As art increasingly becomes an investment commodity, artist identification becomes an ever more serious business. Egotistical connoisseurs, often art dealers who stand to profit from attributing a piece to the artist will fetch the highest price, still exist. They rely on their “eye” alone. If doubted, they attack the questioner, disgorging a torrent of vituperative criticism with haughty grandeur, not unlike a bull stomping and trumpeting. When a rival approaches the female – or “cash cow,” the waning alpha relies on bluster to thwart an actual confrontation. Collectors interested only in return on investment bully honest art historians with threats of litigation. Art as investment perpetuates a wild, lawless marketplace. Lost in the contentious marketplace is the sacredness of art and the moral right of every artist to correct attribution.
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