Tchibo’s Picasso Stunt

May 14, 2007 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Art | 4 Comments
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I got an interesting comment today on one of my recent Picasso on sale at Tchibo’s posts. Auslaender writes:

Well, I was one from those ordering the lithograph!!
One week after, I got a very confusing e-mail from Tchibo explaining how they got to lithographs, and saying basically that those are not quite Picasso’s work, but made by Marcel Salinas on a behalf of Picasso’s granddaughter Marina, between 1979 and 1982 and MADE AFTER Picasso’s oils. Needless to say, I canceled the order. Of course, it was naive to believe that one can even get Picasso’s lithograph for that kind of money, even though I wouldn’t expect such a confidence trick from big player like Tchibo is. Further below you can find excerpts from Tchibo’s mail (in German).

“Die Galerie Burkhard Eikelmann in Düsseldorf, die Tchibo dieses Angebot vermittelt hatte, hat diese Lithographien entdeckt. Sie wurden in den ehemaligen Druckwerkstätten Picassos in Paris hergestellt, 25 Jahre unberührt in einem Lager eines Großhändlers in New York aufbewahrt, um schließlich ihren Weg zu Tchibo zu finden. Lithograph und Drucker war Marcel Salinas, der exklusiv für Pablo Picasso gearbeitet und diese Lithographien – posthum nach Picassos Tod – vom Stein gedruckt hat.”

“Die für die über Tchibo vertriebenen Lithographien benutzten Steindruckplatten wurden nach dem Druck von 1000 Exemplaren vernichtet, so dass ein Nachdruck der angebotenen Edition durch die eigens von Salinas hergestellten Druckplatten ausgeschlossen ist. Die Signatur Pablo Picassos wurde ebenfalls mit dem Stein gedruckt.”

Brief summary of the German blurb, provided by Tchibo in an email to Auslaender: A German gallery, Burkhard Eikelmann, acted as an agent to fix the deal with Tchibo. They had found the lithographs in Paris, where they were created in one of Picasso’s former print workshops, crafted by Marcel Salinas, one of the printers and lithographers with whom Picasso had worked. The stone which was used to print the lithographs – complete with the signature – were destroyed after a number of 1000 copies had been reached.

There is nothing to be found on Marcel Salinas in neither the German, French or English Wikipedia, and he’s not listed as one of Eikelmann’s artists (neither is Picasso – thank God!). So, judging by the name, I can only assume that our Marcel Salinas was the same one who created this poster. Up to scratch with Picasso? You decide.

I’m still having problems with my computer, but hopefully my new harddrive will arrive soon. This does, however, tremendously affect the amount of time I get to spent online – no internet at home. Which is why I won’t have the time today to complete the ‘Blog Traffic Series’ – coming up tomorrow. Also, I am beginning to lag behind in my blog reading – opening Google reader is one of my habitual morning rituals which I cannot iterate at the moment:-(


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  1. Aaaah, isn’t that something for the collector of the postmodern weird? Anyone remember Borges’ story “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote?” Maybe THAT is the value of this kind of art. 🙂

  2. Simply becoming Picasso would be too easy. 😉

  3. I didn’t know this story, but we have Wikipedia!

  4. Marcel Salinas is my friend. Here is some information regarding his connection to Picasso:
    Marcel Salinas
    Salinas, called a “living treasure of the art world” by 20th Century Masters Gallery owner Jack West, matched Picasso in skill and talent in both painting and lithographs. His style was influenced by Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Juan Gris, and by his background in Egyptian art and architecture. Salinas saw Picasso’s “Guernica,” a powerful metaphoric statement on war, while the paint was still fresh.
    Born in 1913 in Alexandria, Egypt, Salinas abandoned law to become a struggling young painter. Lithographs saved his career and his life. In 1955, he took a job at a Parisian print shop, and soon became a master painter while his renown as a printer and lithographer grew. He worked with major publishers and artists, such as Rene Magritte and Max Ernst, but his landmark collaboration was with Picasso.
    A Unique Collaboration
    Picasso, in addition to his genius as a painter, created a new standard for excellence in lithography, and part of the credit is due to his partnership with Salinas.
    Picasso heard of Salinas’ work when he was looking for new interpretations, rather than just copies, of his “Imaginary Portraits” painting series. He asked Salinas for two prototypes, and was as impressed with Salinas’ work as Salinas was with “Guernica.”
    Between 1969 and 1972, Picasso and Salinas produced new versions of the “Imaginary Portraits” series, 29 works in all. Although Picasso was a solo genius, the collaboration between Picasso and the French/Italian Salinas was probably the most successful marriage or partnership in Picasso’s lifetime. All 29 works are signed by both Picasso and Salinas.

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