Friday, April 4, 2008

The Fall of Gallerist Larry Salander

An Old Master in Ruins

Why is an El Greco worth less than a Koons? Gallerist Larry Salander called it a moral travesty, and decided, catastrophically, to do something about it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Victory for artist Marc-André Fortier over Galerie St-Dizier


Source: Christian Bédard Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV)

The Quebec Court of Appeal decides in favour of the artist and confirms the lower court’s ruling.

Montreal, Tuesday, February 19, 2008 — In a highly anticipated ruling by the Quebec Court of Appeal in the case of Marc-André Jacques Fortier v. Gestion B. Brisson et Associés et Brian Brisson, the three justices confirmed the main points of the ruling by Her Honour Carole Julien, of the Superior Court, made on May 16, 2006. Justices Paul-Arthur Gendreau, Jacques Delisle, and Marie-France Bich upheld the several condemnation of Gestion Brisson et Associés, doing business under the name Galerie St-Dizier, and Mr. Brian Brisson. They also confirmed the obligation for the gallery to keep separate accounting records for each artist and to supply to each artist the names of purchasers of the artist’s works “and, if applicable, their respective addresses.”

These rulings – that of the Superior Court upheld by that of the Court of Appeal – are very important since they constitute, in fact, a first and solid jurisprudence affecting an artist represented by a gallery and the Act Respecting the Professional Status of Artists in the Visual Arts, Arts and Crafts and Literature, and their Contracts with Promoters (L.R.Q. c. S-32.01). For the first time, a visual artist, Marc-André-Jacques Fortier, sculptor and member of RAAV, dared to push to the limit the defence of his rights with regard to a private gallery that neglected to sign contracts and keep appropriate accounts relative to the artist’s works. Defended by an experienced lawyer, J. L. Wolofsky, the artist was able to demonstrate definitively the effectiveness of the statute when it comes to the obligation for artists and private presenters to sign individual contracts.

The effect of these rulings will reflect on the profession as a whole, since they have confirmed the obligation for gallery owners to sign contracts and to keep clear and separate accounting records for each artist whose works they sell, as well as specifying that a gallery owner must supply upon the artist’s request information on sales, including the names and addresses of purchasers of their works.

This ruling by the Quebec Court of Appeal, handed down on February 8, 2008, concludes a nine-year epic full of plot twists and emotions, and involving heavy legal costs for both the artist and the gallery owner. It is regrettable that it took such a drawn- out saga to affirm the importance of concluding contracts, keeping appropriate accounting records, and enabling an artist to know the names and addresses of purchasers. It sends a clear message to artists and to gallery owners: when you begin your relationship, negotiate and sign correct, clear, and complete contracts in order to set out your rights and obligations and avoid eventual legal proceedings, because it is the LAW.

Incidentally, the Act is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and this can be seen as a wonderful birthday present.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Richard Herman's story about Sergio Patrich

I generally, as a rule, refrain from speaking ill of someone in the business, but I think this situation was unique, and besides this person was operating on the outside as far as I can tell. I count myself lucky to have lost around $10,000-12,000 ( it was a while ago now) in art, and not more. When I first spoke with Mr. Patrich a red flag was raised by his seeming lack of respect. He was very positive and enthusiastic to the point of impatience, but simply rolled right over anything I had to say. I backed away but was eventually won over by the grounded openness of a young woman (apparently not family) who was in the employ of the Simon Patrich Gallery. I sent four canvases and was content to leave it with the gallery to work with as they saw fit, according to their sense of the local market. I checked in with this woman now and then for feedback, but realized I had made a mistake as soon as I next spoke with Mr. Patrich. His manner and words were of the classic "wounded friend" type of huckster, and I realized that I could kiss the paintings and or money goodbye. Shortly thereafter the work and gallery disappeared, only to pop up again as this Gallery O. At this point my only concern was to dis-associate my art from this gallery. Pursuing the work would have entailed continued association, and I didn't even want a negative one. The problem for me, and the reason I am contributing to this blog, is that after repeated requests, then demands, he would not remove my name from the gallery website. This is what disturbs me, not the money. My name is still on there today after all this time.
Thankfully, this was my only experience like this. I disagree strongly with those who characterize the business as being rife with charlatans. In my experience most gallerists are descent people who want the artist, the art, and the gallery to succeed together. I think it would be unfortunate to fall into a mindset that sees artists as "Us" and galleries as "Them". Without trust success is impossible.

Richard Herman

Friday, November 2, 2007

"The Family Business" a painting by Amelia Alcock-White

Comments by Amelia Alcock-White:
Scientifically speaking, Scorpions are cold-blooded, opportunistic predators. Here we see a façade of forthrightness and generosity, supposedly driven by esoteric religious conviction. Behind the guise of evangelist in designer attire we discover a conscienceless, sociopath, both carrying and being driven forward by his family.

The woman with the whip represents his mother who initially condoned and later excused his increasingly socially unacceptable behavior. After years of defending her son she has begun to believe the lies she has taught him to disseminate, seeing him as both hero and victim and urging him on, unable to face his failure as a man or hers as a mother.

Of the ‘children’ pictured, one is a baby, tightly grasped by the controlling grandmother; one is a young man looking over grandmother’s shoulder at his father. However well-intentioned, he is too brainwashed to realize the extent of wrong doings, too naive to see his own complicity and too weak to accept responsibility. The monkey represents both ‘monkey-see, monkey-do’ and stunned and de-evolved complacency, symbolizing others that are being dragged ‘along for the ride’.

The sinfully corrupt practices of the puppet father, whose strings are pulled by his mother, have karmically bankrupted an entire family, permeating every aspect of their lives. The blood of the ‘Family Business’ is on everyone’s hands; the young, the unwilling and the innocent alike.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kurt Lidtke faces prison

Following up on the previous item on Kurt Lidtke, from the Seattle Times:

Former Seattle art dealer Kurt Lidtke, who was convicted of stealing artworks and still owes victims more than $400,000, left a tangle of deception in his wake that may never fully be unraveled. The scale and duration of his misdeeds are unprecedented in the Northwest art trade and have rattled a community accustomed to doing business on trust and a handshake.
Read the rest of the story.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Guilty plea in theft of art (Seattle Times)

By Christine Clarridge and Nancy Bartley

Seattle Times staff reporters

A former Pioneer Square art-gallery owner who was accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of valuable art has pleaded guilty to nine counts of first-degree theft.

Read the rest of the story.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sleazebag Dealers

Here is another website dedicated to the discussion about artists and their problems with dealers: edward_ winkleman