This nOde last updated May 7th, 2002 and is permanently morphing…
(10 Cauac (Rain) / 12 Uo – 179/260 – 188.8.131.52.19)
Consider the case of John Myatt, described last month in _The New York Times Magazine_ as being part of an art-forgery scam so profound that it was said to have “altered art history.” Myatt didn’t grow ever more expert in copying one painter, as have forgers before him; he copied many twentieth-century artists, and (in his own opinion) not very adeptly: “There was a negligence to everything I did,” he confessed. Your favorite Giacometti could easily be yet another Myatt, and certainly would be if it had any K-Y Jelly slopped on the canvas (the use of fast-drying K-Y being one of Myatt’s techniques for increasing his output). Astonishingly, the K-Y almost never tipped off the experts, many of whom now despair of getting the canon right again, separating the real Giacomettis, Braques, and Chagalls from the jellied frauds. But other experts admit that Myatt was doing just what a modern artist should: quoting like crazy and making us think about what artistic originality amounts to in the first place. This is exactly the kind of thing the Ars Electronica jurors like to ponder. Perhaps next year, if he can get online, Myatt will be rewarded with a Golden Nica, making him a hero of the open source underground: the Linus Torvalds of the dark side.