Question Dear Alan,
I have a picture that I bought a few years ago that I have a few questions about. It came framed in an old wooden frame with tiny old nails holding the picture in the back. The back of the picture dosen't have any writing, but it looks like it started to be colored green, or green bled through from the front. It appears to be a painting on some sort of old pressboard/cardboard type of surface. Although there aren't any significant brushstrokes that I can feel . It has a pale green background bordered in orange and is a depiction of a person in a white hat and suit. Some what abstract, not much detail at all. White face and body, black hair and red lips. It is signed picasso in black in the left top corner. I have tried to find this image on the internet and can not find anything like it. Did picasso ever paint anything on this type of material? Could it be a one-of-a-kind? Would you like to see a pic?
Answer Mishelle--Pressboard/cardboard is among the most highly acidic surfaces, so artists avoid it, because it deteriorates over years [like an old newspaper turns brownish]. Picasso was very aware of the potential value of his works and would not jeopardize their possible increase in value. There really is no apparent way the piece is a one-of-a-kind. The material and your description of the bleeding and paint on the surface reinforces my opinion that it is a reproduction. Picasso was extremely prolific, so it is not surprising you can't find the image on the 'net.' Alan Klevit
check out Alan's latest book, Art Collecting 101, at www.booklocker.com
I can provide sound advice on buying, collecting & understanding fine art, especially original works by 20th century masters and leading contemporary artists. I can also explain techniques used to create original works and offer tips on how to tell whether or not a piece is an original work of art.
I have been active in the art world for twenty-seven years. I owned and operated four galleries and a wholesale showroom on both coasts. We specialized in original works by 20th century masters and emerging artists. I have been an art consultant, artist's representative, lecturer, auctioneer, and curator. I had a radio show for two years, "Today's Art World with Alan Klevit" [Washington, D.C.]; hosted two television shows on the arts for six years [Los Angeles Area]; have written for numerous local papers and international art magazines; and currently write a syndicated column, "The Art Beat." I conduct art auctions for charities throughout the United States, and am a frequent speaker/auctioneer on upscale cruise ships, and at civic organizations and local television shows.
Publications ART NEWS, ART IN AMERICA, FORECAST MAGAZINE, MALIBU MAGAZINE, PANTARBE.COM, MALIBU CHRONICLE, POTOMAC ALMANAC, GAITHERSBURG GAZETTE, ART DECOR, REGARDIES MAGAZINE.
Education/Credentials Undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and The American University