January 12

21st Century Living

Saturday’s Big Idea

Purposeful Purposelessness

Throughout the history of art we have placed a premium on originals. Therefore, forgeries have represented one of the greatest threats to the integrity of the art-object. 

And yet, according to the artist and art critic Jonathon Keats, the act of "forging" can also be a productive enterprise. When Andy Warhol appropriated the image of the Mona Lisa, for instance, he brought into question the very concept of artistic originality, which has become a major theme in postmodern art. 

In today's digital culture, in which control of intellectual property has been dramatically decentralized, our concepts of creativity, identity, authorship, artistic integrity, as well as fame and success, are being radically reassessed. In a provocative new book, the reliably provocative Jonathon Keats shows how art has a lot to learn from forgery. After all, Keats argues, the idea of forgery resonates more than ever today in a culture in which "the open exchange of ideas has been rebranded as piracy."

"Appropriation artists appropriate the forger's modus operandi for artistic purposes," Keats writes in Forged: Why Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age. "And almost always, as in the case of Warhol, those purposes are subversive." 

  1. 1 Forging a New Art
  2. 2 What the World Needs is More Curi...
  3. 3 The Role of Origins, Essence and ...
  4. 4 Outlaw Artist: The Curious Case o...
   
  1. Forging a New Art

    Forging a New Art

    The idea of forgery resonates more than ever today in a culture in which "the open exchange of ideas has been rebranded as piracy." 

    Read More…
  2. What the World Needs is More Curious Amateurs

    What the World Needs is More Curious Amateurs

    Call it art, experimental philosophy, theater, or what you will – Jonathan Keats plays the fool as a kind of public protest against the ever-present danger of taking ourselves and our understanding of the world too seriously.

    Read More…
  3. The Role of Origins, Essence and Specialness in Art

    The Role of Origins, Essence and Specialness in Art

    We pay special attention to the history of an object – where it has been, who created it, what touched it – because object’s history is what really matters when it comes to its value.

    Read More…
  4. Outlaw Artist: The Curious Case of Mark Augustus Landis

    Outlaw Artist: The Curious Case of Mark Augustus Landis

    Forgery is the bane of the art world. But what does it mean when a forger practices his trade for art’s sake without accepting a cent in return?

    Read More…