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These are positive and / or negative reviews of galleries, art fairs, consultants, writers, online pay to play offers, residencies and more – all written by artists so that other artists can beware of situations where institutions treat artists badly, or that end up costing the artist money or are outright scams. However, it is important to note that “member” or “artists run” spaces are cooperatives and not in the same category as vanity or “pay-to-play” galleries.
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If you know of a gallery or art fair or any other online place for artists that is asking for money or has treated you badly, that is not listed here, add it in the comments below this text and I will make a category for it on the left. But if you have any experience or information about the galleries or categories on the left, please add your comments below that post.
If you are a gallerist or someone named in a post, feel free to respond in the comments of that post.
A user wrote the following –
Do NOT work with Joseph Latimore of Gallery Sensei, now based on 135 Eldridge Street.
He owes me 3K, he owes a friend 9K, he owes people in London 30K and the list goes on and on.
He has made a business of hustling artists, curators and anyone trusting enough to give him opportunities and/or work for him.
On top of that, his gallery is a pay to play.
A user sent this in –
Galerie Bernard Jordan, Paris, did not return one of my unsold artworks after an exhibition. After emailing Jordan many times he finally admitted he could not find it back in any of his storages. He did not offer to pay for it. I was so kind to make him an invoice for less than the amount we had agreed on in case of selling it. But after several reminders he paid only a fraction of that amount.
Think twice before you work with this gallery. They maintain a high standard in respect to the quality of the art that they show, but not in respect to paying artists apparently.
An artist sent this in –
A particular company to watch out for and AVOID is one called Museum of Cultural Arts, in London, UK (situated at Canary Wharf) and run by a woman called Lorraine Gabriel. Do not have anything to do with her, she is very dangerous. What started out as a linked in contact, with offers to represent me, and host an art exhibition for me in London, became a huge horrible heartbreak. End of 2015, we met in London and she charged me 280 pounds to represent me. A couple of months later, she asked me for 1500 pounds to do a special clothing line of my artworks. That never eventuated at all. During 2016 as we communicated by email, she was a little cagey with details. She asked me for 6400 pounds for the venue hire in London and to manage everything from easels to transportation of the artworks to the gallery, and said she would pay the deposit to the venue right away. At one point, when I asked her about where the money was going, she got snappy and angry with me and really upset me that night. I should have listened to my gut instinct and pulled out right away, but I did not. We proceeded communication, and few months later, in late 2016 came the time to prepare for my exhibition in London and I flew all the way from Australia to have it and on the very night, thirty minutes before the exhibition was due to open, she cancelled! With weak excuses saying that the car hire company had cancelled on her, and a couple of days later, we found out that she had not paid the venue at all, and the venue told me she told them a different story, that she could not afford the car hire or the easels hire. I felt very angry! This was 6400 pounds I had paid her for all of this, where had it all gone? So we got about reporting her to the police and fraud squad and the embassy, which all were on our side. Lorraine says she will do this and that for you, but never does anything, just pockets the money and runs! Stay away from her.
A user submitted the following;
I would like to report and warn all of an artist residency retreat business called Starry Night Artist Retreat. Be very careful. They offer you a special opportunity called Exposure, to exhibit in Miami, USA or Venice, Italy at art expos. They charge you thousands of dollars and then they pay themselves to fly from where they are to the expo and then if you do something slightly so wrong (in their eyes!) such as converse with an art gallerist (which you should be allowed to do!!!!) they go off at you and run off with your money. The promises they made to support artists like myself for one whole year which they did not honour, breaching the contract I had signed. I also won a scholarship to do one of their courses (which I must mention was nothing but cheap silly point form information and no real content!), and then was selected to be in an art expo, which then they charged me $6000 for, and promised me ongoing support. Later when I went to dispute the breach of contract by them, they told the gallerist that I had paid for the course – after telling me I had won it. So effectively they told lies to get out of paying me my money back which still has not come back to me three years on.
This person Monika Proffitt is the person you need to watch out for. An awful temper, a great jealousy of good artists, and will take your money and run! Do not give Starry Night Artist Retreat your business, no matter how glowing reviews may be on their site, they are not honest! And their prices are ridiculously high! Just another Vanity type of art service! I make no apologies for exposing this horrible company.
Has anyone worked with Superfine Art Fair before? Or know anything about the success of the fair? Any information would be appreciated!
A reader sent in –
Artlimes – a website – they claim they only take a 3.5 commission, and you get to upload 5 artworks for free for review, but the second menu when signing up is asking for your banking information and routing number to your account. WTF? They say they are based in London, but only have one or two likes on their Facebook page posts.
A user sent in the following –
Rebecca Barrett who owned Link Gallery in Estes Park, CO and then in Cheyenne, WY. After selling artwork, she did not pay. She also took money from artists for a co-op ad, overcharge them for the space, then never paid the advertising bill and kept it all. I have confirmation of this from the magazine ad rep directly. I am not sure if the gallery is still open, but I believe she still “represents” artists.
A user sent in this comment –
Ken Featherstone who repeatedly made promises but never “fully” delivered. He is involved in many types of artists’ opportunities such as exhibitions, on-line representation, and advertising/editorial/representation. I have had three separate dealings with him. I continued to give things a try, thinking that surely I was mistaken. In the end, clearly, I was not. His emails and messages were extremely angry. After politely responding to his last email request, I received a very unprofessional response that I do not feel appropriate to share here.
Bottom-line, in my dealings with them, neither of these two people were who they seemed to be on the surface.
A user submitted post —
I am writing to report unethical unfair and unprofessional practices by Lab Art Gallery, LLC of California owned by Iskander Lemseffer. I am an artist who sold a painting through the business owned by Mr. Lemseffer.
Mr. Lemseffer is a thief and is in breach of contract on two counts: not disclosing the true price of my piece by not issuing a copy of the sales receipt and not paying me in full. In addition to this unethical behavior, he also “left” my painting in the potential owner’s house for 18 months after I repeatedly asked of its whereabouts. I eventually started receiving payments after insisting for months that he remove my piece from her house.
I gave the gallery owner ample opportunity to pay me in payments which he did but he was once again negligent in keeping his word whereby first promising to pay $1000/mo. of the $4000 owed (the painting could have been more, I may never know). He paid the thousand then dropped the payments to $500/mo. then $250 every other week. He stopped paying me a few weeks ago and has stopped responding to me with a balance due of $1500.
While I realize that my hopes for restitution could very well be in vain, (this amount is too small for me to to waste my energy fighting him in courts), I do want people to know of his unethical behavior. This was a very large and very reputable gallery. He struggled so much at the end of last year that he is now in real estate but the Lab Art gallery remains as an online store. He had another location in Texas but I don’t know if it is still open.
In Lisbon Portugal, a city I’ve frequented and love very much, there is near its castle Colorida Gallery. They approached me via Linkedin and after some correspondence I agreed to be included in a summer exhibition that went from two weeks to two months. A map of the gallery indicated the wall where my 8 paintings would hang in my bonding contract, and yes they asked for money to cover the expenses of an online booklet included on their website. When I arrived, on the Thursday before their Saturday reception reassembling my paintings, I noticed in the hours spent there that no one paid the gallery a visit, which I dismissed knowing the difference would be made during the reception. My wall was given to another which I didn’t protest (my regret). A mutual friend of the late Francis Bacon flew in from Paris as did another from England. What I was to discover is that the gallery is situated way behind the castle where no traffic, tourist or otherwise, would manifest, the reception was discouragingly feeble, the gallery sold nothing, no collectors, and my conclusion is that they just live off of international artist monetary contributions, Americans included, and I’ve yet to have galleries charging artists sell substantially having no collectors. There’s much more but not worth stretching into this comment, although I’ve noticed Colorida in previous forums where many struggling artists have been approached and question their legitimacy. Sometimes we artists must take chances and make sacrifices, but my heart bleeds when we consider adding up all that it may end up costing and yet a gallery is incapable of selling and just continue targeting vulnerable artists to keep their expenses paid.