A British company is the latest to launch a labelling system that uses synthetic DNA to help protect works by living artists. Mark Darbyshire, the London framer, and Steve Cooke, the software developer, have created Tagsmart Certify to help combat forgeries. While issues of authenticity dog the market for older works, Cooke says the dynamics of today’s broader landscape—including online channels and emerging markets—heighten the need for immediate authenticity in contemporary art.
“Some artists don’t want to get technical, but they may now just have to be,” he says. Artists who have already endorsed the product—which has 12 security features, including its DNA label—include Mat Collishaw, Idris Khan and Gary Hume, who are among Tagsmart’s founding supporters.
Tagsmart Certify is a unique, technology-driven platform that delivers a secure and verified solution to artwork security for the global art market.
Developed by leading framer Mark Darbyshire and product designer Steve Cooke, Tagsmart meets the needs of the art world in the digital age. Over the 20 years spent in the framing and art fabrication business, it became clear to Mark that there was a real demand for increased accountability within the art market. Mark and Steve, along with a team of industry experts, spent 18 months developing Certify as a unique solution to artwork security issues.
Art-market slowdown, asset class, increasing transparency and authenticity.
It sounds like the start to a bad gallery dinner joke. But at The Armory Show the topic of discussion was serious: How to Optimise the Unpredictable Art Market. In a testament to the topic’s immediacy, moderator and Financial Times columnist Georgina Adam admitted that her panel was originally called The Rising Art Market, until warnings of a slowdown began to proliferate. And joining Adam on stage to discuss were CEO of Athena Art Finance Andrea Danese, New York art lawyer Steve Schindler, and art advisor and curator Jeffrey Deitch.
How do you know if what you’re buying is the real deal?
Thousands of art forgeries flood the art market every year, but now Tagsmart presents Certify, a smart, secure solution for art authentication that will make faking artworks harder. Leading British artists like Gary Hume, Marc Quinn, Mat Collishaw and Idris Khan have already welcomed the technology.
Tagsmart CEO Lawrence Merritt talks about art authentication, fighting art forgery and Certify.