A thousand Andy Warhol sketches are for sale, each costing $250. But 999 are forgeries. Only one is real.
This is the latest artistic concept released by Brooklyn-based collective MSCHF, known for its provocative and viral creations.
This particular exhibition is called "Museum of Forgeries" and is based on a sketch done by Andy Warhol titled "Fairies." It consists of three nude fairies playing with a jump rope and was sold by Christie's in April of 2016 for $8,125.
The sketch is now worth approximately $20,000, according to Daniel Greenberg, chief revenue officer of MSCHF.
That means one lucky person will make $19,750, while 999 others will get a pretty decent forgery. However, the real winner will be MSCHF. If they sell all the paintings, they'll bring in about $250,000 of revenue.
Despite having a C-suite, employees at MSCHF are reluctant to call themselves a company and instead have self-branded as a "next-generation street art collective." They create products and experiences that ignite social commentary through art and luxury fashion.
MSCHF hopes its "Museum of Forgeries" will make a splash by pointing out the pretentiousness of art collectors and the arbitrary value of great works of art.
"Ubiquity is the darkness in which novelty and the avant-garde die their truest deaths. More than slashed canvas or burned pages, democratization of access or ownership destroys any work premised on exclusivity," says MSCHF on its site.
By making valuable art accessible to regular people, the collective is slashing the notion that only the elite can own famous works of art.
"By burying a needle in a needlestack, we render the original as much a forgery as any of our replications," writes MSCHF.
The art collective used a complex process to generate the forgeries involving a precise machine-generated replication on paper and aging the paper to match the original. The artists then mixed the hundreds of copies in a pile with the authentic sketch and put a thousand of them online for sale.
After all, would most people be able to tell the difference?
A Million Dollar Puzzle and Satan Shoes
In the past, MSCHF has launched big hits like "The 1 Million Dollar Puzzle," where people who purchased it could win between 25 cents to $1,000,000. They just had to complete the puzzle, a massive QR code that they can scan.
This year, MSCHF collaborated with rapper Lil Nas X on the incendiary Satan Shoes, a modified version of Nike Air Max 97s with satanic symbolism. Only 666 pairs went on sale for $1,018, a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan's fall from heaven. The shoes immediately sold out, according to MSCHF.
Then came a lawsuit from Nike and some social media fury.
Nike Satan Shoes lawsuit: Lil Nas X's Satan Shoes voluntarily recalled as part of Nike lawsuit settlement
The sale of Lil Nas X's incendiary Satan Shoes came to a halt after Nike was granted a temporary restraining order against MSCHF, meaning MSCHF couldn't fulfill the shoe orders.
"people make customs all the time, it’s never been a problem," Lil Nas X tweeted. "nike only stopped the sell of the shoe because a powerful group of people pushed them to do so."
Nike eventually reached a settlement with MSCHF and announced in a statement to USA TODAY that it will buy back any Satan Shoes at their original retail price in order to remove the product from circulation.
Bryan Alexander of USA TODAY contributed.
Reach reporter Michelle Shen on Twitter @michelle_shen10 .
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Andy Warhol sketches are for sale for $250 each. Only one is real