And he would include photos also! He would go a long way to make his paintings legit enough to pass by experts.I think that he could probably be the best painter alive. for his paintings to pass as world famous paintings and sell for 5 million dollars and more is mind blowing to me. It's so interesting! Make a movie holly wood! I think that it is the coolest and most interesting thing. I want to meet and talk to this is wrong that he did that and it messed up a lot of things, but damn, he was got away with it until he made the smallest mistake.

  5. I think that the van Gough is real. The experts have done lots of tests and still cant tell its fake. Just because there are really good forgers like Beltracchi doesn't mean that the professionals cant do there jobs. I think that it is cool that the Nevada Museum of Art is showing the painting even though it could be a fake. The painting meant a lot to the family and they decided to keep it up even when van Goughs nephew came forward and said that it is fake. They even kept it up at a party and Frank Sinatra saw it! Even with so many fake paintings in the world the museum decided to show the painting. It is imporntant because it has such a historic past. Even if the test results come back and say that it is not real, we are blessed to have this painting in our museum.

  6. Before exhibiting the work of a master in a museum such as the Nevada Museum of Art, certain tests are done to show that the work is authentic. As far as I see it, until a work is proven to be a forgery it is a legit piece of artwork. Since the piece by Van Gough has not scientifically been proven to be a fake it continues to remain part of Van Gough's legacy. Even if the painting does turn out to be a fake, it is an extremely accurate fake that correctly depicts this important piece in his collection, which allows the public to see and study it. Not only does it display a certain period of Van Gough's life but it also has historical value in the importance it has to the family. What wonders me about Wolfgang Beltracchis is why he doesn't put his name on his paintings from the beginning. He is an extremely talented painter who controls nearly all art styles and had no need to work as a forger to make it as an artist especially considering the risk that comes with forgery. Copying a painting may only be used to learn the techniques of the specific artist but putting their name on it and selling it for the estimated amount crosses the line. I did enjoy his typical German character though.

    1. That's really interesting that you see proclaimed famous artworks that way, I look at it the exact opposite. If a new Van Gogh or Picasso comes out of the blue, I am immediately suspicious. The window that his forger, Beltracchis and his wife had in being German descent and the story of how their family had a private collection after the war, is so predictable and perfect, that I'm sure there are many more out there playing the same gig. In terms of respecting the artwork for its authenticity versus its genuine qualities, regardless of who the real artist may have been, revolves around this--I think that if there is a label claiming it is a Van Gogh, I expect to see a real work by Van Gogh. Museums are big businesses, and sloppy business rips up their reputation and prestige. Doing the research that separates them from the rest is paramount. That's why I enjoyed the questionable exhibit the Nevada Museum of Art put on for the Van Gogh portrait. However, if the work has been recognized as a fake, I can still appreciate it, though the greed in its creation will surely taint my gaze upon it. I do not feel it is right to feel that sense of respect onto an artwork when the artist definitely does not deserve it, and so I approach artworks with suspicion.

  7. This article is very interesting and intriguing. I guess to start with, if Wolfgang Beltracchi is such an amazing painter, why does he not claim his work and represent himself? Why does he hide behind a painting and claim it was done by someone famous who everyone would know. He too could be one of the many great artists that is so famously known, why does he choose to hide? I also think its great that the Nevada Museum of Art showcased the artwork without knowing for sure if it is real or fake. Its a risk to take, but I believe its a good one. I think everyone deserves a chance to see a piece that has such controversy behind it and to form an opinion of their own. Fake or not it’s a piece that given the chance to see it and evaluate it is worth the time.