Just a short post tonight as it is very late. I went to a concert tonight. It was great but I got home late. I do love rock and roll. I had dinner with a friend afterwords and we were talking about this and that, and I told him about people sending me paintings for attribution. He thought it would make a good blog post, so here it is.
I am routinely sent e-mails from people who have bought paintings at auction or in a yard sale. They have searched the web and found me. I have some strong auction records, including a painting that brought 25,000 dollars at an auction in Texas. They are hoping that the painting they have is one of mine. But the odd thing is that the paintings they send me are NOTHING like what I do. Above is an example. I would guess it was made about 75 years before I was born. It isn't a plein air picture and except for its subject, snow, bears no resemblance to my work. I don't know why they think it does but perhaps they are hopeful that they have got themselves a deal on a more valuable painting. I get one of these every few weeks or so.
The painting above is not too horrible, but I get mass produced paintings from the workshops in Korea and Taiwan that are obviously production painting that have a misspelling of my name on them (Kerns) and I get weird amateur stuff from yard sales that has an illegible signature, it might say Kresges, who knows. Still they e-mail it hopefully to me.I guess people are just clueless about paintings, perhaps they see only subject matter. It seems so odd that what is so familiar to me is so foreign to most people. But of course they have their own lives and interests and I probably know nothing about what they do know. Maybe one of those sport games? Still it is scary working so hard to make things that only a tiny fraction of the population is interested in. Don't they teach art in school?
The thing that is most surprising to me is the unbelievably low quality of most of the paintings they send. I always begin feeling a little insulted."How could you think I made such a piece of dreck?" but I always calm down and realize that they don't know one painting from another. They have seen the antiques roadshow and imagine they are going to find a treasure. There are lots of bad paintings out there and you can always get them cheaply. But please, only send me those that look professional OK? I have feelings too. Gee.