Arts

Spot the difference: 1,000 Andy Warhol sketches are for sale, but only 1 is real

An art collective purchased a single Andy Warhol sketch then proceeded to make 999 copies that even the creators can’t tell apart.

Under the project name Museum of Forgeries, New York art collective MSCHF purchased a legitimate 1954 Warhol pen drawing titled Fairies for $20,000 dollars.

The group then utilised specialised machinery that was programmed to imitate the original lines and pen strokes perfectly, then the works were aged using a combination of heat, light, and humidity.

Image: MSCHF

Having combined the 999 fakes with the single original work, the group is now auctioning off each work for $250, with buyers and creators alike apparently unable to determine each piece’s legitimacy. The group hopes that their efforts can democratise elite art ownership even slightly.

“A Warhol piece is completely unrealistic for most people to even come close to getting. In some way, we’re democratising it by letting everyone have what could be a Warhol.”

If all goes to plan, the group will make a toasty $250,000 from their original $20,000 investment.

MSCHF hopes to poke fun at an industry more interested in the authenticity of an artwork – or who created it – than the art itself, said chief creative officer, Lukas Bentel.

“For the majority of high-net-worth individuals collecting art, it’s not about the aesthetic value,” Bentel told CNN. It’s just about the investment value. Will this appreciate in time or not?”

It’s not the first time MSCHF have poked fun at the art world, as the same group of around 20 artists was sued by Nike for creating modified “Satan” sneakers containing real human blood in partnership with Lil Nas X.

All of the 1,000 artworks have already sold out on their website, but you can watch how they constructed these fantastic fakes below.