Archive for March 2006

Recommended Reading

1. Pablo Picasso: Catalogs of the Printed Graphic Work, Volume One: 1904-1967 by Georges Bloch is the single most often referenced volume of Picasso’s various print catalogue raisonnés. Despite thumbnail pictures, it catalogues 64 years of Picasso’s printmaking career, all but the last four years, and thus provides a wonderful overview of his art in a single, handy volume.  Alan Wofsy of San Francisco is the current publisher of the original French version, available at http://www.art-books.com/cgi-bin/artbooks/467-2.html.  At the time of this writing (which I am now updating as of 2015), there is as yet no English version.  But Bloch is mostly a picture book with little verbiage anyway, and the French is not hard to conquer. 2. PICASSO: THE REAL FAMILY STORY, by Olivier Widmaier Picasso,…

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Artist’s Proofs

Question: Can you tell me something about the fact that [the print in which I’m interested] is one of the artist’s proofs? Does that mean that because it isn’t numbered it is of less value than the rest of the edition? -Judith C. Response: Most of Picasso’s prints were released in editions of 50, with a small number (usually 5 to 20) artist’s proofs. An edition of 50 would be numbered 1/50 to 50/50 by a hand other than Picasso’s. Whereas the artist’s proofs bore no numbers, they were usually inscribed with the words “epreuve d’artiste”, also by another hand. There are certainly no hard and fast rules about the relative value of artist’s proofs. Some dealers will accord a…

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The Determinants of the Relative Value of Prints

Question: Maybe you can help me understand why one print could be $95k and another could be $2k—is it all rarity? —Luke P. Response: Supply certainly influences demand, but it is not the only factor. A print’s price is also determined by the demand for that particular print, the richness of the impression (of the inked plate, block, or stone on the paper), the condition of the print, the size of the print, its colorfulness, and the presence of a signature. The demand for a given print is largely determined by the quality of the design, but is also subject to other prevailing preferences in the marketplace. For example, in Picasso prints, female portraiture generally commands a higher price than…

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YOUR OWN PERSONAL PICASSO PRINT PERSONALITY PROFILE (PPPPP)

In order to understand individual variations in taste regarding Picasso and, specifically, Picasso’s prints, the correlations between these preferences and other cultural predispositions in fine art and, for starters, music, and, ultimately, in order to better understand the human mind, I’ve been toying with the idea of compiling a Personal Picasso Print Personality Profile (PPPPP) for each of you readers who have waded this far down into this tripe. It would of course require that you respond to that dreaded document, the questionnaire, but, to make it easy on you, I’d accept answers to any of the questions you chose to answer even if you didn’t complete the entire questionnaire. How’s that? I’m also open to suggestions of other questions.…

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Fake Picassos at Costco (Reported in the NY Times)

The following article was brought to my attention by Richard with an attached message, “for your amusement”: It’s Costco, but Is It Picasso? Art Sale in Doubt By CAROL KINO From diamonds to dog food to Dom Pérignon Champagne, Costco is known as an astute marketer of high and low. Recently, it even ventured into the rarefied world of Picasso, selling a crayon drawing at its Web site for a bargain $39,999.99. The buyer, Louis Knickerbocker, a meat distributor from Newport Beach, Calif., had never fancied himself a big-league collector. But as he was cruising to work in his sport utility vehicle one day, a radio news report about the Costco offering roused him to action. Mr. Knickerbocker, 39, quickly…

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CRUISE SHIP ART AUCTIONS

Dear Kobi, While on a cruise ship last month we purchased what was represented as an original Picasso lithograph signed by Picasso. We asked to see a Picasso catalogue while on the ship, but the auctioneer did not have one. We purchased a Dali piece that was listed in the Dali catalogue and the auctioneer seemed genuine, so we decided to also purchase Le Clown, since their art firm had a written guarantee. I forgot about looking in a Picasso catalog until this week. When I couldn’t find the piece I contacted the art wholesaler and was told the piece was printed after a drawing donated to the Paris Peace Movement in 1968 and published the same year by Yamat…

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The dual dangers of overpaying and of buying online

Dear Kobi, the article i read today [from your manuscript] was talking about the dangers of buying online and also the danger of paying too much for a work from a gallery because of overheads etc… this is a question i have asked myself for a while……which way to jump? take a risk online and buy hopefully a real and fair priced work or have a bit more piece of mind and buy from a brick and mortar gallery and in more cases than not pay too much for the work as they have great expenses like rent, staff, and their endless champagne and canapé parties.

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Fakes and fake letters of authenticity

Dear Kobi — I appreciated your tales from Chapter 13 of the wonderful variety and diversity of Picasso fakes and fake letters of authenticity. I assisted in the publicity regarding a bad guy named ABC, whom I exposed on my website www.milwaukeeworld.com for foisting some fake Picassos on the public. I was able to examine the fakes and the fake certificates of authenticity. You can learn a lot from forgeries, as you obviously know. ABC did some time, but appears to be active in Florida. I have heard from many, many people who have either 1.) bought a fake and wish they had gone to my website first, or 2.) went to my website first and did not buy the…

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