Monday, March 30, 2009


The art world has it's fair share of crooks and con men. I've known some who are so slick that they will pick your pocket and you will thank them and come back to be taken again.It is a matter of smoke and mirrors. Perceptions of value sometimes create the value, meaning that "it must be worth it if that's the price". Frankly it takes a leap to accept that way of thinking but we do it all of the time. In the art world there is an expression, "The more they pay the more they appreciate it."
Even here in St. Augustine we have galleries touting cheaply made giclee prints as "investments". Part of the reason for the heavy turnover of "art consultants " is that young impressionable sales persons eventually find that they are duped as well. This puts a crimp into the sales presentations that they are taught in training.
Recently Art In The Market was donated an original painting by an artist handled by a local dealer (as well as elsewhere). The original sales price as marked was 3500 dollars (36"x36"on canvas). The dealer was offered a chance to buy it to add to the three that she already had. The offer for purchase was $200 dollars, less than 6% of the purchase price! When questioned about the disparity the gallery owner condescendingly said, "Selling in a gallery and a private sale are not the same thing"
In NYC last Thursday, art dealer Larry Salander has been jailed for an 88 million dollar scheme along the lines of Mr. Ponzi. Most of the money went for a private jet to carry him to Europe, a "lavish party" he held for his wife at the nearby Frick Collection, ownership of a six-storey home on the Upper East Side as well as a 66-acre estate in upstate New York. STORY
Don't be fooled by investment claims. Buy it cause you like it. A 2000 dollar original kept for 15 years in your living room offers you personal enjoyment at thirty seven cents a day. Sell it and it's gravy.

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