NEW ART MAGAZINE
Unpaid, submission is FREE!!!
Irrelevant, ugly new art magazine/art and lifestyle blog seeking submissions of 3,000-5,000 word articles for its next issue. Please submit your text, plus a CV and two examples of your previous professional writing from a major publisher or magazine we’d really prefer to be working for. All entries must be sent in a format that suits us because we’re really lazy but is incredibly inconvenient and aggravating to you, such as a single PDF compiled from various documents of different sizes, shapes and file types. Please also fill in our application form (download hidden in a cryptic sidebar somewhere on our site) even though it has numerous inexcusable spelling mistakes and totally screwed up formatting so you have to basically type the whole thing out from scratch just so anybody stands a chance of being able to read or understand it.
Your published work will be read by literally ten people, only one of whom even slightly cares about it, and we won’t think to give you a free copy of the magazine or invite you to the party we’re having to launch it. Deadline: tomorrow, 8.30 am.
UPDATE: due to absolutely no interest, deadline extended to the day after tomorrow, 7.30am!
If businesses like casinos and gem dealers must report suspicious financial activity to regulators, so should art dealers and auction houses. But to dealers and their clients, secrecy is a crucial element of the art market’s mystique and practice.
Have you ever accidentally told the customs authorities that a painting you own is worth $100 when it’s really worth $8,000,000? It’s an experience we can all relate to, I’m sure. It’s such an easy mistake to make, isn’t it? The quotes here are from a relatively shallow but interesting article by Patricia Cohen in the New York Times, on money laundering through art, which is the evil (or more evil) twin of high level art dealing as investment:
As other traditional money-laundering techniques have come under closer scrutiny, smugglers, drug traffickers, arms dealers and the like have increasingly turned to the famously opaque art market, officials say.
It is hard to imagine a business more custom-made for money laundering, with million-dollar sales conducted in secrecy and with virtually no oversight. What this means in practical terms is that “you can have a transaction where the seller is listed as ‘private collection’ and the buyer is listed as ‘private collection,’ ” said Sharon Cohen Levin, chief of the asset forfeiture unit of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. “In any other business, no one would be able to get away with this.”
Though there are no hard statistics on the amount of laundered money invested in art, law enforcements officials and scholars agree they are seeing more of it.
Read the whole article here:
Previously on this blog:
Money laundering, arms dealers.
I want your souuuuuuuuuul… and a £25 submission fee, and a massive commission fee, and some other fees that are hidden in the small print, and…
I’ve been helping several correspondents do detective work on some artist farming businesses who’ve tried to pick them up recently. My definition of artist farming is taking money from artists for vaguely defined services or for promises of success or sales that are deceptive and otherwise not as advertised. These schemes and businesses promise a lot but usually achieve little or nothing positive for the artist; they may indeed damage an artist’s credibility and their prospects of being taken seriously. They certainly don’t have the interests of artists or art buyers at heart in any way. All they care about is milking as many naive marks as possible. In Britain the same little pack of bandits seems to have about 90% of the artist farming business sewn up, they’re all friends with each other and they all co-validate each other’s lies and puffed-up CVs, linking to each other with bogus endorsements, spurious logos, sketchy web sites and narratives of success that don’t hold water.
Since it’s surprisingly quick and easy to get the measure of a company online, I thought I would share some methods to either put your mind at rest that the company is legit and the person you’re dealing with is who and what they say they are… or not, as the case may be. Where so-called “art opportunities” are concerned, the latter usually turns out to be the case.
Named for the Italian con artist Carlo (or Charles) Ponzi, who in the 1920s relieved investors of about $420,000 (equivalent to about $4.5 million if he’d done something similar in the 21st century). The main characteristics of what’s now called a Ponzi Scheme is that it pays “profits” to investors from their own money, or from the money provided by subsequent investors. They rarely make any legitimate profits. They’re often based on vague promises and unrealistic projections, as indeed are many of the originally legal schemes like hedge funds; hedge funds can also very easily degenerate into illegal Ponzi schemes when they go wrong, and this has happened with particular frequency since the turn of the last century. Ponzi Schemes inevitably collapse either on purpose– because the fraudster makes off with all the money, as they always intended to– or when investment stalls.
Of course Ponzi was neither the first nor the last to operate in this way for his own enrichment. In an infamous case of 2008-2009, Bernie Madoff was eventually sentenced to 150 years in prison for the biggest securities fraud/Ponzi Scheme in history, with losses to investors costing $65 billion.
Now let me suggest a scenario to you, the arty people who read this blog: a large number of artists pay an “entry fee” or “administration fee” in order to have their work considered for an exhibition or a prize. There will be vague promises of it being your big break, that big knobs will see your work, an implication of nothing ventured nothing gained, that you have to speculate to copulate or something like that, I don’t know what the phrase is. Only a few of the entrants, or only one, will actually receive anything. Most will receive nothing, but they’ve all paid for the person who did get something… which is much more likely to be the person or business who’s running the competition than it’s likely to be any of the entrants. This is also a form of Ponzi Scheme, don’t you think?
Ten international galleries want you, like a vampire bat wants sleeping cattle. Premio Ora (“Premium Hours”) says that the “basic registration fee required as partial coverage for organizational expenses” is €60 to enter three art works for consideration. Poor things, only covering their organisational expenses partially. Each additional image after the first three is only €5 and luckily for
them you, it’s possible to enter an unlimited number of works.
Yes, it’s another sketchy “opportunity” for artists to enter a competition where they pay for the remote opportunity of possibly getting an unpaid gallery show, i.e. something that an artist should usually be paid for, or at the very least should not have to pay for in order to be considered. I’m providing links here for the purpose of verification; I wouldn’t suggest visiting any of them unless you want to know which international galleries are involved in this farrago and I would therefore recommend in the strongest possible terms that you don’t ever have any dealings with whatsoever.
A bona fide artist who is having an exhibition at an art gallery is not a “winner” and does not pay all the costs of transporting and exhibiting their work. Any artist who does so is a customer, and they should have their service– i.e. in this case their work shown in the gallery for two weeks– provided to them without quibbles and without all this pretence of meritocratic selection or curatorial oversight. Continue reading