Counterfeiting has been a problem for decades in the fine art industry. As more people buy and sell art online, it quickly becomes easier for counterfeiters to pass off their fake artwork as authentic. Over 60% of the top 100 auction houses have allegedly sold counterfeit pieces or knowingly allowed their platforms to be used by brokers selling fakes.
- Never buy artworks that look brand new. Professional fakers use the best materials to make their replicas as durable as the original ones.
- If you buy artwork on other websites, be careful. Many counterfeit artists sell their fake artworks via online forums and classified websites. If a piece costs $10,000 and is being sold for $500, it’s probably a fake!
- The piece should have a certification tag and no more than three signatures when buying from auction houses. The signature’s authenticity is a must because if there is a fake, it will be hard to tell who the original artist was.
- Look for signs of wear and tear. Check for any indentations or damage to the papers on the artwork. If these papers are flimsy, it’s possible that they could have already been damaged before you bought them!
- The seller should provide a certificate of authenticity. The Belgian Federal Police has already issued warnings about sellers selling copies of pieces already officially registered within their country. You will most likely get in trouble if you buy something like this!
- Make sure the shop or website is well-known before buying the piece. This can be especially useful if you buy something from an online auction.
- Focus on the item’s overall authenticity by looking at its frame. Fake artworks are often framed, but this is a dead giveaway that it’s not original!
- Take a look at the artist’s other works and, if you can, go to their studio to look at the real thing! This is an excellent way of checking if they are the real deal.
- If you see a painting that looks like it’s pasted on the wall, it probably is fake. The original artworks are often very carefully mounted and tend to blend in with the frames.
- When you look at the piece from a distance, there should be minimum dots or marks on the canvas. The artist’s real works don’t have any imperfections and are usually splattered with paint to produce texture and create lines!
Counterfeit art is a growing problem, and though there are many ways to deal with fakes, the best thing to do is always buy from reputable sellers. The best thing is to ask for references so you can ask them about the other pieces of art they own. Buy from these sellers, and you will always feel safe knowing you are buying genuine art.