On Authenticity by Ruth Channing

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I thought this picture of mine (2006) was apropos of the topic of authenticity: ‘The Forger’, aquatint etching 24×18″. The subject is the dutch forger Van Meegeren, who fooled the Nazis, and had to paint a Vermeer in prison to prove that he had forged the Vermeers that he sold to Hitler. My feeling is that he couldn’t have forged Vermeers so successfully if he hadn’t really loved and understood Vermeer. In other words, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It’s shocking to see that someone has copied our work, but it’s also a great compliment.

Personally, though, what I hope for myself is that I can eventually break free of the artists that influence me, and find my own voice. By voice I don’t mean a new gimmick that no one else thought of yet- I mean an expression of feeling which communicates to the person looking. When I feel something, looking at a picture, then I think that it is authentic art.

– Ruth Channing

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