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Coasting : Issue 13 July 2010
15 www.coastingtoday.com.au COASTING ART You've got to to By David Stewart If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the old masters would be chuffed by this lot. Allen Hannah remembers the year that five versions of the Mona Lisa turned up at the annual Fab Fakes exhibition. Ladies, of course, have been known to suffer near-death experiences brought on by embarrassment at social functions once they spot another woman wearing the same outfit as they are wearing. So, in order to prevent an incident, and to preserve the dignity of the Lisas, event organisers made sure that the paintings were spread discreetly around the exhibition. The Mona Lisa artists, too, presumably breathed a sigh of relief. An initiative of Tuggerah Lakes Art Society, the Fab Fakes open art competition and exhibition of recreated masterpieces is now in its 12th year. Allen is a life member and former president of the society, and this year has taken on the role of publicity officer. Over the years he has seen the Fab Fakes grow from a humble bit of fun for the locals, to an exhibition and competition of national standing. "This year we have entries from all over Australia," he said. "And the Australian Artist magazine did a spread on it earlier in the year." Total prize money of $4200 is up for grabs across 11 categories. "And each of the entered paintings is for sale, so they can go for anything from $100 to $8000," Allen said. "It's a wonderful opportunity for art lovers to purchase 'masterpieces' at extremely affordable prices. "Some of the most commonly entered paintings are recreations of works by [Claude] Monet, [Vincent] Van Gough and [Edgar] Degas. Paintings by the Australian artists Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and Fred McCubbin are also popular." The idea is simple enough. Artists create the most authentic knock-off possible. But there are some rules. "The artist whose work you choose to recreate must have been deceased for more than 50 years," Allen said. "And your entry must be as close as possible to the original artwork. You can't fix things up." So, if you chose to recreate, say, Paul Cezanne's Village of Gardanne, in which the artist left parts of the painting incomplete, you could not take it upon yourself to finish the job for the old master, Allen said. COOL COPY: Allen Hannah of Tuggerah Lakes Art Society puts the finishing touches to his knock-off of Edouard Manet's The Seine At Argenteuil. Picture by Aaron Brown. Tips from a pro Artists who are considering entering next year's Fab Fakes would do well to take time to select an artwork that they liked, Allen said. "That will make it easier to paint. And be sure to spend a lot of time on placement. "If things aren't placed correctly they will look out of proportion and wrong. And it's very important to get the scaling of things just right." Allen said selecting a work that looks easy to recreate can be a trap. "If it looks simple, be very careful," he said. The Fab Fakes was an excellent learning experience for artists who got hands-on experience in the techniques used by the old masters, he said. Fab Fakes 2010 • The 12th annual Central Coast Fab Fakes open art competition and exhibition of recreated masterpieces opens at Diggers @ The Entrance on Friday, July 30, from 7pm. • The presentation of awards and prizes will take place at 7.30pm on opening night. • The exhibition continues on Saturday, July 31, from 10am to 9pm; and Sunday, August 1, from 10am to 4pm. • Phone 4333 8399 or email email@example.com for more information. RUN THROUGH: Ralph Smith, of Kincumber, will enter this version of the Edgar Degas painting, Ballet Rehearsal On Stage, in this year's competition. Pictures by Aaron Brown. WELL MAID: Ralph Smith will also enter this tribute to Johannes Vermeer's Maid With Milk Jug. CHLOE: Runner-up in the Best Masterpiece Copy category at last year's Fab Fakes. MEMORIES: Winner of the Best Masterpiece Copy at last year's Fab Fakes.
Issue 12 June 2010
Issue 14 August 2010