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Meet the Artist Creating Hyper-Realistic Fake Pot Sculptures

Maureen Meehan

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Although Florida is still grappling with legalizing pot, the Real Fine Arts Gallery is not embarrassed to display the leafy buds crafted from paper and resin by New York-based, German-Korean artist Andrei Koschmieder, whose work is part of this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach.

How does he do it?

“I scanned real weed and printed it out on thin paper on a regular inkjet printer. Then I roll and crumble the paper and glue it back together to make buds,” Koschmieder told the Creators Project.

He 2-dimensionally prints the paper, crumples it up, adds some resin and puts it in a bell jar to create his hyper-realistic sculpture. Koschmieder told Creators Project, an online art magazine, that his technique gives him the capacity to explore a world in which everything we want can be delivered at the click of a button, without dealing with the technology itself.

Passersby, he said, have a wide range of reactions when they see a booth seemingly filled with jars of pot.

“Some don’t even question it and think it’s real,” he explained. “Others are disappointed when they hear it’s fake, and some don’t know what that plant is.”

Why does he do it?

Asked what sparked his desire to create fake pot, Koschmieder said he was inspired by a VICE video he saw about weed in Colorado, and how they made $60 million in taxes.

“And now, there is this shift in value, from drug to a cancer cure,” he said. “I wanted to do a similar thing with bringing weed to an art fair.”

He said he was also inspired by a 2008 trip to North Korea.

“[North Koreans] have different flowers for their leaders during parades,” he said. “Masses of people wave fake flowers. They bloom forever, and everybody gets that.”

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