Authenticating and Tracking Your Art

by Carolyn Edlund

We live in an era rife with hacks, stolen information and fraud. Customers are looking to purchase art with confidence in the authenticity and value of the work. These two services help organize and secure your data.


Artist Tracking Her Work Online. Read about Authentification and Security at



Trust is essential to making sales and building customer relationships, and that certainly applies to art sales. Online sales are increasing every day, but many shoppers are concerned that the art they are considering may be a “fake” and are hesitant to purchase.

One traditional method of verifying work is through the use of a Certificate of Authenticity, and many artists include these when a purchase is made. British company Tagsmart has taken this concept to an impressive new level, ensuring security and trackability. They have developed a system of blended technologies to make “DNA tags” that identify and verify artworks, and that cannot be copied. These tags are linked to a security profile which is provided for collectors, and has an online platform that stores owner data.

For individual artists, Tagsmart has partnered with online retailers where artists can sell their work. When a sale is made, a tag is created and provided for the collector, who can buy with full faith and confidence. It’s worth checking out this service, and keeping up with developments as technology advances in furtherance of secure and verified online purchases.


Artwork Record at Artwork Archive. This database stores inventory and provenance information for artists. Read more at



Record keeping is equally important to artists, who can benefit from using an online system that saves time and reduces the stress of trying to mentally keep track of inventory and sales.

“Almost every artist has struggled with not knowing where their work is located, when they need to get it back, and making sure they don’t miss deadlines or double sell a piece at one point in their career,” says Artwork Archive cofounder Justin Anthony. “As time goes on, staying organized becomes more and more difficult to do by hand. Having a system to track your artwork, galleries, sales, shows, and contacts helps you stay on top of the business side of your studio career, appear more professional and make more sales.”

Many artists swear by Artwork Archive’s user-friendly system that not only stores images of individual pieces of art, but also detailed  information about the exhibition and sales history of that piece. It’s not only about keeping records of transactions. The entire evolution of an artist’s career lays in the details.

“Tracking artwork helps ensure that your life and work are remembered,” Anthony says. “By recording your career, work, trajectory and artist story, you capture your legacy from your own perspective. By recording the details about the work as well as where the work traveled and the influences behind that work, you build and preserve your authentic artist legacy.”

Artists can provide a more authentic sense of who they are as makers, visionaries and human beings by recording their story. They can show their path as an artist and provide value to their artwork by documenting their processes and history. Digitized records help to build a provenance that can easily be shared with prospective collectors.

Exhibition history (or provenance) is often a key factor in identifying a unique artwork’s significance related to an artist’s overall career. A clear and full provenance provides context for your artwork within the scope of your studio practice. A well-documented history of your artwork allows potential collectors to better gauge how the work compares to the other pieces.

By staying on top of where your artwork is, you’re not just getting organized—​you are setting yourself up for success and taking the steps to record your artistic legacy from your own perspective.



Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!


Speak Your Mind