|Durwood Coffey, valliwood.com, commercial artist|
This picture is of commercial artist Durwood Coffey and his painting that I took at an art fair a few years ago. We've been working together for a number of years as I became a self-employed marketing maven back in 1993. Somehow, we met and have been working on projects ever since. He is wonderfully creative and has been very well apprenticed. We frequently talk about the 'by-gone days" when designers started out emptying the water bowls of the "creatives" as a way to build their skills and learn the elements of composition on the job.
Whenever I give Durwood a design project, I always want to send my idea along, whether it is a "thumbnail" or something I saw somewhere. Durwood will look at my rough idea and toss them aside coming up with something so much better. However, he won't even look at the something I "saw somewhere" because he is adament about not copying someone's work as he doesn't want his copied. Clearly, I respect the man.
Durwood knows about our trip to the Toledo Museum of Art on January 18 for the "I've Been Framed" tour. It was around 2005/06 that I went to the museum to see their show of the forgeries they purchased. The docent clearly explained that almost every museum gets duped. I loved the idea ever since and came up with this tour last year. The museum was open and honest about it's unique purchases.
There's been a lot of books and some movies about criminal forgers. In my mind, it all started with the Romans, who just weren't clever enough to think for themselves, but blatantly stole from the Greeks who were the chief thinkers of the day. The Romans couldn't even come up with their own gods, but stole theirs. About the only thing they really contributed that was unique was to create one of the most diffcult alphabets: Roman, which was based on the rules of geometry. Well, they did steal that concept from the Greeks who already associated prime numbers with geometery and algebra. Try making a Roman A or M and you'll see what I mean.
In our age, many books and movies about fakes abound because we are just so curious about fakers.
In How To Steal A Million, Audrey Hepburn tries to loot a forgered Cellini made by her grandfather. Then there's Honore' de Balzac, who wrote Pierre Grassou, about an artist who lives off forgeries.
My absolute favorite forgery is at the Getty Museum: The Getty Kourous, a sculpture of supposedly the perfect male. It was purchased in 1985 to the tune of $7 million. However, scholars are torn as to whether or not it is a forgery. No one is sure, but the sign at the Getty Museum says: Greek around 530 BC or a modern forgery. Honesty to be sure.
Heck, even Van Gogh painted a forgery every now and then just to keep the money coming in.
The point is, we're captivted by being duped -- as if it could never happen to us.