True Art or Fake Quiz

Mikhail Simkin has a "true art, or fake" quiz on his website, It doesn't test your knowledge of art forgery. Instead, it tests whether you can spot the difference between what critics call true art (which will cost you thousands of dollars to buy) and fake art (produced by a non-artist, which will cost you nothing). I got a 58%.

Below are two images from the quiz. One is a Mark Rothko masterpiece. The other is Mikhail Simkin non-art. I think they both look nice, and would happily hang either one on my wall.


Posted on Tue Oct 09, 2007


I got two wrong. I voted based on whaf looked like it was made in MS Paint. I knew 6 and 11 were fake immediately because when I'm bored, I make pictures like that in paint sometimes. You make them by swirling the free select tool (it selects the area you want to cut or move) over the drawing area. Then you drag it until it looks like that.

I got 2 and 3 wrong. 2 because it looked like it could be done in paint. 3 looked like it had more time taken to make it, so I voted real.
Posted by Sakano  on  Tue Oct 09, 2007  at  10:26 PM
I got 50%.

I think that just proves what I already knew. I don't know anything about art. Fake or real.

But the only thing that anyone really needs to know about art is if they like the piece they are looking at. (And then decide if they like it enough to pay the price that's attached to it.)
Posted by Tah  in  Idaho (Yes, Idaho)  on  Tue Oct 09, 2007  at  11:40 PM
heh! i got 100%! what am i doing here with all the plebs? im off to meet and greet with people of true, fine breeding and vision.

actually i just went by what looked like it was made on a computer as well...
Posted by JoOdd  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  02:37 AM
100%. Guess I'm not talking total bullshit when I defend modern art here. smile

"Non-art" doesn't have to be made in MS Paint btw. Look on eBay and you'll find page after page of "non-art", some of which required serious technical skill to create. It's mainly sold to companies and interior decorators I think.
Posted by outeast  in  prague  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  03:50 AM
Okay, so let me get this right... A fellow creates non-art for a living, making a couple of bucks here and there along the way. Suddenly, he creates a non-art, that all of the sudden, is all the rage... he's an over-night success on this one. Does that then qualify all his previous non-art as art, since he is now a known artist... And what if it works the other way around.

I'm here to tell you, my sister and my best friend are serious artists, that by these standards of Mikhail Simkin, are non-artists, however, the stuff they both create is BY FAR better than the cr@p being passed off as art these days... just 'cause they aren't known or not making money by it under their names, doesn't make them "non-artists". BTW, the same can be said for musicians as well...
Posted by Christopher  in  Joplin, Missouri  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  05:27 AM
I don't think we're working under the same definition of 'non-art' here.

As I interpret it, 'non-art' is where someone with no actual interest in producing art says, 'hey, the shit that's getting sold for millions, i can do better than that' and starts running off shite to flog to companies and whatnot - to anyone who wants to look tasteful without actually having any taste. (A subset is where a skilled draughtsman who has little real interest in producing art figures out that airbrushed nudes, say, or pictures of cowboys set against lurid sunsets, or tacky saccharine christs sell well in certain market sectors which share a lack of taste with the market previously described; one such is the sef-styled 'painter of light' whose name I will not even dignify with typing here. Google him up if you must.)

I've never heard of any such artist 'making it real', as it were (though some make a lot of money, like He Who Shall Not Be Named); Warhol, Cauty, Hirst and others of their ilk come close, but their subversion of that kind of attitude and their actual artistic intent mean that they are not really comparable. Though not all agree:)

Whatever: a 'non-artist' is not - most emphatically not! - just an unknown artist. Just as an artist is not just someone who can draw.
Posted by outeast  in  prague  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  06:04 AM
I love Mark Rothko. His was the only stuff I liked in the Tate Modern. I'm one of those people who think most modern art is rubbish (sorry) but Mark Rothko is far superior to most modern artists. Him and Banksy (there's a Banksy near my house! And I saw the one in the British Museum before it was discovered!)
Posted by Nona  in  London  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  06:15 AM
Rothko's fucking wicked. My biggest regret about the Tate Modern is that it meand Rothko hangs in a room that's busier than an airport terminal - I used to go to the old Tate every time I went to London just to spend half an hour or so sitting in the Rothko room. I always felt it had the feel of a cathedral - only secular.

Not sure I'd place Banksy in the same league though! smile Fun though his stuff is...
Posted by outeast  in  prague  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  06:20 AM
98%. I probably would've gotten 100% if I'd remembered to select an option for #1. smile
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  06:48 AM
Just goes to show what many have known for years. Most "art" is total BS.

Especially if it requires an expert to determine if a work is "art."
Posted by coit  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  09:10 AM
The real BS is the rejection of having to learn anything about art to appreciate and understand it. In what other area are such claims sustained?

There's a lot of shit art out there, but what holds most of it up is ignorance about art (ironically enough). Like there's a lot of crap literature out there, which largely finds a readership with people who don't know literature and thus are happy with shite. It's Sturgeon's Revelation redux.

The thing is, those who are ignorant about art generally lump the good stuff in with the rubbish because they can't see the difference. But it's not a question of needing 'experts' to say what art is, it's a matter of learning a little bit about the subject.
Posted by outeast  in  prague  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  09:44 AM
""Non-art" doesn't have to be made in MS Paint btw. Look on eBay and you'll find page after page of "non-art", some of which required serious technical skill to create. It's mainly sold to companies and interior decorators I think."

I know that. BUT in this quiz, all of the non-art appeared to be created in MS Paint. That's not to say all non-art IS made in paint, it's just saying that the person who made the quiz made all his non-art in paint, so it was easy to tell. If that makes sense.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  02:40 PM
The one on the left is upside down.
Posted by Billy Joe Jim Bob Montserrat  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  04:40 PM
58% for me too, Alex
Posted by Josh  in  Texas  on  Wed Oct 10, 2007  at  09:08 PM
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