Authenticity, Ambiguity, and The Paradox of Value in Art
Reduction Block Relief Prints
1/6 Not Genuine Stamp. (Red)
While this image is authentic in that it is verified to have been created by the artist whose initials appear on it, as a representation of a monetary unit it has no legal value outside that assigned by the marketplace. *
*Note that due to rarity, value is intrinsically magnified.
2/6 Not Genuine Without Stamp. (Blue)
The relationship between genuine and authentic may be exploited by the ambiguity inherent in the concept of “stamp.” This process would be further complicated if an “official stamp” were used for institutional identification. Thus the onus of authenticity would shift from the party issuing the work to the organization wielding the approval. *
*Provenance is equal to or greater than 50% of arbitrary value.
3/6 Not Genuine without this stamp. (Red)
This image is fully self-authenticated with documentation (three stamps and artist’s initials) all in agreement. Therefore, it is the version most susceptible to forgery and must be viewed with suspicion. *
*By some estimates, forgeries constitute up to 50% of museum holdings.
4/6 Genuine Without This Stamp. (Blue)
Although authentic, this image may not be genuine because it contains the artist’s chop* and therefore could be interpreted as negating the self-stated purpose of the text. *The carved chop represents one of the earliest historical examples of relief printing. It is one direct antecedent of the processes eventually utilized in the printing of postage stamps.
5/6 Genuine Without Stamp. (Red)
As indicated by the stamped text, this image, although authentic, would only be genuine if lacking one of its “stamps.” Taking away increases it’s value through limiting. *
*Refer to the Diamond - Water paradox well known to economists.
6/6 Genuine Stamp. (Blue)
This representation of a stamp represents the artist’s intention to represent a stamp. Depending on the meaning of “representation,” this image* is either genuine or not. *The reduction method of relief printing used in the creation of this work requires the artist to destroy the art while simultaneously creating it.
Sample pages from an illustrated mystery novel
Tales of a Yellow Dog
Sample pages from an adventure comic