The Art of Authentication


The Artentika Story

Our art research project started in 2008, when we recognized the urgent need to develop tools to help protect the art world from pervasive fraud. Artentika (Pty) Limited was incorporated in South Africa in 2017 and invented a groundbreaking art authentication patented in the United States in 2022. Uniquely, it is multi-modal and combines several cutting-edge technologies in the field of image and materials analysis with data-driven approaches. Artificial Intelligence also plays a role, but AI is not a silver bullet and cannot be relied upon in isolation. In effect, ​the true value of science for the realm of art lies in complementing, not replacing, the expertise of art historians, conservators, and appraisers. We pioneered other groundbreaking solutions to expose forgeries, establish accurate ownership histories, and safeguard the true value of artworks.

© Luca Bonfanti

Mr Albertus Geldenhuys, Founder & CEO

Geldenhuys has bachelor’s degrees in economics, languages, and ethnology. A self-taught IT specialist, he invented, co-invented and patented various technologies to detect and prevent fraud, notably in the field of art, pharmaceuticals, and biometrics. Artentika’s art authentication technology was conceived and patented by him. Geldenhuys is bilingual in Afrikaans and English, fluent in French and German and intermittent in Italian.

Prof Roxanne Radpour, Art Technology Advisor

A specialist in imaging spectroscopy and non-destructive chemical and physical sensing technologies. Her research in conservation and cultural heritage science helps build our understanding of material heritage and allows us to respond to art conservation queries. Prof Radpour is also pursuing the application of these technologies to the forensic analysis of trafficked artifacts and objects of questionable authenticity.

Ms Sixtine Crutchfield, Art Commerce Executive

A renowned figure in the world of Fine Arts with over 25 years of experience. She graduated at the University of Denver with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication including History of Art and History of Theatre. Her first job was with the world-famous Jan Krugier gallery in Geneva where she became a proficient art dealer. Moving to Australia, she obtained a Corporate Law degree from the University of Sydney. In 2003, Krugier invited her to become the Managing Director of his gallery. She also headed Yves Bouvier’s Art Culture Studio, the firm that ran the Moscow World Fine Art Fair in 2004. She speaks fluent English, French, and German.

Dr Tania Kleynhans, Chief Scientist

An expert in Hyperspectral Data and Machine Learning. She is the co-inventor of ArtCo’s art authentication solution. Kleynhans also focuses on remote sensing and its applications in various fields, including heritage science and environmental monitoring. She has authored numerous publications and presented her work at conferences worldwide. Her research interests include the development of low-cost multispectral imaging systems for pigment analysis in works of art, the recovery of damaged or faded historical documents, and the validation of surface temperature data from satellite sensors. Kleynhans is fluent in Afrikaans and English.

Mr Walter Heymans, Chief AI Scientist

He has a Master of Engineering (cum laude) in Computer Engineering and is skilled in Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), Automatic Speech Recognition, and Computer Vision. Heymans is closely involved in perfecting our authentication technologies and developed the One2One© verification solution. He is bilingual in Afrikaans and English.

Dr Fred Scott, Art Authentication Executive

Dr. Fred Scott has a PhD in synthetic chemistry and is a leading art expert. He advises and curates for prestigious institutions and corporations worldwide. Scott has published numerous scientific papers and received the Max Planck Fellowship for his research. He is also ranked among the top 40 art evaluators in the world, and has built impressive corporate and personal art collections. He speaks English and Afrikaans fluently, and has a good command of written French and German.

Dr Nick van der Merwe, Chief Technologist

He has a PhD in Engineering and is an ardent art lover. His thesis is on an image matching scheme for use in the field of close-range photogrammetry. Van der Merwe has extensive knowledge and experience in image processing, biometrics, smartcards, PKI, RFID and information security. He concentrates on art verification, curation and restoration. Van der Merwe is a bilingual English and Afrikaans speaker.

Ms Carolien Coon, Chief Heritage Scientist

A renowned conservator with 15 years of professional experience. She is a PhD student at the University College London and her project title is "Photodegradation and nanotechnology-based conservation of RP (rapid prototyping) materials (Nanorestart)". Coon is also developing a method (microfading) to rapidly identify photosensitive RP objects. She is bilingual in English and Afrikaans.

Mrs Margreta de Boer, Company Secretary

She worked in senior positions in banking in Switzerland, the Bahamas and Malta for more than 24 years. Inter alia, she is experienced in due diligence, compliance, asset allocation and investment funds. She is fluent in Dutch, English, Italian and German.