Monday, August 29, 2016

Weighing In

Artnet collects reactions to the Peter Doig case from various experts, all interesting and very much worth reading.

Amy Adler makes an excellent point here:

"[L]et’s say Doig had lied. I don’t think VARA gives you a right to disavow a work you actually created, unless it’s been significantly modified. In defense of the theory of the lawsuit, there may be circumstances where an artist does lie and could with one word wipe out $10 million of value; what recourse does an owner have under those circumstances? We might be sympathetic to a plaintiff in the case of a different set of facts."

Relatedly, there seems to be a sense, in some of these pieces and elsewhere, that the Judge in the Doig case set a bad precedent, or made life more difficult for artists going forward.  I don't think that's quite right.  All this case did was expose the risks to artists that were already there.  Before the Doig case, an artist who denied the authenticity of his work faced the possibility of a lawsuit.  After the Doig case, an artist who denies the authenticity of his work faces the possibility of a lawsuit. Nothing has changed.  This was always dangerous territory, as Doig sadly found out.