who thinks this is actually an original sketch (1 Viewer)

This one is a tough one.... The drawing is larger than the one used n the book. That means that the image in the book was cropped down to fit rather than being sized to fit. the best place to see this is the silver "arrowhead" looking area at the top right, which cuts off in the book. That being said this could be one of two things:

1) This is the original artwork from Buk that was used for the illustration for the book or

2) This was a serigraph that was intended to be used for the book, but was not bound and because it was not bound, it was not cropped.

I would bet that it is #2, but cannot be sure. It would help to know the size of the artwork in this auction and the weight of the paper. If it is the exact same weight and makeup of the one in the book, then it is a serigraph as the chances of Buk using the same stock that BSP would use much later is near 0%...

Not me.

You can pick this up on ABE for $12.50.

$32 international shipping for a single piece of paper in a stiff envelope!

This guy must be kidding.

If it is the original (I'll ask the seller) I'll be bidding for sure.
followup.... I have an overrun copy here that was intended to be in the book, but was not... It is EXACTLY like this one. Either this person is confused and THINKS that this is the original artwork, or they are upselling this as an original piece of artwork.

Unless this one is larger than the one that I have here, it is an overrun serigraph worth about $15....

I just e-mailed him with a couple questions...

He says in his listing to contact him "2 days prior to the auction end". Maybe that means that he'll be out of contact until then? Maybe it is just mis-worded. Two of us have e-mailed him with our questions/concerns.

He has a perfect feedback rating over the past 9 years, so it is probably a misunderstanding and probably not any fraud, but I am pretty positive that this is not as it is being listed. It is a $15 copy...

Sadly, he coveted this for a few years only to need the money and decide to sell it and now finds out that it is a $15 copy and not a priceless original drawing. Of course, if he says that the drawing it 12" x 14", then all bets are off and I'm bidding on this puppy...

I got a reply...

"I appreciate your question.
I know nothing about a serigraph print issued in "Open All Night".
I've looked at this piece and I have most of Bukowski's books, including "Living on Luck" edited by Sean Cooney...on the pictorial inserts after page 138 you'll see a piece created on the same day, May 25th 1965...he seemed to be really into drawing that day. This work at auction now appears to be one of the sketches he drew that day...probably one of the best he did that day in my opinon.
By the way, I'm a professional artist and sculptor, whose work has been shown at the Seattle Art Museum and is currently featured in this months issue of Sculpture Magazine...October 2007, Vol. 26, No. 8 Page 73 & 74...so if you know something I don't know let me know.
My name is Randy Bolander and you can see my sculpture at www.randybolander.com.
I'm interseted in your following up on this issue.
Let me know if there is more information that you have.
At this time, I believe that this is a real Bukowski."

So I wrote back...

G'day Randy
Thanks for your prompt reply.
No offence, but if you were a "professional artist" I think you would be able to discern between a printed piece and an original work.
Firstly, what are the dimensions of this piece?

Secondly,if the work were original, one would be able to see the mediums used (i.e. crayons, pastels, etc) on the paper.
A serigraph print would show no difference in surface texture between coloured areas and white page.
Run your finger lightly across the page... is there a tactile difference between the shaded areas and blank areas?

If not, this is a print (hundreds were made and the current value is around 15USD...sorry). If yes, you should realize a good price on ebay.

Let me know.
He has not replied to me yet, but the clincher is the size of the piece. If it is 6.5" x 9.5" then it is the same one that many of us have in our collections and is an overrun serigraph from the printing of "Open All Night".


p.s. His sculptures are interesting. Interesting in a good way.
The paper the drawing is on looks way too clean and bright to be original from 1965. It is unlikely that Bukowski would have sketched that out on "acid-free" paper. The 60's drawings I've seen were all yellowed due to being done on cheap paper.

Even if the originals for these were done on expensive paper, I would expect to see some wear around the edge of the sheet.

You guys asked the right questions to determine if it's original. But the seller seems shady to me. ROC is absolutely right, pretty much anyone could look at it for about 5 seconds and tell if it's real or a print. That the seller (an artist) dodged ROC's question is a big red flag to me.

I certainly wouldn't buy it based on the available information.
truth is that someone will buy this thinking that it is real. The seller has been notified that it is misdescribed. Hopefully he'll do the right thing and make note of it, changing his listing. At this point, he is listing it as something that it is not and is in danger of selling someone something that amounts to fraud (As he has been notifiedby experts). I'm sure that he thinks that it is real. It is just a matter of convincing him that it is the wrong thing to do, knowing what it is...

Something that puzzles me is the third photo - the close-up of the signature. If you look at the lower right-hand portion of the piece, there is some light reflection on what appear to be small creases in the paper. All of the seriagraphs I have, have a more matte surface than this appears to be. Of course, I don't have this one just yet, but Open All Night is actually going in the mail today (thanks, Jordan).
I think he has it in a protective bag of some sort, causing the crinkled/reflection effect. in the second pic it looks like it's in a flyleaf type of bag thingy.

p.s. His sculptures are interesting. Interesting in a good way.

I agree. nice stuff.
but no, I don't think it's the original buk sketch.
Hello Gentlemen,
Your speculation about the authenticity of my auction item has been intriguing, informative and revealing.
The dimensions of the paper are 6 1/2" x 9 1/2", which according to your description would classify the piece as a serigraph.
I assume most of you know that serigraphs are usually if not always numbered. This piece of course was not, adding to the confusion.
You've convinced me that what I thought was an original drawing is indeed a serigraph.
As I stated in the ebay auction description, the piece was given to me as a present.
The person who gave it to me, I found out at the time, paid $80.00 on ebay.
So she was told and believed it was an original drawing.
It has been protected by a plastic sheath which has never been removed. This may be one of the reasons you're having problems discerning the paper's finish.
Thinking it was an original drawing, I had no intention of touching the paper to analyze the texture and pigment content of the paper.

I'm not familiar with "Open All Night" and would be appreciative if someone could provide me with a link to a website where one could purchase this same print for $15.00.

I will be removing the ebay listing today. Thank you for your help in authenticating the piece.

Best regards,
Randy Bolander
Ebay auction retraction

I posted a response to your inquiries here earlier today but the posting didn't stick for some reason. I think I forgot to add a title.
As I stated in that posting the size is 6.5 x 9.5 so I'll defer to your expertise in this matter and remove the listing.
I won't go into all the details.
Could someone please post a link to ABE so I can see that these drawings are available for purchase.
If you could send it to my email address that would be great.
[email protected]
Best regards,
The seller is pulling the item. It is indeed a copy for two reasons. 1) The size is exactly the same as mine and 2) the owner of the original artwork contacted me and confirmed that it is he that has the original that this was taken from. As there can only be one original and the person that ownsthis is a well known collector, I have no doubt that he has the original. The seller on ebay seems like a good guy and an honest seller and is pulling the item to avoid any problems.

It is a shame that it was not the original. I would have loved to have a go at it!

Good on yer for doing the right thing, Randy. As an FYI, $15 seems like a reasonable price per ROC's comments above, and because I just purchased a numbered first edition of Open All Night, which contains a copy of this seriagraph, for $60.
Mine has a bumpy texture as well.
It's watercolor paper, which I thought might be unusual as if it were an insert in a book you would think it would be printed on smooth book page paper.
Anyway I guess that confirms it.
Thanks for your response.
for what it's worth, it does make the book really nice to have a sheet of really heavy watercolor paper bound in.

i know it's gotta be a bummer to find out that it's a print and not original art, but at least this way you get to keep it... throw it in a frame and put it on your wall and enjoy it, rather than selling it with a heavy heart!

Users who are viewing this thread