For Sale: Picasso & Matisse for 250 quid….

Someone offered me a Picasso and a Matisse oil the other day for less than £250. And they looked great. Signed of course and with a perfect artists provenance from Mr Zhang Wei of Shenzhen, China. He should know. He whipped up the art masterpieces himself to join thousands of other fake paintings flooding the west's art market.
And if you think that so-called experts can tell the difference, art expert Robert Genn reckons that 15% of art in private and public collections is fake. In modernist and abstract work the percentage may be higher. Even official catalogues of Monet, Degas, Cezanne and Picasso appear to contain dubious entries.
The internet has changed art buying - art collectors no longer insisting on actually viewing the artists work "in the flesh" before whipping out their credit card. The old brick and mortar art gallery model is changing and galleries that ignore this will pay the price eventually. There are artists on every street it would seem - clambering to sell their artwork and art collectors in plenty to buy - if only they can get together easily and at a low cost.
Irish artists and irish art collectors have a number of options and in September, IrishArtists.com will launch as the biggest source of Irish art anywhere - bringing thousands of irish artists and Irish collectors together in the same internet location. BritishArtists.com will launch at the same time. Who knows, the Chinese market itself may be next...