September 07, 2006
Because I care
Even though I watch hardly any television, I care -- I care deeply -- about Katie Couric's "First-Night win."
That's because I prefer real phoniness to fake phoniness.
In Dali's mind, the signature may have been the least important ingredient to determine authenticity. The French art publisher Jean-Paul Delcourt, a signatory to some controversial Dali prints, tells about acquiring a dozen "Dali" lithographs from an American publisher and reselling them to an English dealer. The Englishman complained later than Enrique Sabater had declared them to be fakes, and a customer wanted his money back. The American publisher refused to do so because he had certificates of authenticity. Delcourt says he saw Dali at the Meurice Hotel and showed the prints to Dali and Gala.In Dali's defense, it should be pointed out that he was much hated by many in the artistic community, and in his old age was literally besieged with various con artists and cheats. So the above example might just be inaccurate. Or maybe fake but true. Frankly, in the case of Dali I don't care. I love his art, and from a purely opportunist point of view, the forgery scandal so depressed the value of his art that it's still quite a bargain (assuming the buyer is not averse to some risk taking).
Are there lessons from Dali which might be relevant to today's media? Perhaps. Dali was often attacked by the media, for being a phony, but his surrealism spoke for itself, and he came right back at them:
The cherry on the cake was: for every attack the critics launched at Dali the man (they really had no idea who he was), Dali would come back at them with yet another elaborate piece of fiction about himself. It was unfair. The critics were "devoted to the truth." The painter was free to invent himself over and over as many times as he fancied.(I try to dig at these contradictions as deeply as I can, but I could never in my wildest dreams dig as deeply as Dali.)
By the way, legal scholars into the serious study of the fake-but-accurate should by all means check out the leading case of DALI FOUNDATION v. KOSTABI, 168 F.3d 861 (2004).
Highly informative reading!
MORE: Attention Dali experts! I have been unable to authenticate the following, but I am presenting it in the hope that someone can. It does appear to have been signed, and because it is whatever it is, I think it's fair to say that it has at least been content-verified.
posted by Eric on 09.07.06 at 09:14 AM
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