Email buyer scams

A reader said “I received an e-mail from a buyer asking to purchase one of the paintings on my website. He sent me what looked like a cashiers check to pay for the painting and the shipping and asked that I send a payment to the shipper ASAP because he had scheduled a pick up. I went to the bank first to make sure the check was good. After several days of investigating they told me it was fake. In the meantime the buyer was pressuring me to pay the shipper or he’d cancel the sale. I know artists who have been taken in by this.”

Anyone else have experiences like this?

Canada House Gallery

A reader sent this in, please add to this if you have experience here

“I’ve been working with many galleries for years and have had amazingly wonderful experiences. Most treat their artists very well. It isn’t easy being a gallery owner with all the expenses and difficulties.
Having said that, I would not deal with Canada House Gallery in Banff Alberta, after being treated in a very unfair manner in my opinion. I say this with a heavy heart because I would never say anything bad about a gallery unless I felt that I have been deeply wronged.”

Artisan Direct

An artist sent this in, any other comments? “Artisan Direct. Never deal with these people, especially Jayson Samuels. He’s an ex con who changed his name because he was convicted of fraud. You pay big time upfront for the exhibition, and the work might not even be displayed. After I asked for my work back, he lied and said he didn’t have it. I had to get a lawyer- the art came back but some pieces were damaged.”

Caprice Horn Gallery

A reader sent in this comment, please add if you have had experience here “We have had several artists complain about Caprice Horn Gallery, Berlin, Germany. She had sold art and not paid the artists. She had damaged art and not paid for repairs. She had blamed theft of images but did not pay the artist the insurance money. In one instance she had the wall painted with the art hung and ended up with white paint splatter on the prints and did not pay for repairs. She shipped work back to the USA and did not pack properly so all the art was damaged. Several artists had sued her but unless you are a German citizen you will not receive anything from the German courts but the attorneys sure get paid to loose.
Beware of this woman and gallery.”

Florence Biennale

This exhibition is set in the cradle of Renaissance art and its very name seems to link it to venerable, juried art shows like the Venice Biennale. But be wary of this and others like it. Florence Biennale is not a juried show and charges exorbitant fees for artists and galleries who wish to exhibit. The costs very often outweigh the benefits of participation.  Anyone have experience with this exhibtion?

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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.

Debut Contemporary

This is a letter I received, please add to the comments if you know this gallery of have more information. This is one letter that came in about them “about a dozen of my colleagues have been in touch with them (Debut Contemporary) as they have a lot of agents lurking around (I think artists are offered discounts if they bring people in) and several of them are suing the owners or thinking of suing them. Their true offer is quite well camouflaged unfortunately. I was told there was a fee of £400 when I met them years ago, which I thought sounded reasonable considering their low commission (20%). It turned out to be £400/week for a “test period” of 3 months 🙂 so I put their emails in the bin. They kept emailing me for about 6 more months. 

Totally Artistic, Inc

This gallery was run by Scott Shane of Woodland Hills, CA. It was first called the Visual Arts Gallery and then changed its name to Totally Artistic, Inc. Scott (aka Shane) had a contract drawn up that each artist who paid for a membership, were required to donate a piece of their art to the organization so that Shane could use it to represent them and market their art. When the organization went under about 4 years later, Shane kept all of the art work and never returned it to the artists. He used it to decorate his home in Big Bear and his place in Woodland Hills. Unfortunately, many of the artists were never informed of this and are only now finding out that their work was stolen and the statute of limitations has expired.