Galería Azur Madrid: vanity gallery

The usual story: a gallery rep contacted me by email and said she had seen and liked my work, and asked if I wanted to be in a group show. The reason I am posting this is that unlike IT’S LIQUID and similar well-known scams, this one is a new gallery in Madrid that has apparently been around in Argentina, their home country, for a while. The director seems to belong to a well-to-do family, and they have a substantial following on instagram. So, for just a minute or two, I thought for once it wasn’t the usual hoax. HA!! When I said I was interested, sure enough they sent me a standard contract that specified, among other things, the following clauses:

a) the artist has to pay for transportation both ways
b) the artist has to pay EUR 1000 for a one-month GROUP exhibition (and three months subsequent online representation – yey!)
c) they will keep 30% of sales revenues

I would also have to insure my work obviously for transport but also once there (although they said they would compensate me if anything got damaged).

I have never posted here. But given that this gallery is new and likely to cause a lot of frustration to fellow artists, I thought I should make this one a first.

  • Anonymous

    It is a vanity gallery with multiple locations around the globe. I just got an offer for €2000, which of course I didn’t accept. The physical exhibition participation with 2 works in the gallery in Miami will only last 2 !!!!!!!!!!! days and will be a huge event to which gallery owners and trade fair organizers will be invited. (Why do I care about a trade fair organizer?) The artist bears the transport costs. The Gallery will exhibit the selected artworks on the online platform ARTSY and 1ST DIBS for 12 months.

    This is lottery gaming at the highest level!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this post. I feel a little relieved as something didn’t sit right with me.
    I received this a few weeks ago. I was quite blunt due to numerous scammers trying to approach me.

    I was sent a voicemail to prove legitimacy. Then the website, got the email asking for £2000. I said thank but said no, dye to shirt notice and cost.
    The lowered it to £1800.

    I’ve said not interested, maybe another year. I’ll probably get another email soon.

    Thanks to your emails, it proves even legitimate galleries are on the make too.

  • Anonymous

    Just got an email about art basel what will happen in november, by galeria azul and the sender was Fiorella Sozzi. Needed to answer ASAP, because there aren’t so much time anymore left.

    “Regarding the magnitude of the project, the deadline will be relatively short, so I would appreciate a prompt response”.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much to let us know. I had the same email three times. I did some research and I send an email to Galeria Azure Madrid. I didn’t get any answer, I e-mail 5 times.
    For me is that answer enough!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing!! And another warning about a suspicious guy called Gerhard Götze.
    Don’t loose energy with him, he just want’s about 30’000 dollars of you to realise a catalog…

  • Anonymous

    Hello everyone.
    I was just approached by Gallery Van Gogh in Madrid…
    Same scam as Gallerie Sonia Monti in Paris which I FELL FOR two years ago! So ashamed to admit!
    So appreciate everyone’s posts.
    Thank you!!

  • Daniel

    Hello, from Dublin here, I got an email from their Berlin branch, on a Saturday evening for an exhibition that is a month away, and because my work would work with the ‘overall aesthetic’ (LOL their words not mine). Thanks to this threat I disregard it as spam, but they truly wanted my cash as they sent a follow up email. Told them I hope they find many like me.

    • Anonymous

      Van Gogh Art Gallery is definitely a similar vanity gallery. It should have its own thread here. Another even more outrageous one is M.A.D.S. online gallery.

    • Anonymous

      I recently got approached by Van Gogh. I asked a fellow artist friend and she warned me it was a vanity gallery, which led me on a rabbit hole tof vanity galleries in Madrid and found Galerie Azur as well. I’ve heard it can be bad to have these on your CV.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for these reviews. I was just contacted by them via Instagram. I got excited enough to email a fellow artist with the caveat that it could be a hoax like so many others. Reading these reviews has helped me immensely. So, thank you. I will not sign.. anyway, I can not afford the price!

    • Anonymous

      Me too! I saw the policy which explains the fees so I just assumed it was a lousy deal and to move on. Now seeing I’m not the only one, I’m thanking the internet for connecting me to others who confirm my initial suspicions. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    They just contacted me as well, I looked at their website and google reviews and researched some of the people, all seems legit. Although their team huge. This thread is the only info that made my Spidey sense perk up. One of the assistants Daiana messaged me. I’m going to speak to her and ask her some questions out of curiosity.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing this and for the others that also took the time.
    Doing our research is very important for artists. Just as important to alert others.
    I can delete the email without a thought now!

  • Anonymous

    I am very glad I found this feed and did some research. I had no idea these types of things were happening. I just got an email two days ago from Galeria Azir to represent me for a $1300 fee or $3800 premium fee for a year of promotions on artsy another website, and a month in physical gallery. Shipping paid by artist.

    The email and website, contract looked very legit. 30% their cut. Since I’m an emerging artist I don’t k ow what is normal or not..

    Do artist ever have to pay their own shipping for gallery representation? GA Artsy page seems legit, but as I read are you saying artist don’t actually sell thier work through them? Please advice.

    I am emailing Sofia the curator currently and was told I needed ti sign by Dec 27th. Today it’s the 22 Dec of 2022. Should I bring up the bad reviews to the curator?

    • Anonymous

      I hope you didn’t sign the contract! Shipping costs are usually paid by the gallerist, even in online galleries such as Saachi Art. Did you check Artsy how much they’ve sold? Did you ask for sales figures from the person who contacted you?

      They rush the deal because they don’t want you to check out reviews and think more carefully. No need to hurry, do your research thoroughly. Rush is always a red flag!

  • Anonymous

    I was just approached by Galeria Azur as well, similar to how others have outlined here. So glad I went with my gut feeling and did a bit of research on them before signing anything. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. It helps out so many others from galleries like this that take advantage of artists, especially emerging artists.

    • Anonymous

      November 28, 2022- They are yet another vanity gallery and it is so easy to get sucked in ; seems to take every bit of self esteem to ward off the ever increasing money scams.

  • Anonymous

    Yes unfortunately, you are correct about everything you said above. Glad that you didn’t get sucked in.

    I was new on scene when I bought into there 12 month contract for an online show. Prior to signing, I communicated with many other artists they “represented”, asking the same questions but received good reviews, which was confusing because when I approached the sales team to ask about sales numbers, I only received vague and abstract answers. No artist I spoke to have a bad review or warned me. By the way, anyone that contacts me about GA, I give them all the intel I have!

    The group show came and went, the social media coverage was professional indeed, but that’s it, everything I paid for stopped there. I never received follow up or feedback, my art was never-ever again promoted, and my images still sit on their artsy site and don’t appear in any social media posts. I paid for an online group show that had 2 seconds of coverage. I never sold one piece. Embarrassed, I took their name off my resume I had!

    Artist friends, stay away from this and others like it and use your money on materials and professional self promotion. From now on I tell people they need to pay me for promotion, lol, unfortunately I learned the hard way.

  • Anonymous

    If I have understood correctly Galeria Azur is an auction house in Argentina. In Europe (Madrid & Berlin) they make money by charging artists, not by selling art. It’s a full blown vanity gallery. Some artists don’t understand that or just refuse to admit it, so the gallery is making lot of money.

    I’m surprised they haven’t commented here already, because in Google Maps reviews they are replying to the bad reviews in a panic mode and probably making up most positive reviews. It’s pathetic.

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