Jim Sanborn’s exhibition ‘Looted?’ explores authenticity and forged antiquity through Cambodian artwork

Jim Sanborn is a sculptor with a keen interest in science, art and forcing people to think. His exhibition “Looted?” is currently on display in the Williams Center for the Arts.

“Looted?” is Sanborn’s study on the world of forged antiques, which have been penetrating the art market at high frequency over the past years.  It has become so much of an issue that some museums have ceased adding to their collections in fears of accidentally acquiring a fake piece of art.

Sanborn highlighted this fear by producing a series of “high-end reproductions” of important Cambodian art.

In order to do this, Sanborn spent years studying the chemical means of forging antiquity. From both conservationists in the United States and professional forgers abroad, Sanborn learned how to age new sandstone so that its material properties would be identical to the original Cambodian pieces.

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