New Photography Exhibition by Robert Ash begins August 5 – and First Major Show for ARTtrust in US!

July 26, 2011 For Immediate Release:

Photographer Robert Ash’ newest exhibition will be held at the historic Jayhawk Theater’s Upstage Gallery located in Topeka, Kansas, USA. It starts August 5 and runs for two months. It is Mr. Ash’ first major, solo exhibition, and it is the first major show for the ARTtrust identification, authentication, and security solution in the US!

The exhibit will showcase Mr.Ash’ high-end, hand-printed fine art landscape and travel images, all printed archival-quality, on 100% museum-quality cotton rag paper, framed with 8-ply conservation-grade mats, museum-standard reflection-free glass, premier local suppliers to support the local economy – and ARTtrust Bubble Tags™ to protect the authenticity of his work.

Robert Ash was the first major photographer to purchase ARTtrust Bubble Tag™ technology in the United States. (see more at ). “Our company’s high-end photographic artworks deserve the very finest protection for the art collectors who invest in them,” explains Robert Ash. “Being formally trained in computer science, I love new technology that enhances value. ARTtrust Bubble Tag™ technology is by far the most innovative and effective authentication technology for artwork that I have ever seen. And provably authentic artwork is always more valuable to collectors.”

In 2010 he won a Merit Award and 1st Place in the Weddings category with his first entry in a print competition, and has gone on to win 11 professional awards in just the past 16 months, including a number of merit awards and first place showings for his innovative landscapes, portraits and wedding images.

In February 2011, after only one year of membership, Robert was asked to join the board of directors of Professional Photographers of the Greater Bay Area, one of the largest chapters of Professional Photographers of America. He is also a senior forum member of National Association of Photoshop Professionals and just got nominated to co-chair the Design and Innovation Committee of the Stanford Club of San Francisco.

Robert’s trademark style is bold use of vivid color. After being exhibited at a key Stanford University event last year, his unique color handling was noticed by one of the leading art galleries in the midwestern United States, the historic Jayhawk Theater’s Upstage Gallery located in Topeka, Kansas. Voted by the state’s legislature to be the State Theater of Kansas, the Jayhawk Theater is the first theater ever designed without columns holding up the balcony. President Abraham Lincoln is documented to have attended a performance there.

“Robert’s use of color is phenomenal, and displays a mastery we’ve never seen before – and we’ve evaluated hundreds of photographers as potential exhibitors,” explains Pam Renovato, curator of the Upstage Gallery, “and his showing exceptional care for art collectors through innovations like using unbreakable (ARTtrust) authentication technology for his work not only enhances the value of his art, but also enhances the already premier reputation of our gallery.”

Robert’s show is the first time the Upstage Gallery has featured only one photographer, Robert will be paired with a well-known local metal sculptor. “We’re all very excited to host the Robert Ash photography exhibit,” says Kathy Duncan, president of the Jayhawk Theater board of directors. “A leading gallery must exhibit innovative artwork. Robert’s vision and eye are unique. Robert’s upcoming exhibit is causing a great deal of excitement among art collectors in our region. We are even making plans for a special opening of the State Capitol for Robert to lead a photography workshop there.”

The exhibition starts August 5 to open the gallery’s busy season and will run for two months. For more information please contact the Jayhawk Theater at 785-233-4295 or visit

Robert Ash’ website address/contact info:

New Solutions From ARTtrust: Preventing Fraudulent and Unauthorized Use of Fine Art Photography and Artwork

Modern scanning, editing, and printing technology has made it easier than ever to copy an image or piece of art and reproduce it – speaking from personal experience, it can be quite difficult to know which is the original, and which is the copy!

And, of course, we’ve all heard reports and stories about unauthorized use, copying, and outright fraud involving a photographer’s or artist’s work.

The immediate impact is straightforward: money-out-of-your-pocket theft.

But what about the loss of credibility for the artist/photographer – and the reduction in value of a limited edition? Uncertainty about the provenance or number of pieces in the market quickly erodes the value of work already sold – and of course, work that is still on the market.

A company called ARTtrust has created a new, unique solution for these problems – one that helps users to identify and verify authorized work, discourages theft, prevents unauthorized copying, stops “limited” edition over-runs, and more.  ARTtrust makes it possible to provide a unique identity to each print in an edition or to each unique work, whether lithography, serigraphy, design, sculpture, etc.

ARTtrust is an identification and verification system that can be used by individuals, galleries, curators, collectors, museums, and others – the ARTtrust system is easy to understand and implement, and is as nearly perfect a security solution for art and phtography as exists today. ARTtrust provides for control by the artist, owner, authorized organization, or delegated curator or printmaker. Founder and CEO Philippe Serenon likes to say that “ARTtrust is simple, precise, secure, accessible, and authentic”. ARTtrust’s international partners include HP, Innova, Canson, Hahnemuhle, and others.

The ARTtrust system includes:

– A set of three unique identification tags, provided in a set, that cannot be duplicated. One tag is affixed to the artwork or print, another to the Certificate of Authenticity, and the third to the owner’s or printmaker’s file copy or BAT. (more on this later). The tags cannot be removed intact – any tampering destroys the tag. Each set of tags in unique to the individual piece of art.
ARTtrust Bubble Tags

– Each item that is tagged is registered via the ARTtrust online system. A digital image is uploaded, and the unique identification tags are linked to this image. The record can be accessed online by authorized users or a potential customer, providing quick and accurate validation of the item.

– The owner, authorized user, or delegate of the artist can print a pre-formatted Certificate of Authenticity (COA) to accompany the work. The tag on the art work or photograph can be matched to the tag on the COA via the ARTtrust database. Another certificate can be printed for use as a file or reference copy – this carries the third tag.

The technology at the core of the ARTtrust system is the Bubble Tag. This is a 3-D polymer tag which has a one-of-a-kind pattern of bubbles embedded in it. Each Bubble Tag is as unique as a fingerprint, virtually impossible to duplicate. (ARTtrust freely admits that they can’t do it – and they believe no one else can, either.)

The Bubble Tag Compared to Online Record

ARTtrust also provides an on-line gallery for its customers – whether they are individuals or organizations. The gallery includes a digital image, the serial number of the ARTtrust tag assigned to the work, and an image that can be compared to the ARTtrust tag.

An ARTtrust Image Gallery

If you click on one of the images, you’ll see this:

Image with identifying Bubble Tag

Anyone who is interested in buying or exhibiting a print can visit the ARTtrust website, find the online record*, view the bubble tag for verification (compare the tag image on screen to the tag on the artwork – and match the ID numbers), and review additional details about the print, such as availability and pricing.  (*One can enter the serial number on a tag, and easily retrieve the record of the work connected with that tag.)

Interestingly, there is also an iPhone application which can read an ARTtrust tag and provide verification on the spot! You can download the iPhone app on the iTunes App Store – just search for i-ARTtrust.

Here’s a link to the ARTtrust web site – the front page is shown below.

ARTtrust Web Site

Now photographers and artists, individuals and organizations have an independent, secure resource that helps them control and market their work, preserve value, prevent fraud and theft – and it is accessible online almost anywhere in the world.


Disclosure: I have in the past acted as a consultant and beta tester to ARTtrust and some of its business partners. I received no compensation for writing this blog post.

In New York? Come to Pro Photo Expo!

I will be at PPE (Pro Photo Expo) at the Javitz Center Thursday through Saturday this week. Come by the HP exhibit and say Hi! I’ll be working with the new Digital Negative Printing process, the ArtTrust security ID system for fine art and fine art photos, and the Designjet Z3200 large format printer.

We’ll have some amazing prints from Elliot Erwitt’s collection for you to see.

I’ve included a link below for the Platinum Printing video, and I’ll post the ArtTrust web address as soon as the latest revision is completed. :))

Here’s a video about the Platinum Printing Process:

and here’s a web page about the process.

See you at the Javits Center!

Douglas Kirkland Video – Protecting Art Work and Photographs

Photographer Douglas Kirkland on YouTube, talking about ARTtrust (video recorded by PR company at PMA photo conference):

New Post about ARTtrust on the Pro Photo Blog

By Eileen Fritsch

At the PMA 2010 Show in Anaheim this week, the DIMA Innovative Digital Product Award was presented to HP ARTtrust for a joint development between HP and Prooftag that helps photographers and artists maintain the authenticity of their work.

What makes the ARTtrust system so innovative is the ARTtrust Bubble Tag™, in which a random set of air bubbles is encapsulated in a translucent polymer film. There is no technical way to reproduce each Bubble Tag’s tridimensional code, and the tag cannot be removed without altering the visual appearance of the film layer. When an art print is produced for sale, the photographer or artist applies a silver Bubble Tag to the back of the print, a gold Bubble Tag to the customer’s certificate of authenticity, and a blue Bubble Tag to their own copy of the certification document. The photographer or artist then registers the tag number on the print to his or her personal space on ARTtrust Online. more…..

ARTtrust: A Hi-Tech Solution That Can Protect Fine Art and Photographic Prints

Artists and photographers have always had concerns about unauthorized, or even fraudulent use of their work. And digital technology has improved enough that it is not a big problem to make a very high quality printed copy of an original piece.

We can all breathe a bit easier. HP, in collaboration with ProofTag, have developed a high-tech, effective solution to these issues, called ARTtrust. (ProofTag is a French company that has already helped many protect their luxury goods and valuable documents against fraud and counterfeiting.)

The ARTtrust solution includes high-tech, unique identification tags, a highly secure online registration system, and verification via a secure Internet connection.

Other companies that support and promote ARTtrust include Canson INFINITY, Hahnemühle FineArt, ILFORD Imaging and Innova Art.

I have been using the ARTtrust system in beta testing. In my view it is likely to become the security standard of practice in the global art community.

The ARTtrust solution provides:

• Unique print identity

• Traceability

• Proof of authenticity

• Certified information about the pigment print’s longevity

• Confidentiality in all transactions


The ARTtrust solution is made up of a number of resources and components. The core component is the ARTtrust Bubble Tag™, which looks like a label, but is much more.

The ARTtrust Bubble Tag™ contains a translucent polymer film – a set of air bubbles are embedded in the film in a random pattern. They form a unique pattern that cannot be duplicated, according to the company. (see image)

There are three tags in each Bubble Tag set. One for the art work, one for the certificate of authenticity (COA), and a third for the reference or file copy of the print. Once a print is ready for sale, the photographer, artist, or printmaker tags the print, the Certificate of Authenticity (COA), and the file/reference print.

A set of ARTtrust BubbleTags(tm)

Once the tag is affixed to the art work, it cannot be removed without altering the appearance of its metallic film layer. The tag may be applied wherever needed – on the back, the side of a mounted canvas piece, etc.

Attaching a BubbleTag(tm)

Next, the user goes to the ARTtrust web site, and enters the tag number into the secure system. Additional information is also entered, including which HP printer was used, the paper used, and an image of the art work. Here’s an example of the first screen of mine on the ARTtrust web site:

ARTtrust Page for David Saffir

Secure records are available online, making it fast and easy to verify the source and authenticity of a print. The site also provides information about the predicted longevity of the print.

Note that the unique bubble pattern on the tag is connected in the ARTtrust records to the ID number on the tag. One can easily compare the bubble pattern in the tag affixed to the artwork, to the bubble pattern image in the secure online record.

Here’s an example:

Now the artist or photographer, reseller, printmaker, buyer, and collector can have more confidence in the value of the item. One can verify:

• The name of the artist or photographer, and the origin of the item

• See an online image of the artwork, print, or photograph

• Verify the ARTtrust Bubble Tag™ ID number

• Compare the bubble pattern in the tag on the artwork to the bubble tag pattern image shown on the ARTtrust web site.

This last step is quite straightforward, and can be accomplished without using a magnifier, electronic reader, or similar tool. Quite simple, actually.

The ARTtrust site also provides for printing a Certificate of Authenticity (COA), which includes relevant details about the print, its edition status, etc.

The ARTtrust Certificate of Authenticity

Summary and Wrap-Up (quoting in part from the press release) :

For photographers and artists:

• Easy to register, purchase, and use

• Full control over individually identified pigment prints ensures authenticity

• Long term artwork traceability while guaranteeing confidentiality of transactions

• Promotion on ARTtrustonline website

For external service providers and professional labs:

• Higher perceived value for Pigment Prints

• Incremental demand for large format prints from HP designjet Z series printers

• Promotion on arttrustonline website

For artwork owners, galleries and auction houses:

• Artwork proof of authenticity

• Artwork best available longevity ratings (for HP Professional Photo Printers)

The ARTtrust system has already been adopted by world-famous photographers and artists, including Joel Meyerowitz, Thomas Hoepker, Martin Parr, Douglas Kirkland, and Digital Atelier artists Dorothy Krause, Bonny Lhotka, and Karin Schminke.

ARTtrust is endorsed by Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR), the world’s leading authority for photography and digital printing permanence testing and preservation. At present, ARTtrust provides an individual identity to any Digital Fine Art Collection Pigment Print produced on an HP Professional Photo Printer using HP Vivera pigment inks on any compatible media. WIR site:

Photographers and artists will be able to purchase the ARTtrust solution directly through ARTtrust Online or from printmakers, print-service providers, galleries, or resellers of HP professional photo printers and compatible media. This solution gives photographers and artists a method of individually identifying any Pigment Print produced on an HP designjet Z Photo Printer Series using HP Vivera Pigment inks on compatible media.

Individual artists and photographers who want to create a personal space on the ARTtrust website can do so for a modest fee. The kit includes the items mentioned above, plus a unique ID card for the buyer, which has its own BubbleTag Id as well.

For more information, go to:

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