|Saturday, November 30, 2002|
Return to Authenticity
Continuing the thread about what additional information comes with a work of art and in particular Certificates of Authenticity-
Looking at some of the information that the World Printmakers include on a Certificate of Authenticity we can see an interesting interplay of information and the work's meaning.
For discussion's sake, let's say a work of art has an intrinsic value or meaning. What, then does the addition of a Certificate of Authenticity (Cert.) bring to a piece so that it changes the piece's value/meaning?
The Cert. makes a formal statement as to who the artist is. Thus, if the artist's value is great, the work may take part in that value. The artist may be known to impart certain meanings to his/her work, and the piece may now have those meanings projected on to it as well. Further, because the artist is working within his/her own historical frame of reference, the work may be understood to have the meanings that that period was know for.
The Cert. includes a note on what medium or technique was used. Presumably that which requires a higher degree of skill may make the piece valued higher. The similarities or contrast between the type of medium or skill and the content of the piece may bring out additonal meanings.
The Cert. tells who created the piece (in this case the Workshop and Master Printer.) a well known shop or Master could contribute to the value of the piece. It may also contribute to how serious the piece is taken and how much effort is made to understand and appreciate its meaning(s).
The Cert. identifies if the plate or matrix was cancelled. Beyond the supply and demand notion of the limited edition, this records an interesting historical event. This is the event of the master being destroyed. While common in printmaking field, and perfectly understandable, the destructive force and finality of the act leave an impression on me. I think this leaves a sort of aghost of a meaning over the piece. (Of course, I've taken a hammer to many a ceramic mug...but they were the bad ones.)
The Cert. also has an Additional Information line which can include a host of things...it is this that I would like to look at next....