Art is the cornerstone to any great civilization. Without it we might as well be living in trees and throwing our neatly shaped excrement at each other. It is meant to express the inner most feeling of the artist who created it. To falsify a painting or sculpture is to steal its very soul.
That is exactly what the Vero Beach Museum of Art in Vero Beach, Florida, has been accused of with an exhibit it has used to draw attention to its 20 year anniversary. The museum has been displaying elegant bronze sculptures they claim are by the artists Edgar Degas and Alberto Giacometti. The small statues have been a huge attraction point for visitors of the museum.
However Gary Arseneau, a Florida art analyst, who has done exhaustive research on Degas, Rodin and other artists, says otherwise. The pieces are “Fake as a 3$ bill” according to the researcher.
He points out that the Degas pieces in particular are fake, due to the fact that Mr. Degas never used bronze as a medium. "Degas never approved the pieces, never saw them, never signed them, never touched them," Arseneau said. "If he is creating art while he's dead, I am eager to see what he creates next."
The officials in question quickly shot back. The director of the museum, Lucinda H. Gedeon, stated earlier this week, “The practice of posthumously reproducing artists' works in foundries was commonplace in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and accepted by art historians and experts.”
"There is no issue of fakes, no issue of forgery, no issue of defrauding anybody," The museums director said, "Are they posthumous? Yes they are.”
The previous statement makes no sense. As Mr. Arseneau said before, it is not very easy for an artist to create works after they have already died. Hell, I would go as far as to say it is damn near impossible.
Frankly, the rhetoric this museum director is using is an affront to the entire community they have duped. She is exactly what is wrong with this world. Instead of admitting to what the man who knows more than her said is true, she has tried to put a play on words to get out of the hot seat.
If it is not Degas, then tell the people it is not. Simple. Stop wasting our time and insulting our intelligence.