Why buy a copy?
July 22 2013
Picture: Susie Ray Originals
An article in The Guardian alerts me to a new gallery selling copies of famous artists. 'Susie Ray Originals' in Cornwall will do you a nice signed Monet for £8,000, or a Renoir for £3,900. But, asks The Guardian:
[...] isn't this forgery? Isn't Ray's whole oeuvre that of a cynical charlatan? "I'm not a forger," she says, arguing that she's different from, say, the notorious cockney forger Tom Keating, who avoided jail even after admitting to painting 2,000 fakes of old masters. On the back of each copy, Ray signs her name. Real forgers don't do that. That said, she tells me some of her clients have passed off her copies as the real thing, if not to make money then to show off to dinner guests. One household name (whose identity I can't reveal) loves to boast about his Claude Monet – when it's really his Susie Ray. But isn't Ray facilitating such grubby behaviour? "A lot of famous people pass off my copies as original," she says. "That's up to them."
Susie Ray's website provides us with more reasons to buy a copy, including this baseball card analogy:
Art collectors can use high quality copyist paintings to complete a collection by an original artist, where the work is out of circulation.
The Monets and Van Goghs seem impressive from the website, but the Old Masters less so.