MarkDarbyshire

Race is on to beat art forgery with DNA technology

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’s Certify: ‘DNA fingerprinting’ technology offers security for art market

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.

Tagsmart Certify on BBC London

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“One of the security ingredients [of the Tagsmart Certify smart labels] is a DNA compound and that’s the same biological compound that doctors and police use to identify individuals.” 

– Steve Cooke, CPO & Co-Founder of Tagsmart

This morning, Tagsmart co-founders Steve Cooke and Mark Darbyshire were interviewed by Jim from BBC London. Their conversation about fakes and forgeries in art and our smart solution to artwork security is due to air this Saturday, March 19th, around 5:30 pm. Make sure you don’t miss it!