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Don’t fake it: Imitate Modern discusses CB Hoyo & ‘real’ art investment

Long associated with stature and ultimate fulfilment, art investment has rapidly changed over the past 20 years. Legitimate art investment is more than meets the eye. And with the rise of artists like CB Hoyo challenging the status quo – the obstacles of fakes, counterfeits and forgeries have been tackled face on and leveraged for exposure.


Combining humorous, satirical slogans with his own painterly renditions of art historical masterpieces, the artist first gained a devoted audience through sharing his art on his Instagram feed, “Imitate Modern found me on IG and that is when it all really started. You know, it was a domino effect” he said speaking to Forbes last year. Receiving commissions for murals across the globe and named by Artnet among the ten rising stars of the world of street art. His murals include those created at Bayahibe in the Dominican Republic, Miami’s legendary Wynwood Walls during the 2017 Art Basel Miami Beach art fair, and at COYA in London’s Piccadilly.


“People forget that art is a way of expression, of having fun and that it should bring joy” – CB hoyo



Hoyo’s “Fake series” emerged from the fusion between art, historical masterpieces and humorous thoughts of his own creation. The first “fake” was a reproduction of an artwork by Andy Warhol. Painted without any additions or signs of ownership which he was initially disappointed with, Hoyo later decided to write on it. The text was simple, direct and based on an article he had read about forgeries in the art world. The results were astonishing.


Later he began to recreate the works of other artists; Hoyo consciously constructs a relationship between the painting itself and messages of his texts. Keeping It Real, presented around 20 “new fakes” inspired by the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. His prolific output across an array of mediums and materials – from monumental spray-painted murals to works on canvas and sculpture – has seen the young artist rapidly achieve international notoriety.


Making a return is often the basis of purchasing an artwork for many established collectors. However new collectors are often keen to invest in an asset class that offers cultural and financial appreciation. According to Art Basel and UBS report, last year global art sales reached £48.5 billion, up 12 per cent from 2016. The market may be growing, but buyers still need to avoid the pitfalls of forgers, fakes and rapidly changing tastes. Art has delivered average annual returns of 8.9% since 2000 according to London-based art advisor, Wendy Goldsmith, believes that the market has “no rules”, and that is why it has so many opportunities.


“Through my art I do what I want and say what I think. I am honest. My work is honest. And that is why people love me”



The rise of art fairs have been more accessible than ever before and gives buyers from Europe, China and the Middle East who are chasing the same works and an opportunity to view a multitude of works. As well as being accessible, fairs give great exposure; before attending or even purchasing art, one must always do their homework. If something does catch your eye – read up as much as you can about the artist, past sales, auctions you name it. The chance of appreciation in value is much higher when an artist’s work has been featured in a reputable gallery or acquired by a major museum.


Uli Sigg, 72, has cumulated one of the world’s most inclusive collections of Chinese contemporary art, buying more than 2,500 works since the late 1990s when he was the Swiss ambassador to China. He believes that “The time available to make a decision has shortened dramatically” speaking to Bloomberg, “Now, when you go to an art fair, you have one hour to decide whether or not to spend that one million dollars.” 

Imitate Modern will be giving you a little bit more time than an hour to make those important decisions; look out for our exclusive announcements over the next few days.


Imitate Modern is giving you a collection of CB hoyo artworks…

By Stephany Malcolm

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