Errol Morris on art forgeries  MAY 28 2009

Errol Morris posted the first part of a seven-part series of posts about Han van Meegeren, art forger extraordinaire.

To be sure, the Van Meegeren story raises many, many questions. Among them: what makes a work of art great? Is it the signature of (or attribution to) an acknowledged master? Is it just a name? Or is it a name implying a provenance? With a photograph we may be interested in the photographer but also in what the photograph is of. With a painting this is often turned around, we may be interested in what the painting is of, but we are primarily interested in the question: who made it? Who held a brush to canvas and painted it? Whether it is the work of an acclaimed master like Vermeer or a duplicitous forger like Van Meegeren -- we want to know more.

Morris ends the post with a cliffhanger that, if I didn't know any better, was written specifically for me: "The Uncanny Valley."

Update: Part two has been posted.

Read more posts on kottke.org about:
art   crime   Errol Morris   Han van Meegeren   Johannes Vermeer   uncanny valley

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