June 08, 2010

The Copying Artists of Dafen.

copyshop in Dafen (image by Geheimagentur)

60 percent of the world’s copied artworks come from Dafen, a village in South China - the village is the leading production center for cheap oil paintings. In 1989 Huang Jiang found the first workshop for copying master craftsman like Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and more. Today, most paintings are the work on the assembly line production where each painter works on different production phases of the painting: plants, reflexion, glossiness, etc. The more faces or hand the pictures includes, however, the higher the price. Approximately five million oil paintings are produced in Dafen every year; between 8,000 and 10,000 painters toil in the workshops (source: spiegel.de). Consumer are mostly department store (like walmart).

As part of the WIENER FESTWOCHEN, the art collective "Geheimagentur" presents a studio for copying paintings and socializing the art market. The group raises the question “Why the art world and the art market are ruled by ‘the original’ and obsessed by the idea of ‘originality’?

On the contrary: Copy art believes that a copy displays aesthetic and artistic decisions just like an original, that a copy is a witness to and the result of an artistic process just like the original, and that a copy develops an aura just like an original – but at a fraction of the cost. (source: themostwantedworksofart, geheimagentur)

painter in Dafen, China (image by Geheimagentur)

From from June 6th to June 13th 2010, artists from Dafen will produce a selection of the most wanted works of art. At the finissage (at the Kunsthalle Karlsplatz, Vienna) the artworks can be purchase by auction - the geheimagentur is redefining the art market.