BgArt News Blog
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
  What to do about Art Scams
Recently an artist (Sarah) posted the comment below on this scam artists post from last year.

I am in the midst of the exact negotiations - I have actually received the certified check in the mail, from a person calling herself Nicole Roane. All the other details are the same, except that she says she is relocating to Johannesburg from the Georgia address. I also have a cell phone number for her.

I want to un-earth something beneficial from this otherwise shitty experience.

It would be interesting to create an exhibit of "stolen" works - posting calls online through craigslist and other free ad spaces to see if we could get a solid group of us who have interacted with this same scam. I wonder if there is any thread between the artists' whose work has been chosen within the scam. She chose "Think about that while I am gone", from my "collage" section, and "Untitled 7" from the color paintings section. I'd love links to people whose work has been scammed - to the specific pieces, when possible - just out of artistic curiosity.

My local law enforcement will do nothing - they say it happens too often for them to care.

In Reply to the Comment..
I don't know how the art scammers operate (or why they have to exist on the same earth as us!), but they are generally easy to notice, so I wouldn't bother wasting time or energy on them. The important thing is that artists are aware of these cockroaches and the tactics that they use.

Their main objective seems to be the money from the artist (don't cash their check/cheque), rather than amassing a booty of hot art. Listing the titles of your artwork is just a way of making them look genuine. Their most common tactic is to send their scams to a list of artist emails, asking them for their website address and the price of their works. Here's a really crude art scam that I received recently from Maxwells Brown.

I have never had a genuine request from a buyer that insists on using their own courier and using a check/cheque or money order (that is always more than the agreed amount).

Just don't send any art until the cash is physically sitting in front of you. Go and buy a coffee with their money before you even think about wrapping a painting to send. The buyer will understand if they are genuinely interested in your art.

I have used Paypal,, and bank to bank transfers with no problems at all. I wouldn't accept a check or money order as it just isn't worth the risk. Genuine buyers are flexible with their payment methods.

Don't go bothering law enforcement either as I have heard from people in the UK, USA and Australia that have tried to do something about these people, and none of them will do anything about it. I would love to hear from people that have had more luck with prosecuting the scammers.
>> Art Scam Emails
Monday, April 28, 2008
  Robert Rauschenberg Sues Artist
I read the title of this story on the Art Newspaper (Rauschenberg sues artist for selling his trash) and didn't think nice things about Rauschenberg. I thought it must be a rich and famous artist releasing his lawyers on a poor struggling artist because the hounds needed to stretch their hairy legs.

But, the article says "According to Rauschenberg, in 2007 the defendant, Robert Francis Montgomery of Florida, who also paints under the name of Robert Fontaine, sold works purportedly by Rauschenberg which Rauschenberg did not create, with certificates of authenticity. Rauschenberg alleges that this violated his rights under VARA to protect the attribution of his work." Art Newspaper

It goes on to explain that the artist found large negatives in the trash of Rauschenberg in 1998, which I think is fine if you sell it as Robert Rauschenberg Rubbish (it is the age of recycling!), but Montgomery has sold it as a finished Rauschenberg work with a certificate of authenticity.

There's a big difference between selling an artist's trash and selling an original work with a certificate of authenticity. So, release the hounds Mr Rauschenberg.
>> Famous Artists, Controversy
Thursday, April 24, 2008
  Pizza Hut Box Design Competition
pizza hut art competitionSticking with the multinational company art competition theme, Pizza Hut has a global design competition where you can design your own pizza box. For the next six months there will be a monthly prize of $1,000 and at the end of the competition the overall winner will have their design printed on a Pizza Hut box.

I struggled to find any entrants online at their website here that were worth posting, which has to be a good thing for those that are thinking about submitting an entry.

Update: Corrine of Jafabrit's Art submitted her entry here. It's an open mouth about to chomp on something, which is appropriate for a pizza box.
>> Art Competitions
  Nike Art Competition 1/1
nike art competition 1/1 Nike has launched a new annual art competition called 1/1. You have to be based in Europe and be over sixteen to enter. The winner will have the chance to exhibit at the Basel Art Fair and will design a limited edition pair of Nike Dunks, which I assume is a pair of shoes made by Nike.

The competition is open to everyone from filmmakers and photographers to graffiti artists and illustrators.

Nike's Nick Knight said "Both football and the arts cut across boundaries. Whether you're from any part of the world, class or part of society, you can appreciate a football match: that's what I like about it. It's the same with the arts: a great painting will cut across boundaries. And that global reach is what's really exciting about the '1/1: Art of Football' project.

We're looking for participants who are completely committed to football but also want to express it in a piece of artwork. It could be a performance, a sculpture, a still - whatever they want. Hopefully that desire to communicate will be the driving force behind the SHOWstudio/NIKE collaboration.”

Find out more at the 1/1 website.

Update: Here's a Pizza Hut competition too.
>> Art Competitions
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
  Earth Day 2008
Earthday 2008Google has celebrated Earth Day 2008 by letting the grass grow around their logo. BrandZ and Millward Brown have found that Google is the number one brand on their annual "Top 100 Most Powerful Brands" list, so the Earth Day website should get a few extra visitors from the search engine giant today.

The Earth Day website is encouraging people around the world to call their leaders today to "ask them to enact tough and fair climate change legislation." My prediction is that politicians worldwide will have their phones off the hook.

Here's some previous Google logos for Miro, Munch, and Van Gogh.
>> Earthday 07, Environment News
Friday, April 18, 2008
  The Art of Death
The German artist Gregor Schneider is looking for people that are about to die and are willing to be a part of his exhibition, which will be you dying.

Schneider told the Art Newspaper that he wants to "display a person dying naturally in the piece or somebody who has just died. My aim is to show the beauty of death." He also told them that his doctor in Düsseldorf is actively looking for possible participants in the exhibition of death.

I don't know much about the artist, and he may just be out to shock and collect his 15 minutes, but I don't have a problem with his plans. If the person dying is aware of what he or she is participating in and it's done in a reasonably tasteful manner, I'm fine with it. I probably wouldn't go to the exhibition, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be exhibited.

It's a thousand times more tasteful than killing an animal for art, as I doubt that any of the animals from the recent Adel Abdessemed exhibition signed a consent form to agree to be filmed while they took a sledge hammer to the head.
>> Art Controversies
Monday, April 14, 2008
  Banksy - One Nation Under CCTV
banksy - one nation under cctvI found this news on the Coxsoft art blog. The British graffiti artist Banksy has unveiled his latest work of wit, irony, and reality.

"One Nation Under CCTV" is painted on a wall in central London, which seems to be the CCTV camera capital of the world. It shows a young boy up a ladder painting the words, with a security guard and a dog on the ground watching him. To the right of the painting is an actual CCTV camera.

Here's what the Daily Mail is saying about the new Banksy work.. "Banksy pulled off an audacious stunt to produce what is believed to be his biggest work yet in central London. The secretive graffiti artist managed to erect three storeys of scaffolding behind a security fence despite being watched by a CCTV camera." Daily Mail

I just wonder how "audacious" the work is though. Erecting 3 storeys of scaffolding in a secure area with a CCTV camera looking over the painting makes me think Banksy had permission to do the work. Regardless, it is classic Banksy. If I was the owner of the building I would now cover the painting with some protective perspex as Banksy just added at least $100,000 to the value of the property.
>> Who is Banksy?
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Artists have mostly woken up to scammers trying to steal their money and artwork, but some people must still fall for them as I still get art scam emails. I thought they were getting more sophisticated and believable, but here's one that is a big step back..


The email is from MAXWELLS BROWN <>

Yeah sure Maxwells, I would love to give you my website address so that you can try and rip me off.
>> Art Scams
Friday, April 11, 2008
  Women Impressionists in San Francisco
American Impressionist Painter Mary CassattI have had complaints that I don't mention female artists enough on BgArt News Blog, so this exhibition should help with my quota of women artist posts for the month. I usually listen to complaints or constructive criticism, but strange people that think the world revolves around them or extremists that try and push their distorted way of thinking onto others don't get much of my time.

If the person took the time to actually look at the blog for any longer than 2 minutes they would see that the front page at the moment has a female artist working with spam, a female British artist (being sued), an Australian woman artist giving prints away, and some female artists dressing trees. If I do anymore posts on women artists this will turn into a feminist blog, which would be kind of strange as I'm male.

I really don't care if a post is about a male artist or a female artist and I never will care, ever!. All the complaint made me think about was ignoring all news stories that mention female artists, but that would make me just as deluded as the complainer, so I chose to ignore/delete the complaint.

Back to the point of this post (sorry about the rant), an exhibition called "Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond" will open at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Women Impressionists will run from June 21, 2008 to September 21.

Here's more from the press release.. "In a day when a woman leads the House of Representatives and another campaigns for President, it might be hard to imagine a time when the work of four women painters was marginalized because of strict social rules and the artists’ gender. For many decades, the four artists celebrated in Women Impressionists were treated with critical ambivalence and lacked major public exhibitions. It is only now that their innovative styles and contribution to Impressionism are showcased in a groundbreaking exhibition this summer at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, the exclusive U.S. venue. Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond is on view from June 21 to September 21, 2008. The exhibition offers a rare opportunity to directly compare the work of these women artists by bringing many pieces together for the first time."
>> Museum Exhibitions
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
  David Hockney's Big Trees Painting
David Hockney Bigger Trees Near WarterDavid Hockney has given the Tate his largest painting (he has painted some big ones) to date. "Bigger Trees near Warter" is about 40 feet by 15 feet or 5 meters by 12 meters and is made up of 50 panels. Also, I'm told that "Warter" is an actual place, so it's not a misspelling of "water" like I thought it was.

Hockney said "I thought if I'm going to give something to the Tate I want to give them something really good. It's going to be here for a while. I don't want to give things I'm not too proud of."

He also said "I feel loyal to the Tate. More artists should donate. They should think about it. You can’t quite trust collectors who say they’ll give to the Tate and often don’t."

According to the TimesOnline, 23 famous British artists agreed to give work to the Tate in 2004, but many big names are yet to come good with their promise. Among those that are yet to give works are Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton and Gilbert & George. Among the 9 artists that have kept their promise are Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, and now David Hockney (sounds like a subtle hint to the other 14 scrooges to come good with some art).

The Tate's Nicholas Serota said "It is an astonishing gift. Notwithstanding its size, this painting could have been sold to many buyers around the world. Simply to give with no tax benefit to himself is a remarkable gesture."

There's more on the Hockney gift at the Times and the Guardian.
>> Art Museums, David Hockney
Saturday, April 05, 2008
  What is Art?
It's a question that has been asked since we first started creating art: What is Art? I think most people agreed that hitting animals in the head with hammers is NOT art. So, what IS art? Lets see what the animals have to say about art..

I found this video on the Colouring Outside the Lines blog.
>> Online Videos, What is art?
Friday, April 04, 2008
  Adel Abdessemed's Don’t Trust Me Exhibition Cancelled
The San Francisco Art Institute recently cancelled an exhibition by the Paris based artist Adel Abdessemed called "Don't Trust Me". The controversy surrounding the SFAI exhibition involves 6 looped videos of animals being hit in the head with a sledgehammer. The animals being killed include a sheep, pig, horse, goat, deer, and ox.

Here's part of a notice left on the SFAI website here..
"Soon after it opened, the Abdessemed exhibition became the subject of an orchestrated campaign by a number of animal-rights groups, including Animal Liberation Front (ALF), In Defense of Animals (IDA), and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). One result of this campaign was a parallel onslaught of explicit death threats and threats of sexual violence—as well as racial, religious, and homophobic slurs—against SFAI staff members and their families. The swift escalation from controversy to credible threats has regrettably forced SFAI to make a decision unprecedented in its 137-year history."

I did a quick search for the videos online, but couldn't find them (and am probably glad I didn't find them). I saw some still images and they looked pretty gruesome. Just do a Google search for "Adel Abdessemed +Don't Trust Me" and you should find some stills if you MUST see them.

Is it art? I don't think so. I think they're just animal snuff films created in order to shock. I have seen more shocking videos on PETA though.

And I'm sure that many of those that are so outraged by the killing of these animals happily drive through McDonalds or KFC without giving a second thought to the way the animals on their burger were killed. We have distanced ourselves so much from the killing of animals for food that we barely even recognize meat as living animals that were killed for our consumption.

So maybe Adel Abdessemed does have an important message to give with his Don't Trust Me exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute. Maybe the people that are so angry at the films don't want to be reminded that their beef came from a healthy, living cow that had to be killed. I just think that so many "animal lovers" are really big hypocrits, and I include myself in this category as I like to think of myself as an "animal lover" yet I continue to eat meat. So we love the animals that are cute and cuddley and relate to people in some way, but we eat the ones that are on our burgers.

I think I'm talking myself into being a vegetarian, which is probably not a good idea right now as I'm invited to a BBQ tomorrow. I'm a walking contradiction.
>> Art Controversies
Thursday, April 03, 2008
  Art News, Reviews and Links
Here's some art news that I have missed lately.

>> General Art News

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