Americans aren’t so interested in quality, but with a standard shipping container holding 20,000 works, headed for unknown locations, some without life, who cares eh?
what the hell am I talking about anyhow?
The Times Online reported on a village in China churning out incredible numbers of faux paintings.
At first it sounds like the type of thing that might be expected, somewhere in this world. But the numbers are truly staggering: approximately 8,000 to 10,000 artists-assembly-workers are crammed into tenements in the Dafen ‘painting village’ in Shen Zhen (just north of Hong Kong SAR – I found it after searching all of China using Google Earth). somewhere around 3,000 copies of Van Gogh’s sunflowers are reproed every year, along with thousands upon thousands of other ‘masterpieces’. To give you an idea, the sunflowers generally sell for a mere £2, but somewhere it’s a profitable business: the second ‘Industry Cultural Industry Fair’ held in May of this year reported around US$1.25billion in sales. . . . wow. And here I thought the NY art world was loaded with cash that I never get to fondle.
Further google searches on Dafen lead me to here and here and here. Oddly enough, google searches of Dafen pretty much return nothing but pages referencing the Dafen oil painting village. It’s a strange and awesome world out there all right.
But my interests in all of this stems from a desire to see the rooms, the ‘studios’ as they were, the warehouses even, in which all of this creation is happening. Right alongside the shop-store fronts selling to a physical clientele who travel to this place with the intent to purchase a repro Delacroix. I don’t embrace it, but I’m fascinated by the thought. And I know this might be a long shot, but if anybody out there has any photos you took of Dafen, please, contact me!