Group mixes Andy Warhol original worth $20,000 with 999 copies

Collective was behind rapper Lil Nas X's 'Satan Shoes' last years, which featured a drop of human blood



AFP
AFP

By AFP

Published: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 10:27 PM

Last updated: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 10:40 PM

The New York art collective that brought us "Satan Shoes" with an apparent drop of human blood in the midsole is at it again, this time selling 1,000 copies of an Andy Warhol drawing at the same price, only one of which is the original.

On a website called the Museum of Forgeries, the group known as MSCHF says it bought a 1954 ballpoint pen sketch by the pop art master called "Fairies", which it says is worth $20,000, made 999 exact copies of it and mixed the original in with them.

They were all put on sale Monday for $250 and sold out. MSCHF says the copies are an art work called "Possibly Real Copy Of 'Fairies' by Andy Warhol."

MSCHF has posted a video showing how the copies are made: a robotic arm with a pen makes the drawings, which are then put through an accelerated artificial aging process with light, heat, pressure and moisture. Then the Warhol Foundation seal and annotations in pencil are manually replicated, MSCHF member Kevin Wiesner said in an email to AFP.

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"I think if an art conservator were able to inspect every drawing side-by-side, they would eventually discover the original. However, this scenario is unlikely to occur," he said.

MSCHF says that in doing this it seeks to criticize the concepts of "authenticity" and "exclusivity" that dominate the art market.

"Our goal is to 'destroy' the drawing by breaking down the chain of trust," Wiesner said.

The Warhol Foundation did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.

MSCHF, a collective created in 2016 and based in Brooklyn, specializes in reappropriating works of art or commercial objects.

Last spring it made the "Satan Shoe" in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.

They released 666 pairs of black Nike Air Max 97s customized to feature a bronze pentagram, a Bible verse referring to Satan's fall, and a drop of human blood mixed with red ink in the midsole.

Nike sued on grounds of trademark infringement.

MSCHF reached a deal with Nike under which it issued a voluntary recall for the sneakers.


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