Even as the demand for Indian art grows, challenges such as counterfeiting, piracy and lack of copyright for visual artists continue to plague the art market for works of art and art. their certificates of authenticity plagued with digital manipulation.
Paintings by veterans like MF Husain, SH Raza and Manjit Bawa are among the most copied, often fetching high prices, thanks to clever imitation and circuitry of counterfeits, experts say.
While the link between fake art runs deep enough to fool even unsuspecting art experts and collectors, whether seasoned or young, counterfeits at exhibitions and auctions have been exposed, including by India, several times in the past.
However, luck does not favor all the time and in such a scenario there will be a greater need for advanced technology that not only simplifies but automates complex art verification procedures, according to experts.
According to Shruthi Issac, director of Collection Museum Initiatives, The Savara Foundation for the Arts, when collecting modern Indian art, the collector must first assess the overall correctness of a work in question, based on the erudition of several previous works of the artist, which will familiarize and allow the collector to see the stylistic approach of the artist and his way of working with materials.
âJudging forgeries and false attributions in Indian arts is a challenge,â agrees Isaac. For her, practical experience has been the best teacher that has taught her to “rely on connoisseurs, historical documentation, empirical data and scientific tests”.
In an interview in 2014, the head of the Institute of Fine Arts at the time, the Swiss Yan Walther, said that more than 50% of all art circulating in the world market was fake.
Experts say things haven’t changed much since then and the burgeoning fake art market is a cause for concern for all stakeholders.
To solve the problem of protecting the unique identity of each work of art and ensuring that there can be no replication, the Indian art and technology organization Jumbish has developed JDAT (Jumbish Digital Authentication Tags), an NFC adhesive chip for physical artwork, for which the company takes pre-orders.
While NFC tags are available in a few other countries, Jumbish says it is a pioneering technology in India that will introduce a paradigm shift in the art market and eliminate the possibility of forging art, because there will only be one unique work of art with a tag that can be scanned.
A JDAT, priced at $ 10 each, provides unique authentication and provenance for collectors because it is a flexible, paper-like chip with a private and public key that when attached to the back of a a canvas, automatically gives information when scanning.
It also provides income to an artist on the first sale and each resale thereafter. JDAT data is linked to the NFT (non-fungible tokens) and is stored digitally on the secure blockchain.
As a Princeton University study pointed out, “Authenticating paintings can be difficult, even for experienced art specialists. The quantitative characteristics obtained through digital image analysis could potentially be useful in identifying copies or counterfeits. ” And Jumbish aims to do just that – “to improve the world of visual arts by leveraging technology – using IOT and blockchain-based authentication tags that track artwork as it enters. the market, âthe company said.
Sharing her story, visual artist Richa Navani said, âAfter years of perseverance and hard work, the artist has succeeded in creating a genre of art. This includes an innumerable amount of time and resources devoted to the practice artistic over decades. Sadly, an artist’s work is copied, damaged, lost and so on! “
âMy work was lost when it was sent for an exhibition in Mumbai which was canceled. The collector who took my work said he was with a friend and safe. The saga lasted two years but I never got my work back. The latest technology must be used to properly document and stop the process of fake works of art, “she said.
Globally, fake art has extended its roots deeply, so much so that The Muse Terrus in France saw its collection more than halved when it was revealed that 82 of the museum’s 142 works were fakes.
In another incident, during an exhibition in 2011 at the Government College of Art and Craft in Kolkata, 20 paintings attributed to Rabindranath Tagore were described as fake by historians and art critics.
Later, the former headmaster of the college and an art dealer were charged with the crime.
To prevent such incidents, Jumbish provides authentication services for fine art (paintings, sculptures, murals), digital art (illustrations, graphics, animations, videos) and photography (digital and printed photographs).
“Our platform will help auction houses, galleries, museums, curators, art consultants, art appraisers, art lawyers to have a one-stop-shop to find details of works. art, which is otherwise very difficult to obtain, âsaid Shankar Mridha, CEO of Jumbish. said PTI.
The organization also aims to regularize a flow of royalties for artists as their works are resold and ownership changes.
Jumbish’s Director of Value, Bibhas Banerjee, said, âOur platform ensures that existing buyers or collectors get more value for their money because the authenticity of the artwork is endorsed by technology. Artists and creators, on the other hand, can benefit from copyright which has been a less discussed subject in the world of visual arts and painting.