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Copylighted

II. After the Second World War, Han van Meegeren painter and art dealer was sued in the Netherlands for assisting the German occupiers in stealing national art treasures. During the interrogation, the suspect defended himself by saying that the paintings in question were fakes and he himself painted them.  The prosecution initially thought this allegation was a distraction, because the images in question were thought to be suddenly unearthed works of famous painters even by the most distinguished experts of the time and changed hands at astronomical prices. The artist proved his defense by painting a picture in the style of Vermeer during a monitored session, in the presence of media professionals.

This famous case deranged the art critics. Can fakes previously considered to be valuable be regarded as masterpieces after revealing their inauthenticity? If not, why? Among the reproductions was one previously considered as one of Vermeer’s finest works. Meegeren has not replicated existing creations, but created new ones, although he did not signed them with his own name.

Currently, multinational companies with global brands usually do not deal with production, they sub-contract this work or buy  finished products straight away and brand it afterwards. In many cases the counterfeits are made from the same site where the “originals” are, and so it is impossible to distinguish between the authentic and the copy. In other cases of deception, the counterfeiter is making minor modifications to the logo of the product, so at first sight it is hard to notice that we are dealing with an ‘Adidos’ instead of an ‘Adidas’ branded product. Many times the counterfeiters are only superficially familiar with the symbols of the world that they are intending to copy, and misunderstandings arising from this confusion create an incredibly bizarre, surreal chaos, which is naively innocent and charming as well.

The CopyLighted art project builds on this multicultural mess. It falsifies fakes the same way as the “original copies” are made. So were the names of the collections born, with minor modifications in exchanging letters in the names. The goal of the CopyLighted brand is to be successful enough to get into the crosshairs of “professional” counterfeiters so that they start copying it. Using the proven methodology of exchanging letters, our Made in Cihna collection could be falsified to Made in China. Thus, the copy of the copy’s copy becomes the original itself.

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