Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Danny Rock presents "The Urban Art Forger."

I went to the studio of artist Danny Rock in Casselberry as he put finishing touches on ten forgeries he will be showing at Loft 55 Gallery & Boutique (55 West Church Street, Suite 120, Orlando, Florida)."Urban Art Forger" will open this Thursday March 19th as part of the Downtown Third Thursday art scene.
Danny explained that the work "Is a recreation of classics done in a new world trying to relate to what is real verses what is not. The point of this exhibition is to bring the awareness that fine art collectors and patrons  would rather spend millions on forgeries than support local fine artists with real skill and poise. All  the reproduction made are open domain."
On his work table was a book about how the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre by a former staff member, Vincenzo Peruggia. He didn't steal the painting for profit. He loved the painting and wanted it for himself. His tiny garret had a wooden stove and the Mona Lisa leaned up next to it for years. Pan drippings and spatter from boiling soups might have splashed the painting. After two years, he took the painting to Italy and kept it in his Florence apartment.  He wanted the painting returned to it's homeland. Magazines had just come into vogue and the image of Mona Lisa circled the world until she was found.  Vincenzo only served two months in an Italian jail when convicted. Now behind bullet proof glass, it must be the most visited and photographed painting in the world. I went to see the painting and was shocked by the crushing crowd of tourists all viewing her in their digital devices. It was a surreal scene, which I call the digital salute. A digital picture takes a second to create and then is forgotten on hard drives or lost. Danny on the other hand is taking the time to apply delicate glazes and trying to understand the subtleties of the masters. Recently a second Mona Lisa has appeared painted on canvas. Da Vinci usually worked on wooden panels. In this painting there are two columns on either side of her. Some experts claim that this was a study done by Da Vinci for the final painting. Others believe it is a forgery. Danny decided to create a forgery of both.  Digital 3-D printers can now duplicate a painting with all the thick impasto paint and color. Though accurate it would still lack the human touch. It also could not replicate the deep pools of glazes applied. Perhaps we are becoming a society that only wants reproductions instead of originals. Everyone expects Wall mart prices even in art. Danny's forgeries are available for only a couple of hundred dollars each.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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