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In order to determine whether a work is authentic or not, there should be a combination of a provenance, subjective authentication, and forensic authentication. In the specific case of Tori Hurton’s painting that is claimed to be an original Jackson Pollock, all three attributes are not in agreement with each other, however from my perspective it appears that the painting is authentic. Its authenticity is primarily associated with the fingerprint that matched the paint can as well as the painting. This should be considered as firm proof that the painting is authentic, however since an origin as well as timeline of where this painting was located and under who’s ownership is unfounded, people claim it is not authentic. Nevertheless, it could be that Pollock had just given his painting away, which is how over time it became discovered in the thrift shop. There are numerous manners and paths that would allow the painting to wind up in a multitude of locations, thus the fact that it was obtained in a thrift shop should not serve as a defining factor in determining the painting’s authenticity. Simply because the painting was not in the hands of a wealthy art collector does not mean that the painting is not authentic. Disregarding these notions, numerous individuals within the art sphere, some with an extensive amount of background, establishment, and knowledge on the field subjectively analyzed the piece and they all came to the similar conclusion and determined that the painting was not authentic. It is also noted by the International Foundation For Art Research that the painting is considered not authentic due to what appears to be “an intentional splatter pattern whereas there should be more of an intermingling of paint”, however this criticism and observation is done anonymously, thus the credibility of the statement decreases. Additionally, Thomas Hoving, brushes off the fingerprint evidence and claims that there is no resemblance of Jackson Pollock’s heart in the painting. The very demonstration of Thomas Hoving’s immediate inclination to dismiss the forensic evidence demonstrates his passive judgement. He continues to hold onto his beliefs that the painting is not authentic without even momentarily taking the notion into consideration. This stubbornness appears to be common amongst an innumerable number of individuals within the art sphere. Also, if the painting was not authentic, then the question of how Jackson Pollock’s fingerprint ended up on it should be further addressed, however this issue is not brought up. The forensic authentication contradicts all of the evidence aforementioned due to the unyielding evidence of the matching fingerprints. The main issue with determining if the painting is authentic or not is associated with the conflict between subjective authentication and provenance vs forensic authentication. Nonetheless, clearly since the fingerprint was confirmed by both the laboratory as well as the sergeant, there should be no argument that the painting is authentic. Their claims deal with scientific and tangible evidence, while as the other individuals have no similar basis.
The role of art experts is critical in scenarios where authenticity is brought to question. These art institutions as well as culture brokers are the individuals who have the power to present the piece with either a corresponding priceless or worthless value. In order to “insulate a gallery if you can trace the possession of the work from the artist to the present owner, that is strong evidence that the artist created the work”. The issue with this statement is primarily associated with the key word strong evidence. In the case of Teri Hurton, she conjured up the provocation, and numerous individuals within the art world believed and didn’t not appear to question. The idea that some dealers believed the provenance that Terry had conjured reflects upon the fallaciousness that could serve as the foundation for many notable artworks. The authenticity of the painting is thus built upon a platform of inaccuracies that nobody has the ability to contradict. This highlights the issue of how authenticity can be both verified as well as trusted. It also generates the question of whether this is a common occurrence amongst art institutions or not. It is with this that the film essentially serves as an indictment of the sphere of art.
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