Distinguishing between real and fake art is an art in itself. Not many of us, however, are skilled at it. Mumbai-based Piramal Museum of Art hopes to equip us with this skill with its exhibition Likeness without reference: The cultures of forgery. The exhibition will help the visitor get an insight into the methods used by forgers and the difficulties faced in authentication, despite the availability of various mechanisms such as provenance, documentation and scientific analysis. The exhibition also critically examines the validity of each of these methods.
Also on display are specific case studies to represent art forms from the Indian subcontinent that have been repeatedly subject to questions of authenticity. For instance, the different strategies of counterfeiting that are adopted for legendary artists such as M.F. Husain, Jamini Roy and Raja Ravi Varma will be addressed, while shedding light on complications involving works like miniatures and Tanjore paintings where replication of older art works is a recognised practice. Additionally, the show also explores the notion of ‘original’ as it operates within the realm of prints and sculptures, and its associated disparity in monetary value.
In order to make the platform more interactive, the exhibitors will also hold debates and discussions.
Earlier, Piramal Museum of Art has showcased the artworks of acclaimed artists such as Raja Ravi Varma, Akbar Padamsee, Hemendranath Mazumdar, Gaganendranath Tagore, Jehangir Sabavala, Bikash Bhattacharjee, K.G. Subramanyan and M.F. Hussain, but this is the first time an educational art event has been organised. The exhibition will be open to public from till March 31 inside Piramal Tower, Peninsula Corporate.