Dating artwork

The moral of the story is that you can sign your name as inscrutably as you want and wherever you want as long as you also clearly identify yourself as the artist somewhere, anywhere else on the art. Additional pointers for signing your art: * Art by artists who sign with initials, monograms, and symbols often meets similar fates to illegibly signed art.Here again no matter how in love you are with a cryptic or mysterious way of labeling, clearly sign or otherwise identify yourself elsewhere on the art.Wayward works of art by famous artists are rediscovered all the time, and do you know the main reason why?Because luck has it that someone somewhere with adequate knowledge of what they're looking at can identify either the styles or the signatures and rescue them.Art can also lose its identity when it changes hands through death, divorce, inheritance, barter, as gifts and so on.Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about.Artists sign their names illegibly for a variety of reasons, similar to the reasons of artist's who don't sign at all.Some think it looks good, some do it to impress people, others think their work will always be identifiable as theirs whether or not anyone can read or recognize their names, still others feel that an unreadable signature has a mystique or cache about it, an "only special people can read it" quality. Sadly, so many artist signatures of all time periods are difficult or impossible to read that they've become a significant problem in the marketplace, and identifying them, an industry in itself.

Your signature identifies your art for all time as having been created, completed and approved of by you and you alone (with the exception of collaborative works, of course).Do you want to jeopardize your art's future simply because you don't sign your art or you sign your name in such a way that people have difficulty reading it? And don't think that just because you're known in certain circles or even nationally or internationally for that matter that your art is safe forever.Not even art by the most famous artists in the world is identifiable by everyone.FYI, I actually offer a service where I charge a fee to identify indecipherable signatures (and only charge if I make positive identification, which sometimes I do, and other times I don't). You as an artist should be aware that people buy art all the time purely for their own enjoyment, and never tell anyone who the artist is.People buy art all the time and either lose or misplace their receipts or documentation, or just throw them out.

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But dismissing the importance of your signature and the moment of signing can lead to all sorts of problems later on in a work of art's life. Believe it or not, a significant percentage of artists these days don't even bother to sign their art. Maybe they think their work is so identifiable that everyone will automatically know who did it. Names signed so illegibly the only people who can identify them are those who already know the artist because they're the only ones who know what the artist's art and signature look like (they can't actually read the signature in most cases; they just know what it looks like).

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