May 30, 2024

Artclear Connects: In Conversation with Hephaestus Analytical

Artclear Connects: In Conversation with Hephaestus Analytical

We spoke to Giacomo Prideaux, Business Development Executive at Hephaestus Analytical, about his role, Hephaestus’ mission, and its partnership with Artclear.

Hephaestus is an authentication company that uses both analogue scientific and digital AI tools in counterpoint to detect misattributed works and forgeries. Artclear is partnering with Hephaestus to permanently link their reports to the corresponding physical artworks.

You can watch the video or read the full interview below.

What does Hephaestus Analytical specialise in?

Hephaestus specialises in authenticating artworks from any period using our multi-modal approach. Hephaestus is the first company to offer authenticity insurance for artworks, something that we're going to be launching in the next few weeks.  

We started as a company working on works in the Russian and Ukrainian avant-garde, with the likes of Kasimir Malevich, El Lissitzky and Oleksandr Bohomazov. This is a part of the market particularly plagued by forgery. One of the main reasons for this is that during the Soviet era, the censorship of artworks meant that many pieces were hidden in collections and then appeared decades later on the market in the West. That meant that so many important pictures have quite gaping holes in their provenance history, which is something that became exploited by forgers over the last few decades to create oftentimes quite convincing forgeries.

What is your role at Hephaestus Analytical?

My role at Hephaestus constitutes anything from marketing to client partnerships. Ultimately that means communicating the mission of Hephaestus, which is to eliminate forgeries from the art market.

What challenges has Hephaestus Analytical faced in the past with its authentication documents?

We at Hephaestus have seen our reports doctored. But more generally, as a problem with all paperwork, it can always be tampered with.

How does the partnership with Artclear help to tackle these challenges?

It’s all well having a record stored on the blockchain, but unless it corresponds to the physical object itself, you face the exact same problems. That's why it's so important that we work with Artclear to have our records stored on the blockchain, indelibly linked to the physical objects themselves.

There hasn't been a solution to the problem of forgery in the art market, until now. And ultimately, it's up to the market to decide what they're going to do with this product.

You can learn more about Hephaestus here.