Bootlegs by Eric Doeringer

One of the things that I find most interesting about this blog is the comments posted by people. I like seeing different opinions, people often add to or complete a story, and I sometimes find interesting links to other art sites.

bootlegged paintings

Jafabrit recently left a link to a guy called Eric Doeringer. Eric creates “bootlegs”, which is another way of saying he creates copies of famous paintings. Painted reproductions are generally pretty boring, but he tries harder than the usual factory of Chinese painters pumping out Van Goghs and Monets by the dozen.

He reproduces the work of contemporary artists and sets up a stall out the front art fairs, like the Whitney Biennial, selling works by the artists exhibiting inside.

“Like the vendors of bootleg CDs and handbags, I sell my pieces at a fraction of the prices charged by “legitimate” galleries. I originally thought most people buying the work would be people who couldn’t afford to buy the real work. To my surprise, many of my clients have been art collectors who own work by the artists I’m copying.” Eric Doeringer

Also, unlike many Chinese factories pumping out reproductions by the dozen, Eric does some original art. His Toy series and Self portrait series are quite funny..

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. hehe ,well said friend,but i am hearing loudly some serious creations from art world.I mean each artist is saying ,” i am working with some serious concept/work/etc.

  2. I thought he would intrigue you :) well he does me! I remember reading about him several years ago when he had a confrontation with a gallery owner. man, he has gall and it fascinates me that he gets away with it LOL! It would be neat to see the reaction if he ripped off hirst’s butterflies. I feel though he is doing more than just a rip off but making a statement by where he is selling, and he is not coy about it.

  3. I guess what I wanted to say is that (location of selling and the statement it makes) is what separates Eric from chinese rip offs.

  4. Jafabrit
    Now this is interesting, I wish he did some of these on velvet. I think he is making a statement and I want to do some more thinking about that. He is up front and honest about what he is doing and by his resume, education has the foundation of knowledge to support that intent unless that to is a bootleg which I suspect it is. I think he just throws the whole art market thing right in our face. I also think he is being very creative about how he is doing it and that the action of what he is doing may be the art. But more later.

  5. I have to say that he seems interesting.

    I don’t know that it’s right to copy artist’s works like that. If it is just artist’s that have passed….I don’t see the harm as long as he let’s others know that it is a copy.

    All in all, I do believe that doing that takes courage.

    I myself find more joy in making my own pieces then I would in just copying others works.Not only that but I respect other artist’s works and what they mean to them to much to copy them. That is just me though. *Shrugs*

  6. Don’t you think though there is a twist of irony in what this artist is doing though? He appropriates from artists who are making thousands of dollars on artwork some who appropriated others work themselves, or had assistants do? Take Takashi Murakami for example.

    Jeff Koons has been sued several times for copyright infringment (won some and lost some). Yet galleries and collectors are willing to fork out millions for work that has already been done (spin paintings, dot paintings, butterfly wings etc).

    My feeling is Eric is thumbing his nose at the art establishment and the maybe the hypocricy of some in the art world.

    I don’t know, just pondering.

  7. Yeah, I’m not sure if he is a genius or a hack, but he is definitely interesting.

    He is like a mirror placed in front of the contemporary art world, and they don’t like their reflection. It surprises me that collectors buy his stuff too, as you would think they would be the last people to want to be reminded that they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (or millions)for similar works that they can now buy off of Eric for a fraction of the price.

    If an assistant paints a work of colored dots on a white background for Damien Hirst and it sells for big dollars, wouldnt a work of colored dots by Eric be worth at least half of the value that the assistant painted work be worth?

    I know it’s all about branding and image and ideas, I’m just thinking out loud.. and I like the work of Damien Hirst.. and have nothing against assistants (I wish I had a few actually!).


  8. I have been thinking of Andy Warhol and the soup cans. The Campbell’s soup can label is a copyrighted design. Yet the art world embraced Warhol and many other Pop artists for their use of existing materials. Lichtenstein’s comics and Warhol’s use of product logos and other peoples photographs, like Marilyn. Yes I think Eric is thumbing his nose at the established ideas and copyrights. He is so bold I would have to say the whole of it, what he is doing is art even if he is making a profit. But I think also many would agree that the crossing of the copyright line will be troublesome for many artists.

  9. Great post, Jafa and Artnewsblog…
    We need some more people who can hold a mirror to the glitzy side of the art world… (where mostly money counts)…

  10. I welcome Doeringer’s position and feel that if it helps more people get to appreciate good art, then it can’t be a bad thing. It’s true that you can’t really consider the implications and the message being sent when replications of classic artwork are being produced by faceless workshop…um…workers. I think putting a face like this behind the story makes it so much more real and makes debating the issues this raises so much more significant.

    Seb. X x

  11. Anonymous says:
  12. I have been enjoying your blog for a while now and the comments too. I appreciate the shout out :)

  13. No worries Jafabrit.

    I enjoy popping by your blog too. Your recent video adds a new, interesting level too. Kind of a peep into the mind of the artist. I like it.

    I like studio tours in general.. possibly because I don’t have a studio at the moment.


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