Essay by Boris von Brauchitsch
Text by Michael Wolf
32 cm x 25 cm
Strange, this is how these pictures appear at first sight. In front of typical Chinese urban backdrops young Chinese men and women present oil paintings by American and European artists from different epochs. Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, even photographs by Lee Friedlander, William Eggleston, Bernd and Hilla Becher or August Sander can be found among the works. What stands behind all this?
In fact we see pictures of a multi-million dollar industry – the production of copies of popular artworks, which are sold at giveaway prices into the whole world. Van Gogh: $75, Andy Warhol: $ 45, Ed Ruscha $ 50. The handpainted copies mainly come from China, the buyers can almost entirely be found in the United States and Europe, the countries of origin of the unaffordable originals.
Michael Wolf has photographed the Chinese copy-artists in a fantastic way and in his pictures he has placed manifold relations between the picture subject, the urban environment and the portrayed artists, that reach far beyond the superficial humor.
About the Artist:
Michael Wolf was born in Munich in 1954 and was raised in the USA. He studied at the University of California in Berkeley and the University of Essen (Folkwang school) in Germany with Professor Otto Steinert. He has lived and worked as a photographer and author in China since 1994. His works have been shown in museums around the globe, with many being represented in important collections. To date, Wolf has published nine books: China im Wandel (Frederking und Thaler, 2001), Sitting in China (Steidl, 2002), Chinese Propaganda Posters from the Collection of Michael Wolf (Taschen, 2003), Hong Kong front door/back door (Thames and Hudson, 2005; Steidl, 2006), The Transparent City (Aperture, 2008), two-volume set Hong Kong Inside Outside (Asia One Books and Peperoni Books, 2009), Tokyo Compression (Asia One Books and Peperoni Books, 2010), Real Fake Art (Asia One Books and Peperoni Books, 2011) and the latest Tokyo Compression Revisited (Asia One Books and Peperoni Books, 2011).
About the Author:
Boris van Brauchitsch is an author, curator and photographer.
About the Publisher:
Asia One is a fine art publishing house established in 2007. It is based in Hong Kong.
Peperoni Books is a Berlin based publisher, specialising in photobooks.
Book Materials and Specifications:
Hardcover book with stitched perfect binding, and glued down gray end papers. Plate sizes are either 8.5″ x 7″ or 8.5″ x 10.5″. Standard photobook layout for the majority of this book, with a caption on the left page and the image on the right page.