How confident are you at distinguishing between the work of an art world legend and that of an unknown student? One of these pictured works, going on sale for £45 next week, has been produced by an A-list British artist. The other five, while no less impressive, are by anonymous rising stars.
This year's Royal College of Art (RCA) Secret show, an annual fundraising exhibition beginning on Friday, has seen an unprecedented number of established artists, including Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry, donate postcard-sized work to the London college. The show will see consumers select unlabelled art on its aesthetic merits. It is only after the sale that purchasers discover whether they have bought a Jake Chapman, a Sir Peter Blake, or the work of one of the RCA's students, which might take several more years to yield its value. A postcard by Peter Doig bought in 2000 later sold at Sotheby's for £42,000.
"The support we have had is overwhelming," said Wilhelmina Bunn, RCA Secret's curator. "Because the exhibition aims to raise funds for student bursaries we've had an especially strong response because people know that now is the time to support artists, who often have to survive with less prospects of immediate work. "
RCA Secret has been running since 1994 and has raised over £1m for the college. If the college's targets are met the show could raise £126,000 in bursaries and scholarships to the college, which along with universities across Britain has been hit by a Government hike in the tuition fee cap.
There are 2,800 postcards going on sale this year, 1,070 of which are by working artists. Participants can view the postcards in person or via the RCA's website for 24 hours. They are distributed on a first come first serve basis. There is also a raffle for collectors to win a position in the first fifty places in the queue. The cards' reverse is signed by the artist.