Sunday, September 11, 2016

Beware Of Art Scammers!

I hate the promotion part of art making, as I suspect many artists do. Even if you have financial backing, like an agent or a gallery, being an artist is tough. It's also disheartening when people try to scam you out of your blood sweat and tears. 

I'm sure many of my fellow artists out there have been hit with something similar to this scam, but in case you haven't, here is it. It has the same feel as the mysterious Nigerian Lawyer who contacts me from time to time about my unknown "billionaire uncle/aunt/cousin that made a killing in the construction business, but died suddenly, and with no living heirs, I am somehow the recipient of this said unknown uncle's fortune." 

Here is how it unfolded.

Starts of innocent enough. But immediately my BS meter is starting to twitch. First the name, Rob Smith. I know it's a legit name for millions of men, but still, it's TOO generic. Second, every piece on my website is listed as either "Private Collection" or "Price Available Upon Request." But maybe he just skimmed over the paintings and didn't really look. It happens. So my reply was this:

To which he replied:

Now the BS meter is in the yellow/orange border. Either this motherfucker can't read or, it's a scam. Why must I do extra leg work for you Rob? My website is user friendly and VERY easy to understand, just give it a look, take some notes on which ones you like, see if they are available, then inquire about the price. 

How difficult is that? 
But still, I gave Rob the benefit of the doubt:

His reply:

Now I know it's scam.

I could have unleashed a flurry of hate and fucks and such, but I kept it classy. And guess what "Rob's" response was? Silence. Nada. If this person was legit, they would understand my position and make proper arrangements if they REALLY wanted a painting.

This next one, isn't really a scam, but it's definitely shady.

Sounds interesting, but why would I pay Artblend money to work with them?  Artblend "sincerely welcomes the opportunity to work with you" but I would have to pay YOU money in order to do so?

Y'all contacted me!!!!

A day or so later, they followed up with this:

So what, I'm just "Dear Artist" now? 
No more "Hi Jeff?" I thought I meant something to you guys!
Again, why do I have to pay money to sell work with you?

And what are their "prices and discount plans?"

Are you fucking kidding me? 

Again, this isn't exactly a scam, but it does raise some major red flags with me. And yet, there are over 50 represented artists on the Artblend website. Which means Artblend is doing quite well. Maybe their artists are doing well, but I don't recognize any names, and the work, in all honesty, is really just "Meh." But good luck to them.

Anyhow, be on the lookout for scammers kiddies, and if you have any experiences with art scammers, let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

September 2016 Unicorn Of The Month: Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz

The work I make isn’t exactly for everyone. Or maybe it is. Maybe it’s just the idea that the “everyone” that I’m talking about is not the “everyone” that is counted as important. Maybe its because I’ve made work about the folks we don’t see… the chambermaids in hotels or the inner city mother of three that is thrown in a tizzy because she can’t seem to get a cab for her and her kids.

A shot from the "Porcela Reina, Queen Series" Performance.
A shot from the "Porcela Reina, Queen Series" Performance.

I have built my artistic career by creating works that investigate notions of otherness as a Latina in the US. Starting from personal experiences, I set out to dissect aspects of my heritage from varying points of entry- from within my own family, home, neighborhood, intersecting Latino cultures. These investigations in turn, became larger studies on otherness as a whole in American culture. 

In regard to her Queen Series she says,
"Each royal archetype is created as a physical manifestation of specific personal anxieties. Through their creation I aim to untangle the complexities of these fears, attempt to understand why I have them, and why I've come to revere them."
Bargain Basement Sovereign.
Bargain Basement Sovereign #3.
"This is My Crown" India Ink on Latex.

Video Performance: "Bargain Basement Sovereign (Queen Series)"

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz is also a teacher at University of Central Florida in Orlando. More of Wanda's work can be seen on her Website, Instagram, Facebook, and her Youtube Channel.