Liquid Group

A reader posted “I would consider adding an entry for It’s Liquid Group run by Luca Curci. Mr Curci would typically put out open calls to artists exhibit works as part of a festival with no mention of a entry/ submission or participation fee. Artists would send work to be considered for inclusion and they would often receive a response from Mr Curci, asking for a fee ranging from €50 to €200 (sometimes even more) for each work that has been submitted. Such fees are never mentioned in the original open call.

I have included some links below which go into detail about these so-called ‘opportunities’: “

  • Anonymous

    so glad I found this post. I was recently contacted by them to participate in the 15th edition of the contemporary venice something. They indicated that there would be a fee to pay depending on the number and dimensions of the work I submitted. And then offered to facilitate a solo exhibition for me in one of their venues. I informed them that I wouldn’t be able to afford any participation fees even via sponsor because the turn around time was too tight, but would be interested in exploring a solo show at a later stage – so as to have enough time to organize sponsorship to cover expenses for their “services”. as of right now I have been contacted by two people – a Laura Piatti and Giulia Tassi – who invited me to participate in the the venice thing and offered their availability to help organize the solo show. and I was on the verge of putting together a proposal for a showcase when I thought to look them up and see if I could find any artists speaking about their experience working with them or even find the specific addresses for their exhibition locations (which they say are in london, Venice and Italy). and I literally couldn’t find a single artist who mentions working with them on their [the artist’s] website or social media – despite being mentioned in the website and social media of itsliquid. something about that felt off so I did a general google of the group and found this review page. I’m just going to block everyone who’s been in touch with me from there because I think there are enough predatory players in the art industry preying on artists who just want to be able to sustain themselves through the work they make. thank you to everyone who shared their stories.

  • Anonymous

    I was approached via email by ‘Caterina Gallizia, Project Coordinator’ of ITSLIQUID Group (noting that her email, as well as ‘Luca Curci, Director’ were gmail accounts, not accounts), who said they were interested in showing my work during ‘Contemporary Venice 14th Edition’ in some palazzo. “The application proposal is free and there is a participation fee related to the number and dimensions of artworks selected, bla bla bla”.
    I’ve been aware of these ever-so-slightly-above-board pay-to-play schemes and these guys have been operating a successful-looking international operation for many years. At least it can be said, they aren’t fly-by-night. Maybe some of the artists are even happy to participate, I’m sure.

    Anyway, I decided to fuck with ’em a little. I wrote back saying “as you know from visiting my website, I work in video. I have a variety of works available to show, my screening fees range between $3000-$10,000. I will make a screening copy available via download upon receipt of payment.”
    To my surprise, Ms. Gallizia called my bluff! She wrote back namechecking & linking back to a couple video pieces of mine, and a comprehensive list of technical details of the TV screens they use to show the works (I didn’t need to know the freakin’ model numbers and voltage specifications, really).
    Here’s the kick: a single screen presentation would cost between 500-700 Euro, plus taxes. To show one video on a screen in a loop with a bunch of other suckers, the fee was a modest 200 Euro plus 212 Euro in taxes.
    Who knows what grim dungeon in the palazzo these screens would be hung? LOL

    If you go to the website, it all looks super professional. Seems like they regularly host these expos all over the place and work hard to present valid interactions with the non-vanity-gallery level art world.

    I personally have never heard of any artist who participated in the “Contemporary Venice” expo — or the “Venice Experimental Video & Performing Arts Festival” which they hit me up about a couple days later (some festival!–it’s only a day long in one venue) — but it looks like there’s enough people out there willing enough to keep these clowns in business, and fully staffed to boot.

    Anyway, you know the drill: you go to the website, there’s a simple form you fill out to apply “for free”, and someone like Ms. Gallizia gets in touch with you right away to let you know how much money it will cost to participate. If any so-called collectors are interested in buying your work, ITSLIQUID allegedly does not take commission, they just hand over your contact info to the client.

    Conclusion: ITSLIQUID is unapologetically a pay-to-play operation, but I can’t attest to what degree it’s a scam — in the sense that, they take your money and never show your work, or never even put on a show, or never send out marketing. Let the buyer beware.

  • Anonymous

    They charge you for a package and interview is part of that as well, they sent me the questions for interview and after a week i sent the answers back, since then it past 6 months till now that im writing this review and nothing published!!! I emailed them many times but no reply, they just want money! Thats all! And price is not cheap!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Luca Curci and It’s liquid must be some of the most persistent and irritating people on the planet. I’ve unsubscribed countless times and still they send me their emails – even had a personal assurance from Curci himself that I wouldn’t receive any more and yes you guessed it, still more emails arrive.

    Even if I were interested to pay their over the top prices to exhibit a couple of paintings, how do they imagine that I could afford to pay for the cost of transporting work to and from Italy, plus my own air fare plus accommodation. It’s Ludicrous would be a more accurate name that It’s Liquid

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mean to defend ItsLiquid, I came here looking for reviews, info. It is very expensive! But I think a lot of people don’t know how expos work, expos are paid by galleries and artists to have a space in a gallery/ large conference space etc … Expos cost money because the organizers have to pay the spaces, even if they make deals with hotels or whatever, they have expenses of marketing, rentals, promotion, printed materials … It’s not going to be free, and they can get away from not disclosing upfront the cot because it’s understood that to take part in an artfair or expo, you pay the space/ print … Unless you’ve a name and bring clout to the even, they might invite you to bring reputation to an art fair … What I wanted to read is if there was a considerable audience, if galleries actually go see the work and contract or invite some artists, if artists actually sold art and made money on top of expenses … My biggest problem is the quality of work, many curators are so snob and end up choosing crappy work, and other people who actually have some unique vision, don’t have a career, a chance to show etc. But with this group, there’s really no curatorial sense! The prices are even higher now, they’re charging my E1263 w. taxes to take part in the Barcelona Contemporary … it’d have been nice to read more professional opinions on the whole thing …

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking of helping a student artist enter, and at first thought we would make a trip out of it; travel to Venice, see a lot of art and it would be a good experience. But after reading the reviews, and already seeing the same things you saw, I am beginning to wonder. We cannot stay there for the 12 days or so of the show, and hand carry the works there and back, and as some are fragile sculptures, it would be ridiculous to ship them. Also, I looked on a (what I think) was a popular tourist-travel to Venice planning website, based in Italy that lists all the event for Carnival, as well as art expos and anything that a traveler might want to see, and there was no events listed from Its Liquid, the search even came up blank. Way too many unknowns!!! Think I will pass

  • Anonymous

    They emailed me out of the blue saying I had been selected for an exhibition that Id never actually entered- I went along with it to see where it was going and I got quoted over 1000 euros just to exhibit a small piece of sculpture, plus round-trip shipping costs to Italy and back. Those prices do not exist UNLESS YOU ARE A GALLERY who is showing 5 plus artists in their booth-stall-whatever- no way does an individual ever pay these rates. These guys are sharks- been at it for years and must be shut down. Artists beware.

  • Anonymous

    Classic scammers. They should be taken down. Artist never have to pay. Artist provide content to a gallery that will make 10%-50% fees when sold, so the notion of artist having to pay for fees it’s ludicrous.

    These scammers should be prosecuted. Spread the word. These Italians are ruining the reputation of a beautiful country.

  • Bex

    I ended up here after having a bit of a weird interaction with this, found their open call for a show in London, applied. Got an email back in less than a few hours saying I’ve been accepted and that there’s a fee involved and it’s based on the number and size of works. I thought hmm I guess, well see how much. Had to fill in an application form, submitted two paintings and they came back to me with the fee totalling £900+ taxes!!! I’m a young artist and work at a bar as my day job so politely declined since I couldn’t afford it. This already gave me weird vibes if I’m honest. They email me back the next morning saying after speaking to the director they’ve decided to give me a “super special fee” (this is actually what they called it lol) of £450+ taxes but I have to reply within the day. Glad I ended up on here and decided to pass on this. Have seen a few articles about them but never seen the fees be this much..

  • Mauro De Giorgi

    Same for me. I’ve unsubscribed several time. This time I’ve replied quoting the law on privacy and spam (in Italian is called “Articolo.13 della Direttiva 2002/58/CE ).
    We better spread the word in order to avoid that other artists, especially young emerging artists, fall into this fraud.

    Best regards

  • Anonymous

    One of the reviews I read said that pay to play wasn’t disclosed until after the work had been delivered. When payment was not made the work was confiscated.

  • Michelle Heron

    I continue to receive many emails from ItsLiquid even though i’ve unsubcribed several times. I’m going to get my Italian friend to contact the organiser as they’re really annoying me now. I hate the fact that they’re ripping off artists and seem to be getting away with it.

    • Anonymous

      Good luck. I cannot count the number of times I have tried to get them to stop. The unsubscribe does not work. Writing to them does not work. Reporting them to Google only caused them to dump one email address and get a new one.

  • Anonymous

    I’d like to warn anyone contemplating entering the following art show to be very careful!
    The give-aways! – I was accepted after submitting – and the cost of exhibiting work is very high. I went online to check them out – to find lots of adverse feedback! It’s a scam. Never give your money to people or your artwork without doing your homework first.

  • anonymous

    Yes me too, I get regular annoying emails from them asking to submit and I once had an exhibition with them and they did not look after me at all. They also had someone from USA who worked with them for the Venice Biennale who treated us badly and yet Its Liquid did not care. They also have not yet returned an artwork of mine 2 years on! Its Liquid also failed to sell any of our artworks and really dont look after anyone except themselves. They are happy to rob us hundreds of dollars and not do anything for us.

  • anonymous
    Applied and was accepted. THEN they tell you their fees.
    The entry fee is:
    .video art category
    – 200 euro for a video selected (no longer than 10 minutes. Longer videos should be discussed apart).
    – 300 euro for a maximum of 2 selected videos (no longer than 10 minutes. Longer videos should be
    discussed apart).
    .painting and photo categories
    – 200 euro for each selected artwork with a maximum dimensions of 30x30cm;
    – 250 euro for each selected artwork with a maximum dimensions of 50x50cm;
    – 500 euro for each selected artwork with a maximum dimensions of 100x100cm.
    .installation/sculpture category
    – 500 euro for selected work with a maximum dimension of 100x100cm (or for 1 square metre of space).
    Artworks/series bigger than 1 square metre are allowed. The entry fee for bigger and special projects,
    complex and innovative installations can be discussed with the organization.

    • Anonymous

      Cai acá, porque me generaba dudas, me mandaron un mail para presentarme, para invitarme porque vieron mi página, lo que me llama la atención es que no aplique en ningún lado, y que tengo 10 días para contestarle y la exposición a la que me invitaron se realizará en menos de un mes… Me parece extraño que sea todo con tan poco tiempo … Les mandé un mail, me contestaron que pueden hacer un precio y que me pueden esperar si necesito más tiempo?

      Me da ganas de saber si es cierto, y me molesta pagar para exponer, no debería existir. Al menos si se paga que sea un ida y vuelta que el artista gane algo más, x ejemplo que se pague si hay una venta…

  • no

    Yep, Curci tricked me good. I didn’t even APPLY, but was contacted. I sent a piece for a show in Italy, was asked for a fee of hundreds of dollars, and Curci never sent the work back after I refused to pay.

    Later Curci seemed to be a doing a “pay for a review of your work” thing where he was writing reviews of famous artists then working in (I assume) paid reviews so people could say “Look at that, my artwork is right there next to [famous person].”

  • Nayda Cuevas

    In 2015 i had a trip planned to Italy for a month. I saw the call for artist by Liquid group, exhibition that would be held during my visit, i submitted and three days before departing for my trip i received notice of acceptance and yes a 300Euro fee to be paid. I figured it to be an investment and opportunity to attend the reception in a foreign country. My work was small enough to travel with me. I did have to ship my work from Florence to Venice and have it return to my departing city in Rome. I will say that MR. Crucci and staff were professional and kept really good communication with me through out. The place in Venice was a little hard to find but well attended. In my opinion not all the work was to my professional quality but my work was highlighted with another amazing artist and so i was really content. I do not think I would have shipped off my work internationally with the unknown of arriving on time etc. So for me it was a good opportunity to experience and see in person the hrd work these individuals go through to curate and put up a show while managing a group of artist and their work. If i were curating shows and working that hard i would like to get paid and pay my team.

    • Sarah Carter-Jenkins

      Hi there Nadya, I am an artist who has been contacted to show work with It’s Liquid at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi in Venice in December 2017-Jan 2018. As I will be in Venice in January I thought I might as well do it (and yes, pay the fee). I just wanted to check that they are legitimate event planners, and they do actually hold exhibitions. I know many artists are horrified by the suggestion that they pay to exhibit, but as long as they provide a service that does not worry me too much. Your post says that your experience was positive and I just wanted to check that they were reliable with dates and venues, etc?

  • DB

    I agree. This group seems to appear at first to look a bit more legit, or at least have a curated selection process (the hook is the no submission fee). They sock you with a ton of information on multiple international calls, and then eventually when you inquire the 200-500+ fees are buried in their information. And I have had a hard time qualifying any of the shows against any tangible media or industry support. Some of the photos of shows look like they are just showing large unframed prints of actual paintings. also was very hard to clearly understand how work would be handled/received/charges regarding shipping etc. The biggest flag on all these types of solicitations seems to be charging a significant fee to show, as well as charging the artist round trip shipping. simply to show some work in a “Castle” (PAKS gallery is another similar solicitation) or winery or some exotic venue in the heart of Venice etc. If anyone has actually shown with either of these orgs i would love to hear how it went. I would love to be wrong, but it seems you end up showing work in a show that has little recognition, pay a lot of money, and are included in some catalog or magazine, or the best “a online listing” on a site no one goes to to view contemporary art. If I am off base in this assessment please reply with details. I hope someone has had a good experience, but I have my doubts.

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