16 Jan

OK you guys, I’m sorry but I may not be writing this blog for much longer because OMFG CAN’T BREATHE I’ve just been spotted by a talent scout! YO I GOT A GOLD LINK BITCHES. I’m getting exposure from just thinking about it…

TalentScoutsOnly joking, everybody. My real response was this: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, ah, ah… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…


*Taken to minor injuries unit, sedated and given oxygen*


The immediate reaction of anybody who is not an object of pity because they’re very mentally ill and off their meds would be something like “are you fucking kidding?” PLAY ME? Yes, it looks to me like they are playing people, or at least trying to play people in their own adorably inept and knuckleheaded way. As I was saying recently, however: absurdity is a feature, not a bug. I was going to make a parody of their stupid videos but then I realised that even doing this quick post about them was almost certainly granting them more of my time than they deserve. Instead I think it suffices to say that the obligatory testimonial section begins with this masterstroke of idiot-savantry:

“Here’s what some of our artists and associates say about us (note that we are only showing the good ones and even they took a bit of arm twisting…..)”

You know that isn’t a good thing, right, Award Winning Unnecessary Capitalisers? I mean, you do realise what you’re apparently saying here? That some people you asked had nothing good to say about you, and you had trouble getting a good reference even from the kind of barely functional dimwit who might like and trust you?

The first one is an “Endorsement by Jon Hamilton-Fford, MBE Celebrity Artist & Published Author” [sic] although there’s no actual endorsement, just a link that goes to a 503 Unavailable error message. And we’re offered this nice picture, which I’m sure we all agree is quite the equal of any verbal endorsement.



Shall we look a little closer at this inexplicable mess (below)? Er… lighting, angle and focal length of the figures doesn’t match the background. There’s a lot of JPEG aliasing, but at the bottom in the middle there’s still the telltale jaggies of a quick autoselect and delete job. Last and in no way least: the woman on the left. Just, just, just what the fuck? Do we think hair pasted on, face pasted on, or hair and face pasted on? Is Lady Jean Ffotoshop-Disasterton the same Jean who runs the “Curated/Leading [sic] Art Events” that are linked from the main site and which mainly involve herself, pictures by Beryl Cook and Jack Vettriano (pictures she possibly owns) and a website that’s entirely in Comic Sans?

Furthermore, I should add that– oh wait, look, it’s Her Majesty The Queen in an entirely unrelated picture. Her face matches up with her neck and her hair and everything.

hh-390x321 copy

The other testimonials are just sad. One artist does paintings of Johnny Depp, like a fangirl on DeviantArt, and of the kinds of has-been/never-were 70s-80s “celebrities” you’d expect to find palling around with Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. I’m not going to mock the gentleman in that one any more because I think there might really be something wrong with him. The artist, I mean. Obviously Jeremy Clarkson should be mocked mercilessly until he goes away and never darkens our news or broadcast media ever again.

Anyway… thanks for all the laughs this afternoon, Award Winning Online Art Site* and your egregious SEO tactics, with love from Alistair Gentry, PhD, DDS, HFCS, OCD, Non-Celebrity Artist, Destroyer of Art Worlds & Published Author. You’re pre-approved for it by me so you run along and get some of that exposure, preferably of the kind leading to frostbitten extremities so your fingers have to be amputated and you STOP TYPING ON THE INTERNET.

PS: On Google Street View (dated July 2012), the postal address given is– imagine my surprise– not an art gallery. It’s a small store front for a company providing websites, e-commerce and marketing. Regular readers will know that I love Street View for checking out anybody who says they run an art gallery. I recommend it.

PPS: The Award Winning Online Art Site includes this graphic. Note the silver cup.

Awards-495x321Guess what the first link I found for “BLB Awards” was? Hilariously, it’s BLB Engraving Services from Michigan. Yes, they sell and engrave trophies (or “awards”, if you like) for any occasion. I’m sure this company is straight up, legitimate and has nothing to do with the site I’m discussing here, but still… delightful. I couldn’t make it up. It doesn’t get funnier than this initial discovery, but it does get a bit more sinister and pathetic. If something can be sinister and pathetic simulataneously.

With a strict search for the aforementioned phrase and that phrase alone there were only eight results. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Eight search results from the whole internet.

One of the eight results was these people linking to themselves on their own site about supposedly “winning” the award, an award/competition of which I can find absolutely no other trace and no other nominees or winners. I used DuckDuckGo, if you’d like to see for yourself. By the way, and despite the usefulness of Street View, I also recommend DDG as a privacy-orientated, less-bullshit-in-general, fast and functional alternative to Google.

I should really stop telling the truth and just start making loads of shit up, because obviously nobody ever does basic fact checking any more even though it has never in the whole of human history been easier to catch someone out when they lie. BRB, going into town to buy myself some trophies.

9 Responses to “OMG, SRSLY?”

  1. Jeff 17/01/2014 at 1:55 PM #

    Well I don’t know much about art but it seems to me like really negative to poo-poo what are clearly a bunch of guys like doing there best to make the most of cool social networking tech in a recession did you know their’s like one on and SEO companies are really helpful in providing much-needed jobs for young people to sit and set things like websites up on the internet at a competitive hourly rate which I might add looks good on there CVs especially when there apprenticeships end and they might have to sadly go back to the jobcentre and try to get another one so a lot of the time when you see this companies in your inbox I would hesitate to criticise and ask what you can do to help maybe you’d like an apprentice for example and stuff, good rates?

    • Alistair 17/01/2014 at 2:49 PM #

      I honestly can’t tell if you’re being serious or not. You may find this hard to believe, but I do hesitate to criticise. For one thing, if I wasn’t selective and targeted then doing this blog would be a full time (unpaid) job.

      In case you are serious and in case anybody else is similarly confused, I’m pretty sure I know who wrote the things I’m criticising here and it wasn’t somebody gainfully employed on an apprenticeship. Unless you know who it was and would like to correct me. The things I’m criticising are, in no particular order: spam; ineptitude; stupidity; what look to me very much like deliberate attempts to deceive (e.g. CV/reputation inflation, making up awards, Photoshopped visual “evidence”) for profit; apparent– and transparent– attempts to game search engines, going beyond optimisation and into territory that the search engine companies themselves dislike and punish severely (see recent case of Google vs. a lyrics site); “art” portfolio or exhibition sites who promise a lot but provide little or no credible evidence of being able to deliver on those promises; people who use the magic word “gallery” when they do not appear to own an art gallery in any meaningful sense of the word.

      Things I am not castigating and labelling as wrong include, but are not limited to, the following things: people trying to earn an honest living, without deception; people who have to take low paid, crap jobs; unemployed people; people who make inadvertent mistakes because they are too young or inexperienced to know any better yet; people who make a profit from running any kind of legitimate business and providing services wherein customers get exactly what was advertised and what they’ve paid for; making your website the best it can be so the maximum number of people can find it; starting your own gallery, studio or art community and publicising it. Not that anybody needs my blessing or permission, but all of the aforementioned are OK.

      It’s my dream to have a lovely assistant, actually. Wish I could afford one.

      • Marie Thone 17/01/2014 at 10:08 PM #

        What’s with the streamofconsciousness-nopunctuation-noediting style of the first comment up top here? Is there a point to it?

      • Alistair 17/01/2014 at 11:04 PM #

        That’s why I couldn’t tell if it was serious or not. It could be the kind of bull charge a person does when somebody else has unknowingly put out a red rag. Alternatively, in some ways it could almost be a deliberate parody of the run-on, ranting style I often adopt on this blog. Yes, that’s right everybody. It is a tone I deliberately adopt specifically for this blog, not the expression of a roiling anger I live with every waking hour of the day, or a variety of blogging-assisted Tourettes Syndrome with a peculiar focus upon art-related issues. Anyone who would like to verify this might want to look at my other blog, which has never received any threats, counter-rants, or cease and desist letters. Getting angry about things and then writing about them is fine, but I usually advise against actually posting anything on the internet while you’re angry.

  2. Marie Thone 17/01/2014 at 10:11 PM #

    PS: Keep up your great work, CareerSuicide. Your hilarious observations and sharp analysis brighten even the dreariest day of a Québec winter.

    • Alistair 17/01/2014 at 11:10 PM #

      Thanks and/or merci. Most people in Québec are bisexual, aren’t they? Or something like that.

      • Marie Thone 18/01/2014 at 4:13 PM #

        Oh, we’re pretty much BI-EVERYTHING here north of 60—as opposed to BUY-EVERYTHING, which more describes our neighbors to the near south, but that’s another rant, for a different blog. Or maybe not? Based on what I hear about current buying trends at Art Basel Miami!

      • Alistair 18/01/2014 at 4:34 PM #

        I believe I’ve actually done that other rant, on my different blog.

  3. Alistair 11/02/2014 at 6:54 PM #

    Reblogged this on Alistair Gentry.

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