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ron ford artist

Fake Art

CMR Project Space, Redruth

September 2017

In a world of fake news, fake identities and fake information, we decided to adopt a light hearted look at the nature of Fake Art. The recent exhibition at CMR, curated by David Axtell, was very well received, widely covered and due to popular demand was extended with additional opening hours.


My approach to the theme of Fake Art’ was to explore the differences between Fake and Forgery. Our consensus was that the key difference is that a forgery presents a copy as if it were the original and aims to deceive.  A fake on the other hand can be a copy but to the knowing insider there are clues that it is not an original.  I created a copy of a Rothko, which taught me a lot about his painting methods, but the clue that it was not a Rothko was in the size, a mere 60cms x 60 cms. Similarly I re-created an Ad Reinhardt ‘black painting’ which was technically the most difficult task, where the clue was in the size and the materials, acrylic and board rather than oil and canvas. These 2 paintings were framed, cynically, in glossy black frames as advised by a London based commercial gallery. “Black sells contemporary work” meaning its this years fashion.


SC Moser is the false identity for an imaginary European artist, and she showed a group of female nudes.


A press release for the show announced that Gallery Thirteen from Bond Street, who were specialists in art forgeries, would be opening a branch in Redruth, and hosting an exhibition called Fake Art. Suitable signs were put up.

Whilst taking this seriously as an investigation into fake, we realised that our approach was ‘serious fun’.  Other members of CMR produced artworks such as Duchamp’s bottle rack, Peter Paul Rubens drawings, Tracey Emin’s bed, Hodgkin’s paintings and a mini Banksy installation.