The Mirror in the UK talks to a young artist who has unwittingly become the target of Chinese fake factories. The Chinese label their work reproductions but the canvases are imported and retain no markings identifying them as copies. What makes the case so interesting is that Wilkinson is 38 and only recently got gallery representation. So she’s battling the fakes while still trying to make her reputation and a living:
Speaking from her home in Wales Mandy added: “It’s a totally different position to a hugely famous or dead artist, because someone buying a reproduction Picasso or Van Gogh knows it’s not going to be real. […]
Because of that she is a popular subject for fakers. You can buy a good quality oil paint reproduction of one of her works for the equivalent of £45 from a workshop in Guangdong. And, for someone decorating a London flat on a budget that compares very favourably to the £2,000 to £6,000 of a real Wilkinson.
Godfrey says he has already identified one UK distributor and has taken legal advice on closing the operation down.
Gallery at 94’s curator David Godfrey dubs her the ‘most ripped-off living artist ever’. He added: “In 2005 suddenly the market was flooded with her paintings. It’s now 2009 and the problem is getting worse. […] “Chinese factories are producing Wilkinson paintings and selling them to importers, distributors and art galleries around the world. Galleries buying from these factories are fully aware that they are selling fakes, and are happy to rip off their clients for the sake of a few pounds additional profit.
Art:Beware the Copycats (Mirror.co.uk)