Aboriginal art paintings are judged and valued according to criteria which can be seen to encourage both preservation and development of this unique cultural form.
It is acceptable and appropriate for Australian Aboriginal artists to use the materials, techniques and styles of Western (European) and Asian art. This is absolutely essential for the organic development of Australian Aboriginal artistic expression.
Aboriginal Art Gallery Online : http://www.australiagift.com.au/aboriginal-art.php
The other crucial element is ensuring the authenticity of the art. In the Aboriginal art market, authenticity generally applies to proof of an artist’s Aboriginality or Indigenousness (yes, it’s a real word). The document of proof is a declaration called a “Certificate of Authenticity”.
A prudent art collector or investor in paintings featuring Indigenous art requires verification that the art is solely the work of a person or people of Indigenous family background. With this market reality in mind, art vendors and art dealers supply a written declaration (accompanying the artwork being traded) guaranteeing the Indigenous status of the artist responsible for producing the artwork.
Serious art dealers are very coy about giving any recognition at all to Aboriginal art paintings that are not accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. It follows, dread the thought, that if there is evidence or proof of an Aboriginal art style painting being the work of a non-Aboriginal person, then it is either unethical or fraudulent or both.
High quality and genuine authenticity have to co-exist to create great works of Aboriginal art.
At the fine arts end of the Aboriginal art market, authenticity of an artist’s Indigenous family background is absolutely essential. If the work is not authentic, then it is not Aboriginal art. It follows, ipso facto, that the work cannot then be valued as such.
White artists attempting to create true Aboriginal art are taken seriously in one of our great institutions, namely, a court of law. The work of a charlatan could never be of serious value in the art market. Such imposters are guilty of appropriating a culture that is not their own, of theft and of racist disrespect.
Elizabeth Durack interviewed about her creation of Eddie Burrup :
All of our retail Aboriginal art products (unless temporarily out of stock) can be found in the various categories in our online shop, at www.australiagift.com.au (for all prices in Australian dollars) [or www.australiagift.net/ – for prices in US$].