Appropriation – How appropriate is it? (


From Rover Thomas to Sydney Nolan, nobody escapes unscathed as Nat Thomas unleashes her latest body of work exploring the appropriateness of nickin' other peoples work and making it your own.

Art Exhibition previously on at Until Never in Flinders Lane precinct, Victoria, Australia.
From Wednesday 02 April 2008 to Saturday 10 May 2008
Launch Wednesday 02 April 2008, 6 to 8pm

This Rover I bought from a Swiss woman at St Kilda Market for $100 image

Event published by anonymous on Friday 28 March 2008.
Contact the publisher.

Late last year, a couple of Toorak seniors went down for forging Rover Thomas paintings, and selling them through auction houses. They made more than $300,000 before getting busted. There is a lot I like about this case. I like the balls it took to go through with the idea. I like the surreal nature of fronting up to auction houses, and in a great performative work, convincing a lot of ‘experts’ that these were ‘real’ Rovers’. One painting alone went for $130,000. I wonder how Ivan and Pamela celebrated this sale? With champagne, and a nice dinner out? Such a cheeky secret. Such a turn on. Its conceptual friggin’ art. And I’d say (not that I know much about the law) that with a different defense strategy (i.e. art prank), they could have gotten off with a very public rap on the knuckles. I wonder how they are both doing in jail, Pamela and Ivan. I wonder if she is still painting, or performing?

I painted some of my forgeries of forgeries during the recent heatwave. 41 degrees, full afternoon sun. And as I dotted away, I thought about Rover – his life, his art. I wondered if Pamela ever daydreamed about any of this as she forged away. After successfully shifting the works, did she start to spend the money in her head while she painted? Whilst I forged my forgeries, I thought of how many people haven’t been sprung passing their own work off as someone else’s. Because it’s all work. Genuine work. And the bigger the name, the higher the return. There is a big market for Rover Thomas’ paintings, but it’s best if all markets self regulate, no?

And what about Rover? A friend of his, Don Mcleod, remembers accompanying Thomas on a trip to Melbourne in the early 90’s, – ‘he identified works attributed to him in galleries that he didn’t think he had painted.’ As for forgeries of his work, he also said ‘Thomas might have approved, because all he was trying to do was tell his stories.’ No?

I reckon now the Liberto’s have their own stories to tell. I’m gunna visit her in jail, maybe take her some paints.
How will she render this new landscape?

All the other stuff in my show is copied too, but I signed my own name.

march 2008 melbourne


2nd flr 3-5 Hosier Lane (Enter from Rutledge Lane) Melbourne CBD

12 to 6pm Wednesday to Saturday