It is common for me to see prints that are attributed to Salvador Dali that are not authentic and carry forged signatures. I also see what appear to be and are represented as being original, unique artworks created by Dali. Some are drawings in pencil or ink, some are watercolors or gouaches and some are oil paintings. It is my 32 years of examining Dali artworks, my extensive research, my connoisseurship and my extensive experience with all aspects of the artist’s life, work, techniques, associates and practices that give me the tools as an Art Detective to discern the differences between the fakes and the genuine artworks.
Recently a client from Mexico City (no, not Sr. Zepeda) brought me two ink drawings that were attributed to and appeared to be signed by Salvador Dali. I knew when I viewed the photographs in advance that they were not genuine. None-the-less, to be totally responsible and do due diligence I asked to personally examine them.
My client brought them to Santa Fe and, sure enough, I found numerous additional clues that I could not see in the photographs. All confirmed my original opinions and also convinced me that the two drawings had come from Barcelona forger Manuel Pujol Baladas. The final clue was that each exhibited an ink stamp verso that showed a crest and the words “MINISTERIO DE CULTURA – DIRECCION GENERAL DE BELLAS ARTES BENES CULTURALES.” The stamp looked genuine, but carried no information about the agency or government it represented. Shouldn’t it be something like “MINISTERIO DE CULTURA DE ESPANIA” ?
I have seen many forgeries from Baladas and all exhibited what looked like official stamps on the back. You can read more about Baladas in Mark Rogerson’s 1987 book The Dali Scandal: An Investigation. It details only a small part of the subject, but does not offer much information that I consider just plain wrong.
My client was disappointed, but I never have people reject my professional opinions and the session was pleasant.