Cooke x Picasso, 2023

Exhibition views @Kunstmuseum Heidenheim, photos by Ignacio Iturrioz

Cooke x Picasso


90 x 90cm

Silk, Polyester, unknown

A silk scarf – the perfect accessory for art lovers who want to decorate themselves with a Picasso. At least that’s how it seems at first glance when you look at the 20 scarves hanging in a row on the wall at the entrance of the exhibition. Each shawl seems to depict a work by Picasso, since his signature can be found on it. But a closer look reveals that the scarf is also signed by the artist Hannah Cooke. 

So what is the original? 

Cooke collected silk and polyester scarves with Picasso’s signature on them on second-hand platforms. In some cases, however, it is clearly recognisable that the work depicted cannot possibly be a genuine Picasso; in the case of others, one has to be doubtful. For example, there is a crossover of Roy Lichtenstein and Picasso. 

Hardly any other signature is as well known as Picasso’s. So it is not surprising that it is taken and appropriated by others to give their own products a kind of seal of quality. 

Thus, a polyester scarf can be sold for 50€ instead of 5€ and the customers are happy about their “authentic” Picasso, which they otherwise could not afford. 

To take the game ad absurdum, Cooke also put her signature on the “original Picasso” scarves. Visitors of the exhibition could buy the scarves directly in the exhibition and take them home.  

Exhibition views @Kunstmuseum Heidenheim, photos by Ignacio Iturrioz