Δευτέρα, 25 Αυγούστου 2014

scam: “International Contemporary Masters”

Last week I received this “invitation to submit” to a book of “Masters” that will be given away for free. 
But my “invitation” will not be free.  And it is not clear what value I will be receiving for my participation or who is going to want this free book. See my remarks in parenthesis (below.)
Dear Ann
I visited your portfolio and I liked your work. (That’s nice.)
I’d like to invite you to submit art for inclusion in Volume VII of “International Contemporary Masters”, a leading juried annual art publication presenting noteworthy artists from all over the world. (Artists from all over the world! Wow!)
Please note that inclusion in the book is not free. The concept of the publication is different. (“Different?”  Here it comes.)
The book is basically delivered for free and when we sell it, it is at a cost price so nobody makes money from sales. (Someone is making money.  My guess is it won’t be me.)
We try to have a large distribution and the purpose of the book is to promote the artists in it. (You try?) This is the reason the artists have to pay. Only artists that are up to the standards of our art committee are approved. (Who’s is the committee?  Master Card and Visa?)
If you are interested I will send you more information or you can visit: wwab.us/index.php/Masters-Application/ (add www. in front of the link)  (Whoa.  Some bad graphics.)
To get an idea of the quality of our publications you can view our previous books on the same site.
Each year we organize a large group exhibition for the artists appearing in this book, at the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Arts, which is located in Las Vegas. Contact us for more information. (A museum? Oh for real.)
Phil Cota – Assistant Curator
World Wide Art Books INC
1907 State Street 
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
Tel / fax +1 805 845 3869
Phil goes on about the pricing but he says nothing about the quality of the of “masters” judged by a “jury.
Most importantly I have no notion of  the specific value I will be receiving for my investment. 
For inclusion into a confusing and sketchy portfolio that would only damage my brand I am invited to pay:
Participation Fees
  • One page — US $985.00
  • Two pages — US $1,585.00
  • Three pages  — US $ 2,085.00
  • Four pages US  — 2,585.00
  • Five pages US — $3,085.00
  • Six pages US — $3,585.00
Front Cover:  AVAILABLE $9,800                                                                                                                                                                                               
Back Cover: NOT AVAILABLE $ 5,800
FRONTISPIECE: (the very first page inside the book) AVAILABLE: $5,800
Front Cover: AVAILABLE $9,800
Back Cover: AVAILABLE $5,800
FRONTISPIECE: (The very first page inside the book)  AVAILABLE $5,800
And if I apply now I can “pay monthly installments.”  (Gee. Where do I sign?)
Warning. This pitch lands perfectly in the minds of too many artists who have not developed their marketing acumen. 
Do not invest your hard earned dollars in empty promises.  Invest your money only when you are clear what you will be receiving and at what risk.
No one is coming to save, nor discover, the artists.  This is an irresponsible fantasy that too many leverage to their advantage.


Πέμπτη, 19 Ιανουαρίου 2012

World Art Media and NY Arts Magazine Scam!

Money Art Scam!

Art World Media and NY Arts Magazine (same company) is a huge scam praying on vulnerable artists. Watch out for these folks. I received an email on my website from a woman claiming to be a NY art rep with Art World Media. At the end of this post I have included the email that I received, which I have learned is similar to what other artists have received on their websites.

The first two lines of the email sent to me seemed personal but the rest of the email sounded 'canned'. I viewed the websites I was directed to and those looked pretty good. I looked at the person's email address and it was @gmail, rather than a company email. I became suspicious. I forwarded the email to my friend who is the undisputed 'Internet Queen' and within minutes she found a lot of negative talk out there about this group on a reputable art community website called ArtBistro. I went there and found more information on various artist's blogs who had also been approached by these people.

It appears World Art Media and NY Arts magazine (same company) send out thousands of unsolicited emails each month to artists on their websites promising art representation via online sources, publications, gallery shows etc. for a FEE. They do not advertise their fee on their website anymore, but I learned from other artists the fee starts at $500 and goes up from there to $4000 and $6000 depending on what they say they are doing for you.

World Art Media does publish your work in the NY Art magazine. However, it does not have the millions of viewers, buyers, and following that they claim. One New Yorker said it is sold only in the newstand down the street from their NY office.

NY Arts Magazine promises promotion, publicity and articles in their magazine and an art show in their gallery, 450 BROADWAY GALLERY, which, although it exists is in the inaccessible, interminable, unclimable 4th floor walkup at that address. The gallery isn't even listed on the local Gallery Guide. However, It is listed in, where else, the NY World Arts Magazine.
It is also my understanding, that even the so called 'Marketing Associates' get ripped off. Most of their positions are continually advertised on Craig's List. When they sign on, they are promised wonderful commissions. After working like crazy soliciting artists, they are not given these commissions. One guy wrote, that after working for World Art Media, he could have made more money had he been employed flipping hamburgers at McDonald's.
World Art Media seems to be just 'legit enough' to keep from getting arrested. However, they operate in an unethical manner. They don't tell the entire truth about what they can/will do for artists and actually charge you ridiculous fees for their services. This is not the kind of company I choose to do business with ever! My advice? Run.....run far away.


Τρίτη, 6 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

Thinking about “Vanity Galleries” to build your career?

Thinking about “Vanity Galleries” to build your career?

A very interesting article about vanity galleries by Renee Phillips at Art Calendar. What is a vanity gallery? … in a nutshell, these are galleries located in main art markets (e.g. New York City) that will bleed you in fees for you to get a line in your resume saying that “you” made it because you where exhibited there.
To believe an exhibition in any gallery in a major city at any cost will garner the attention of serious curators and collectors is naïve at best. Although they may appear to have credibility to outsiders, vanity galleries are viewed dimly by knowledgeable art professionals. As one art critic said to me, “When I see such a gallery on an artist’s resume, I know they paid to have their ego stroked.” Furthermore, the uneven quality of art found in most of these galleries turns away serious collectors. - Renee Phillips
Also, if you are interested in knowing if a gallery will charge fees, the article cites a website with information on fees at NYC galleries. And always it is possible to see if the gallery is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America, no vanity gallery will be part of this professional association.


Vanity galleries

A vanity gallery is an art gallery that "rents" its space to artists in order for the artist to have a show. Thus, the main driver in having a show at a vanity gallery is not necessarily the quality of the artwork, but the artist's ability to pay the gallery to host his/her artwork.
New York is crawling with vanity galleries, and the vast majority of European galleries are vanity galleries. In the US however, vanity galleries are often looked down upon by everyone, since they are essentially a "rental" gallery. A knowledgeable art critic or curator knows which galleries in his/her town are vanity galleries, and often ignore them, much like book critics ignore most self-published writers, who use "vanity publishers."
An interesting fact, at least here in Washington, DC, is the fact that (being on the inside), we often see "reputable" galleries which sometimes cross the line and become "charge the artist" galleries or vanity galleries once in a while, as the mighty dollar calls.
Sometimes we'll get a phone call from an embassy, or from the agent of a Hollywood actor who's also a "painter" or "photographer," and they'll ask us how much would we charge to host a show by their "artist."
When we inform them that we do not rent the gallery for artists to have shows, they thank us and hang up. Then a few months later we see that "Hollywood artist" or "embassy artist" exhibiting in one of our local "reputable" art galleries, and immediately recognize that - at least for that month - that gallery is making ends meet by renting the space to someone while pretending that it is part of their regular schedule.
While I understand that most galleries are labors of love, and often run by the skin of one's teeth, I still find it somewhat distasteful, and dishonest - to appear (on the surface) to be a gallery that shows work based on merit, while at the same time showing work based on an artist, or a corporation's ability to pay.

And it's not just commercial art spaces. A while back, a story by Robert Lalasz in the Washington City Paper even exposed a local non-profit which admitted charging a multinational corporation a hefty fee to put up an art show at the "reputable" non-profit art spaces.
One can even make the case that even some museums sometimes cross the line and become "vanity museums." A few years ago I was astounded when a Culture Minister from one of the embassies in our city told me that they had finished a deal with a local museum to host the first ever retrospective of one of that country's artists for a fee of four million dollars! To him, it was "business as usual," while to me it was distasteful and dishonest and since then has left a bad taste in my mouth about that museum.

Δευτέρα, 5 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

International Contemporary Masters - the BIG SCAM

Artists don't be victims!

Thousands of artists get the follow email which asks them to pay thousands of dollars in order to be included in ... a book! For what? For NOTHING! 

Dear Craig,

I visited your portfolio and I liked your work. You are therefore pre-selected to submit art for inclusion in Volume V of “International Contemporary Masters”, a leading juried annual art publication presenting the most important artists from all over the world!” Please note that this is not a free inclusion. If you are interested I will send you more information or you can visit the link: http://wwab.us/artists.html(add www in front of the link)

To get an idea of the quality of our publications you can view our previous book at this link: http://wwab.us/books.html
Best Best regards

Grant Conzaman – Assistant Curator

World Wide Art Books
5383 Hollister Ave, # 260
93111 Santa Barbara CA
Tel / fax +1 805 683 3899

http://wwab.us/(please add www in front of all links)_

They sell it on online bookstores (so what? nothing is worth so much money!!!) and distribute it to art galleries but of course they don't prove it! You know why? Because the only distribution is to the participating artists. 
 And of course they don't have a list with the galleries or museums where supposedly the book is sent!

This is LAME. What "Master" would really pay that much to include his work in a book of other ego-centrics? Seems just like another rip-off scam.

The following is quoted from their website:


Inclusion in International Contemporary Masters' book is NOT free!

We invite artists to participate in the 6th edition of "International Contemporary Masters".

An invaluable tool for every artist who wants to help himself or herself to succeed, to get the best value for his or her art, to establish relationships with art galleries, and also as a reference for clients.

Every artist knows how important it is to be included in juried exhibitions, festivals, books and publications. To create an important record that will open a path to success and also to show his or her creations in every possible way and to get one's art out of the studio and before the public eye.

In this superbly printed annual art book, we present artists of high caliber from all over the world whose work we believe to worthy of a serious art book.

Participation Fees

  • One page — US $985.00
  • Two pages — US $1,485.00
  • Three pages  — US $ 1,985.00
  • Four pages US  — 2,485.00
  • Five pages US — $2,985.00
  • Six pages US — $3,485.00

Here are some links, it is certainly worth reading them!