For all the art fanatics out there, the chance of owning an original Andy Warhol without having to take out a mortgage seems slim to none. That is, until now. For its latest drop, Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF bought an original Andy Warhol for US$20K, made 999 exact forgeries of it and mixed them up. In the process, the original Warhol was lost among them.
Now, the collective is selling them for US$250 a piece, claiming that “they are all definitely by MSCHF, and also all possibly by andy warhol. any record of which piece within the set is the original has been destroyed”. So – to recap – the original Andy Warhol is being sold amongst 999 other identical copies, and no one can tell them apart.
The piece is titled ‘Museum of Forgeries’ and the link up between Andy Warhol and MSCHF seems to make perfect sense, with the artist famously working towards the mass-production of art. The process itself forms part of the piece, too: MSCHF first bought ‘Fairies, 1954’ before creating an exact copy of the pen drawing, using a robot the collective designed and built themselves. The paper of each pen drawing was then artificially aged and stained to produce 1,000 works, all titled “Possible real copy of ‘Fairies’ by Andy Warhol”.
This is the latest work by the art collective who are known for breaking the mould, having previously produced artwork that involved injecting Nikes with holy water and blood. MSCHF are masters of creating work that is difficult to categorise, and perhaps difficult to pinpoint. In creating these identical copies, they aim to destroy the original source of the artwork, and as they describe, “by destroying any future confidence in the veracity of the work. by burying a needle in a needle stack, we render the original as much a forgery as any of our replications”.
Part of the draw is undoubtedly the relatively good odds that buyers will have a 0.1% chance of getting an original Warhol for a vastly reduced price. Here, MSCHF continues to create provocative art which questions the very meaning of what art is, and could be. Fancy your chances? Cop a print, or original, here.