Replies: 41 Comments
on Sunday, July 9th, walt said
I've long since pretty much quit donating art for charity auctions. My experience didn't begin well and got worse from there, beginning with the annual AIDS Auction which has degenerated into a pennies on the dollar art sell off. The spirit of "giving" seems to come only from the artists while the buyers seem to be into the spirit of "getting" cheap art. Given the subject and the audience this is a very disappointing arrangement. A charity auction should be met from both sides with a little sacrifice. Otherwise it is not truly charitable.
My advice is that we send these so called charity auction organizers and buyers a message. If it is worth doing it is worth doing with respect to the artists upon whose work the whole thing depends. Anything less is abusive and disrespectful.
on Saturday, July 1st, andrew said
Wendy, the joyfulness was real, having been put there by artists on a high because they believed the lie they'd been told, as I did. As to the placement, the artists had no say in the matter, places were picked because they got the most traffic and the owners were told their store, whatever, would be seen on tv and in the newspapers. It was.
on Thursday, June 29th, renato rodyner said
desculpe o meu texto está cheio de erros de Português escrevi muito rápido e um pouco inrritado fica na paz Renato Rodyner
on Thursday, June 29th, Renato Rodyner said
Em primeiro lugar eu sou um artista independente e que infelizmente tive a ideia de me unir com outras pessoas para realizar a Expoarte de Cascais em 1998 com o tema Oceano seguindo o tema da exposiÃ§Ã£o internacional Expo 98 que ocorreu em Lisboa.A empresa organizadora se chamava Expoarte eu um dos socios e como eu sou nÃ£o somente amavel mas a o artista mais conhecido enfim sou publico sou o alvo Ã¡ abater num assunto tÃ£o velho. infelismente as pessoas param no tempo. Convidamos 19 artista participar mais as crianÃ§as de uma instituiÃ§Ã£o para pintar um dos paineis que foram expostos e o objetivo do evento caso desse certo Ã¡ nivel financeiro era realizar todos os anos seguintes para com isso nÃ£o so criar um evento que divulgaria aos propositos da instituiÃ§Ã£o comoserveria para promover os artista participantes. Infelizmente os patrocinios prometidos nÃ£o foram conseguidos e o evento ficou com um prejuizo de milhares de euros inclusive tive que vender o meu apartamento para cobrir os gastos o evento durou 3 meses divulgando os artistas e animando a populaÃ§Ã£o de Cascais .Somente 2 artistas nÃ£o compreenderam ou nÃ£o quiseram compreender a dificuldade de realizar um evento que foi um sucesso de divulgaÃ§Ã£o dos artista e um enorme prejuizo para os organizadores A instituiÃ§Ã£o queparticipou do evento ficou agradecida por ter divulgado suas causas na em todos os meios de divulgaÃ§Ã£o Tv , radios jornais ,revitas etc Alem de ter recebido uma contribuiÃ§Ã£o em dinheiro do qual tomei o cuidado de levar uma figura publica para testemunhar tal fato. Infelizmente o artista jose que me processou processou o artista nÃ£o a empresa organizadora a expoarte nÃ£o fui em nenhuma audiencia e nem protestei. No Banco na hora do deposito Legal eles nÃ£o queriam receber porque estava sendo processado o meu nome artistico nÃ£o a organizaÃ§Ã£o como nÃ£o queria continuar lembrando de almas pequenas pedi ao banco que aceitasseo deposito que fizeram falando que eu nÃ£o era obrigado. sÃ³ estou respondendo porque levei muitos anos a construir o meu nome e nÃ£o admito que uma pessoa qualquer venha denegrir o meu bom nome . E para constar nÃ£o organizo ou organizei no Brasil nenhuma exposiÃ§Ã£o de soliedariedade .continuo ajudar varias instituiÃ§Ãµes que me pedem quadros e eu dou sem pedir nenhuma percentagem este trabalho jÃ¡ faÃ§o Ã¡ muitos anos e quando faÃ§o as minhas exposiÃ§Ãµes individuais e ocorre venda dou 20% para uma instituiÃ§Ã£o infelizmente nem sempre ocorre a crise estÃ¡ em todos os lugares Apesar de eu ter fama de vender e ser infelizmente para os invejosos um sucesso, nem sempre eu vendo.portanto Renato rodyner Ã© apenas mais um colega que estÃ¡ no mercado fazendo o seu trabalho caso queiram algum eslarecimento o meu telefone Ã© 00351 967429445 Portugal e meu mail Ã© "firstname.lastname@example.org" brevemente terei o meu SITE onde poderam ver a exposiÃ§Ã£o em causa. atualmente estou expondo em Madri. Fique na Paz Renato Rodyner
on Sunday, June 25th, Paul Dorrell said
Ellen: Very good and workable solution. I like your approach. Passing this information on will help other artists get tough in these instances, and recognize what is actually of value to their careers and what is a waste of time. If we can help others achieve that, time well spent, eh? But none of this should detract from the importance of volunteerism. That is noble, it just has to be structured in a fitting way.
Wendy: Very amusing. Yeah, I share the indifference to the cows, I just don't make much of it. Sometimes it's more amusing to sit back and watch, then quietly go in more productive directions.
on Sunday, June 25th, wendy jean hyde said
Although I'm so sorry and sad to hear this info about the cows, somehow I felt indifference to the joyful colors and playfulness painted on them in my heart when I saw them out front of the nike store and armani cafe on newbury street here in boston. Last century i spent time observing the back stage in the sports world (thanks to my ex) and i don't think that the artists are the only one's putting the sweat into the work while the executives drive the fancy cars and talk on the cell phones making deals about what cow goes where... all in a days work... they don't even see their cell phone invoice... get my point??
on Sunday, June 25th, Ellen Fisch said
I donate work to causes in which I believe, having carefully researched the charity before committing. I look for reputible organizations, but, as Paul mentioned, most of the time, the event must be high profile (well publicized) and well attended. I set the price, but I do not ask for a percentage. My final stipulation is that the work MUST be sold, even if the person who has solicited the piece buys it him/herself. I require that last in writing. If I donate a work, I do not want it to be among the few items left over at the end of the night. That once happened to me many years ago, and it will never happen again. If I go out on a limb to support a charity, I want assurance that I am supporting the charity, not POSSIBLY making a contribution. As far as a tax write off goes: my accountant advises me that most unfortunately, in most cases, the government will allow a deduction for MATERIALS, not the market or certainly not the ARTISTIC VALUE of the artwork. He claims that it is almost impossible to ascertain the price a piece of art is worth/will sell for even in the case of established artists (as we've seen from the fluctioning prices at actions). I have mixed feelings about donating my work; however, I will probably continue to do so.
on Sunday, June 25th, Mark R Brockman said
Jose, your concerns are valid, that is why the artist must do his/her homework with the charity involved. The reason I have not been burned is because I donate only to those charities that I know. If approached, and I research the charity and how they do business, and I am unsure of them, they get nothing. The real issue here is that artists are to quick to donate for promotional reasons. If it seems like a big event with lots of rich, big named people they do it to become discovered, not to give to a good cause. We all want to be famous or at least make a living off our work, but one needs be careful, whether it is with a charity or a gallery or a dealer. I think a more dangerous situation then donating to charities is to enter juried shows. There are far more of those gone bad then charities, and some have been sponsered by well known established galleries. The paintings in these shows don't sell or are never shown and some disapear, lucky for me this has not happened either, again because of checking them out first.
If ever I have a problem with a charity donation Jose, I will relate my fealings then. Never say "never" but as long as I proceed as I have I think it less likely.
The key is to be careful, not stingy. To find ones fame (if thats your goal) through other means then a charity. To be strong in the belief of your work. Nothing, fame, fortune, acclaim, is as important as the work.
The Republican statment was a joke.
on Sunday, June 25th, jose said
Mark, you are absolutely right when you say we should expect nothing in return if we decide to make a donation. The moment I give the painting to charity I forget about retribution. However, what I find difficult to swallow is when I discover that the charity has been deprived of something it has been promised. I think that in such cases we have the duty to follow up on our donation and see that it gets there and does not fill the pockets of the organizers. I don't know if this a republican view or democrat - where I’m writing to you from the spectrum extends bountifully from maoist-leninism to neo-nazism and to me it doesn’t fit in any of the available labels on that level. I simply call it a rip-off and as someone who has donated do not wish to be seen as conniving with them in any fashion. Let me remind you that in the view of the common man the ones who become visible in such ventures are the artists who have donated, not the organizers. When and if the shit hits the fan the news that often spreads is that you and I have given something for charity but the charity never got there, all the details that don’t involve us somehow fall into forgetfulness – it becomes hard to shake off the doubt. You are perhaps extremely fortunate in that this may have never happened to you, but let me know what your position is if [and I hope not] it ever does.
on Saturday, June 24th, Mark R Brockman said
PS. I have been treated with nothing but respect from those who I have donated to. Maybe the fault is the lack of research by the artist, not the charity. Giving ones time, giving ones money, giving ones work it is all the same.
Ed Baron, maybe never giving anything away is what is the trouble with business (big or small) today. Think about it.
on Saturday, June 24th, Mark R Brockman said
The point is, donation means no compensation, otherwise it is not a donation. If you expext exposure, if you expect people clapping you on the back for donating, "what a wonderful fellow you are and why are you not famous," if you expect money for work it, it is NOT a donation.
Yes it easy to decide who you should donate too. If you have any misgivings about the organization don't do it. I donate regulary, have never been burned, misused or not gotten what I want from the donation, which is satisfaction of helping. If you expect to be compensated for your efforts or even the cost of the work it is not a donation. If I give money I expect a thank you and that is good enough, if I give a painting the same applies. Artists are not special people, we are just people who can give what many can not. It is time for us to get off our high horse, expecting people to applaud us for what is so easy to do, donate. It is this higher then thou attitude which has hurt artists since the 40s and 50s. Sorry people I just can not agree with compensation for donation. Sounds like a Republican idea to me.
on Friday, June 23rd, gabriella said
I'm with Jose on this one! I have got more pleasure and satisfaction in being volunteer workshop leader of art making and pottery for a group home for severely mentally ill persons. The time spent together with these people in companionship and mutually enjoyable activities, seeing their obvious delight in expressing ideas and making objects of interest to them far outweighs a sense of accomplishment from donating money value to charitable auctions.
I would rather give my skills, energies and time toward bettering others' lives in this way.
on Friday, June 23rd, Paul Dorrell said
Karen: Glad you enjoyed the post. Am not surprised that this trespass is not limited to visual artists. Fed-up with it though, and would really like to see artists present a united front. Perhaps columns like this will help.
Thanks for the tips. Do have an influential agency in NY waiting for the script; they also have offices in LA and London. You know who they are. Of course they haven't taken it yet, but it feels right. I do have contacts in LA, and will approach them after I finish the final draft next month. But before that, as you advised, I've got three experienced screenwriters going through it. Very timely subject; tell you about it another time.
on Friday, June 23rd, Karen said
This is the 3rd time I've tried to post this.... I hope all 3 don't suddenly appear. Forgive me if they do.
Thanks, Paul, once again for telling it like it is. We should all grow some big ones like you.
I should say that this charity imposition is true of ALL in the creative field. I can't tell you how many times I've been approached to create brochures, marketing materials, write profiles & campaigns for gratis. The thought is, if I work from home, I must have time on my hands. The problem is that the clueless society gals think my efforts "will only take a minute." & while their whims or concepts change like shoes, the writer is stuck in hell. Sure you are included in their programs & you do rub elbows with greatness, but they tend to treat you like the help not a contributing peer. Even when I have photographed or videotaped events, my only outcome has been compliments & more free work offers.
Paul: regarding another blog posting... Good luck with the screenplay. Be sure that you get constructive feedback (not people who live to be critics)to make sure the product is TIGHT. Then, if you don't already have the contacts through your gallery clients, you need a GREAT AGENT. You need an agent that can get the project past the fortress of handlers that surround the producer, director, star. Anyone can get a script onto a desk. But you need someone who can ignite a weekend read & a bidding war. Take a look at my blog of June 22nd, ONE WRITER'S TALE - Hits, Misses & Marketing. (I've inserted the address of the column in lieu of my website info.)
& again, thanks for your time & candor!
on Friday, June 23rd, jose said
Art and charity? Sure. How about going to those places where more kindness is needed and[orphanages, hospitals, homes for the elderly...] and taking the time to be with the people in need, talking, organizing workshops, sharing ideas, having fun - lighting up their lives! Doesn't cost us a penny, spares us the tension of the bidding process, and makes the real difference. I'm with Olivier on this one.
on Friday, June 23rd, Ed Baron said
Paul it is interesting that aritists, according to what and others are reporting, are approached as if they were not business persons. The first rule of being a PROFESSIONAL ARTIST is never TO GIVE ANYTHING AWAY. A price must be demanded, even if it is $1.00.
Now if a Charity wants an artist to illustrate a catalog cover and will establish a price and the artist can deduct that cost from their taxes as if it were a sale then it certainly pays to participate in that way.
If a charitable donor acts as an artists patron, gives fair value in the form of monies to the artist and then donates the work to charity and takes full tax benefits, everyone comes a winner.
If a sculptor wishes to donate a monument to be placed in a specific place and monies are raised by a charity or planning board that receives funds or what have, another excellent choice for donating to the public good and receiving acclaim and even a budget (with expenses) to satisfy artistic needs, everyone benefits.
If you are with a gallery and they wish to donate to a favorite charity of theirs, the gallery must compensate you.
To give to any charity with which an artist is not acquainted, and to give without compensation is a violation of the line an amateur artist crosses when they become a professional. so be careful everyone, it is a jungle out there. Only make smart deals and mind where you, the artist is coming from.
on Friday, June 23rd, olivier said
that is another way Mary, thank you for them. We should be all open minded like you to find better solution. Thanks there is hope
on Friday, June 23rd, Mary Harnett said
Paul thanks for laying it on the line. In my town charity art auctions continue to abound despite the fact that the art does not sell, even when by well known local artists. I have been made to feel less than kind by "charitable" solicitors looking for something for nothing...part of the problem is that there are many local artists and a VERY weak local art market and many of us just want a chance to get our work seen somewhere and we get sucked into these donations that as you have so well noted actually devalue the work. I now volunteer my time to organizations that need it, at least there is some personal satisfaction to be gained from that (for me at least).
on Friday, June 23rd, olivier said
Andrew, sorry for your cow experience, we had the moose here. It's like I said they are many galleries who just want to take the artist money as well, some charge up to 70%, others never paid, and they do approach you in the same way charity does to "help" the art community. We cannot blame all the community because they is a bad convenient store in your area. Sure we should be vigilent but not paranoiac like some want all the world to be to play their game.
on Friday, June 23rd, olivier said
thanks paul I appreciate your sense of poetry, very appropriate since actually I am working on my butt's pin up totem. But please leave the good charity alone, who care if you lost money, they are good cause we should work for even if they charge for their services. Don't you do the same?
Charité bien ordonnée commence par soit même
on Thursday, June 22nd, Paul Dorrell said
Krysia: Wonderful stories. I liked the one with the orthodontist's wife the best. Personally I've seen that set-up a hundred times. It used to make me furious, but since we participate no more, I now just find it amusing--and a little pathetic.
Laura: You've found a sane, and humane, solution. Sorry to hear about the incident where they wanted the piece "framed" (this explains much about the mentality that tends to be behind these things). But it sounds like you've learned well. Unfortunately many artists go through even worse experiences before reaching a similar conclusion. Maybe you've helped to provide a shortcut.
Olivier: As usual, profound observations. As usual, you crack my butt up.
on Thursday, June 22nd, olivier said
Morality: gallery,artists, lawyer, charity. There are good one and bad apple. If you don't know who you are working with, make some investigation before doing any action. Don't be so specific like some will suggest, they are still some good people arround. Problem is bad one make more noise, and some like these bad story better.
on Thursday, June 22nd, Laura Iverson said
I've been doing charity art auctions for years. When I want to donate to a cause through my art, I run online charity art auctions and donate a percentage. This has been working well the past few years. Sometimes, the charity will add a link on their webpage or send out emails and this helps a great deal in the success of the auctions.
I used to donate pieces to events but now I have a strict policy against it. The last time I donated a piece to an auction, they didn't auction it off. After painting a piece especially for them and shipping it priority at my expense, they told me that they decided against auctioning it off because it wasn't framed. It was on a gallery-wrap canvas. The sides were painted and it had hanging hardware. It was ready to hang. Plus, before I shipped it to them, I sent them an image of the painting and it's specs. If framing was an issue, they could have let me know then instead of after the fact. I was horrified to think of a valuable piece of mine sitting in a closet somewhere. I decided "never again."
on Thursday, June 22nd, Krysia said
Thanks so much for laying it on the line. As an artist and arts administrator, I have experienced more than my share of charitable ignorance regarding requests for work and the subsequent follow-ups.
Two particular incidents: The local chapter of one of the major WORLDWIDE charities was having its annual $175.00-a-plate ball. They had an appealing "gimmick" for their auction, inviting several artists in our not-so-small and relatively affluent town to decorate rocking chairs (provided) in one's own oeuvre to be auctioned for their relief fund. I had some time, respected the charity, and created a work of not inconsiderable value. The work was featured on local television and subsequently sold for twice its value. My gripes? I was not invited to the event after requesting a ticket (not their policy, BTW, the event was a sell-out, even if I wanted to purchase a ticket). The organizational administrator in charge of the auction (not the volunteer who initially approached me) LOST the electronic information on the purchaser of my work...I requested the info so I could write a note of thanks, mention "work in the collection of", etc...her supervisor backed her up re: the LOST information, and claimed that hard copy records were not public info (!) Can you feel my disgust build? The final insult was a generic form letter thanking me for my contribution to the success of the event, without a proper receipt for the stated wholesale value of the object I needed for my records. I had to go VERY high up to get results there. I no longer contribute to this organization in any capacity, no matter the disaster.
Second favorite story re: "People die of exposure": as the admin. of large local museum art school, I had 65 professional artists teaching very part-time for very low compenation and "affiliation credit" with the institution. One of the supporting guilds has an annual affair, and the Chairwoman approached me to solicit my teaching staff to contribute a work to benefit the guild...again without compensation. I told her to be realistic about probably getting a very small contingent to participate, given time, expense, etc. Again, she couldn't understand why my staff didn't approach HER to offer work. I asked her (dedicated volunteer lady who obviously didn't work for a living) what her husband did for work. "Why, he's an orthodonist." I smiled politely and suggested that he might offer for auction a set of braces and the contingent work. I'm sure she understood. The museum director called me to his office at her demand, laughed, agreed with my point and asked me to be a "tad more diplomatic".
Now I give time, love and art only to those charities I am intimate with. I also strive to educate auction organizers and anyone else who will listen about respecting artists as professionals who must keep records, file taxes, pay for insurance and eat among other things...just like everyone else!
Thanks again for the article...and the venting forum.
on Thursday, June 22nd, gina said
Thank you for this info. Instead of giving artwork, I offer my time, my money and my creativity to specific tasks for organizations that I know are reputable.
As far as the "exposure", my own experience with a well-known charity in Washington, DC speaks volumes. The draw was that the art would be exhibited at a well-known museum and publicized wided -- the drawback -- for only 1 day! Ok the first year I didn't know any better. The following years they didn't even have the exhibition. Then other organizations that thought this was a great idea and started calling for donations. I politely asked several of these organizations if the artist could receive at least 10% of the auction price and was told that that was not policy.
No one has mentioned that the purchaser of the auctioned piece gets a major tax deduction while the artist gets next to nothing.
For my sanity and pocketbook, I'd rather write a check.
on Thursday, June 22nd, Anthony J. Petchkis said
I agree with you. I donate to a wonderful charity. The Massachusetts College of Art Benefit Auction. It just celebrated it's 17th year and I've donated for the past 15. They've always offered a choice for the artist to donate 0% to 50% of the selling price with a 30% reserve. If the reserve isn't met, the art is returned to the artist. This auction has been extremely successful with proceeds going into the six figures. Please check it out at the college's website.
on Thursday, June 22nd, jose said
YeeeeHa! Andrew. On the spot.
Mark, but it's difficult to know which ones are really serious. Take this Rodyner guy, he seemed to be. He was making things happening, he was in with a certain cultural creme-de-la-creme from Brazil and breaking through in Portugal thanks to the aura everything Brazilian had for us back then. No one dared expose him because that would blemish their own image, now wouldn't it. The reason I took him to court was not to get my money but to force him to pay what he had pledged to the charity when I discovered, a year later, that I wasn't the only one who hadn't been paid. And I did it because he used the names of the artists to climb one more step in the social ladder and gain leverage for further scams. Sadly, no other artists participating in that big exhibition/auction on the Boardwalk saw eye to eye on this and they refused to joined me even though I found a lawyer who agreed to do it pro bono. Too much trouble, too many unnecessary waves; the guy was a nice guy after all and was experiencing financial difficulties. So? We all experience those, are we supposed to sit pretty and watch? I don't know if the law suit helped to warn other artists because I left for Berlin shortly before he gave in and paid up, but judging by the glossy magazines where the socialites all crave to be seen, he's still alive and kicking. There's the saying Live and Let Live, but don't say you haven't been warned. Be alert everyone!
on Thursday, June 22nd, andrew said
Paul, one of the biggest frauds in the history of art was Cowparade. Now, an event that had the slogan, 'for art, for kids, for charity', and seemed to have the potential of generating millions sounds good, doesn't it? Until you get the total picture, which almost no one did until it was too late.
Artists were asked to find a sponsor to purchase a blank fibreglas cow for five thousand dollars. The rich ones bought their own. Then they would decorate it, and it would be sold at auction. In my case, the cow was exposed in a good location on the streets of NYC. Artists were to get a 1500 dollar stipend for having participated. The rights to their artistic creations were given up to Cowparade Holdings, for them to use as they pleased.
All the artists I know who participated never received their stipends. Cowparade president Jerry Elbaum, a lawyer from Connecticut, insulted my sponsor when he called to ask what charity the money earned by my cow went to. In fact, all the auction money LEFT OVER after Cowparade paid its expenses went to charity. Those expenses included seven figure salaries for the organizers, and the stipends to the artists that were never paid. Charities received only a small percentage of the total money earned, but enough for Cowparade to claim that charities would benefit from the event. Cowparade continues with this event in every country that hasn't gotten to know them, and manufactures cheap miniatures of the artists' creations in China, which are then sold at a high retail price in stores throughout the world. All this invented by a lawyer, and everything perfectly legal.
on Thursday, June 22nd, Paul Dorrell said
Mark: I'm afraid you've missed the point. Most of us donate to charities we believe in, myself included. Most of us volunteer time to those less fortunate than ourselves, myself included. What I am advocating is that those organizations that ask for art to auction, treat it and its creators with appropriate respect--as I have outlined, and as Jose further detailed. If artists don't stand together on this issue, it will continue to further erode what little market respect artists already command: i.e. getting properly paid for what you do, like any other professional.
John: Your experience is worst than most I've heard of. I'd say stay on them until they fulfill their obligations, or threaten to take the story to a journalist. If they don't behave, send out a press release, copying them on same.
Jose: Wonderful points, but I expect no less from you. I'll add those to my list.
on Thursday, June 22nd, Mark R Brockman said
One needs to donate ONLY to those whom you realy know well. I would never donate to an organization unkown to me. In fact I only donate to organizations that I have a connection with. But I do donate generously. Again not for exposure but because I believe in the cause.
on Thursday, June 22nd, jose said
Tough one, Paul. Are we on par with the artists of the music industry who actually manage to generate funds for worthy causes or have we been caught by the fad and led to believe by unscrupulous organisers who end up getting the credit - and the money – that we can make a difference? More and more I am inclined to believe in the latter.
I’ve always had this inner dialogue between the part of me that wants to help and the part that craves for the exposure and, surprisingly, when it came to the matter of these charity auctions they seemed to find a common ground for existence. But there are other parts that can’t even bear the mention of the word, I still haven’t pin-pointed them down exactly, but they make my stomach churn and I know that this is a sure sign of pending disaster and so heed to them.
When I did take part in these things I always made sure I gave one of my best pieces. Regardless of it being sold or not, I wouldn’t dream of letting lesser stuff running the risk of being seen by so many people and possibly advertised. Always show the best, if you decide to go for it!
John Powel’s testimony is but one side of the scam: how often do you get feed back on what happened, who got it and for how much? But there is another, darker side: how often can you be sure that the money ends up with the charity?
Not all organizers are crooks, obviously. I’ve had some positive experiences. But If you ever happen to be in Portugal or Brazil and happen to be approached by an organisation led by an the amiable Renato Rodyner, entrepreneur extraordinaire, be on your toes. Extra caution is required. Extra work. To Paul’s list I would add:
a) Make sure you are invited, and attend, the gig.
b) At the end Make contact with the people you saw bidding for your work – not to sell other stuff but to show your appreciation for carrying you more lightly through the ordeal.
c) Take all the efforts necessary to make sure the monies really are donated to the charity you and other artists supported.
Upon returning to Portugal I have discovered that Mr Rodyner is still in business here and in Brazil even though I exposed his antics and took him to court for not paying either the charity or the artists who helped him promote himself and his good deeds.
Bottom line, don’t fool yourself. The funds we generate are nowhere near what musicians are capable of and this game – at this level of the league - doesn’t benefit fine artists in any real and significant way. It helps keep the ego happy, nothing more.
on Wednesday, June 21st, John Powell said
Well!Paul,i had an experience i wont forget.I was
asked for a painting to be auctioned in New York
by a permanent company in aid of education &
was told the usual stuffs,like Olga etc... I gave
it cause i believe in education...The person
replied to me very often i never thought of.
The auction came in my local paper/press,so,i ask
for "press release" in New York press or if
complimentary catalogue,not"mandatery".I was not
even replied to.I went as simple as just say,give
me the name(s)of the person(s)purchased my work
for my record/file.I was not replied to todate,
not even a thank you letter.I saw in an article
in ArtNews,artists shouldn't give away their
work cause it sometimes not regarded,the writer
went on saying,let them buy it & it will be more
respected.But an auction is a little diferent,its
donating the work outright,proceeds goes back to
the artists sometimes.But i think giving to an
orgonization is still given,so,i believe its
the some disregard,as given to an individual?
Paul! You have opened mine eyes.(Thanks).
on Wednesday, June 21st, Mark R Brockman said
If you believe in the cause, donate. What matters if it is money or a work of art. I donate, not for exposure, not to increase sales, but to help a cause I find worthy. Paul needs to find a heart. Do unto to others paul. This idea that what we do is so special, so out of the ordinary, is what has hurt the artist since the fourty and fifties. When art became something only a few could understand, the artist suffered the most, trouble is artists helped to perpetuatate the myth. What crap. I create art not to mistify but to enlighten, to give knowledge, not to test knowledge. Just think Paul if everyone felt comfortable with art you would be a millionaire and so would I. But to make art this higher then thou creation that diserves only more then the best, hurts us all. Get real.
on Wednesday, June 21st, Margaret Stone said
I had my art studio on a busy road in New Mexico and was open a couple days a week. I think I was on a give-away list. I had so many persons come in and ask for a piece of work for their very worthy-cause auction. I donated a couple times and then started offering a piece of ethnic jewelry instead of a mid four figure glass sculpture. Well, my offer would be declined. They wanted high ticket items. Auctions bring in prices perhaps at 10percent to value if that. It wasn't worth their bother on a low ticket item. I stopped donating.
I think artists are used and these suggestions of all the people that will see the work and perhaps collectors who might want then to buy are nonsense. That is just carrot in front of the nose tactics. And if the artist shows with a gallery or has an established retail value on their work, auction sales devalue that work. So, Paul, I agree with you.
There are perhaps special circumstances when an artist might want to do this, as in the event Gabriella talked about, but I think it should be discouraged in general. Maybe it is time that furniture dealers or car repair places, or plumbing services, etc. stepped up to the plate and donated things/services. But I doubt it. I do not think that devaluing ones work at low auction prices is going to help establish an artist's name.
on Wednesday, June 21st, gabriella said
Paul - Robin and Ron Anderson's way of dealing with auctions is most likely the most sensible way to operate, declining politely, with thanks.
If the problem is that the same sort of clientele who go to auctions are the very clients one wishes to attract as buyers and collectors to one's dealers, then giving them the option to buy work at reduced prices from an auction is like shooting oneself and one's dealer in the foot at one go.
And having a second stream quality of work, dedicated to giving away to charities, is also a bad idea, and perhaps creating a taint on an artist's whole production and a nightmare for collectors down the road. Besides which, why would a sensible person give away half-hearted, unresolved work, anyway? It's far better to decline the "opportunity"
on Wednesday, June 21st, Paul Dorrell said
Robin: You've made the right call. In the future, it might not be a bad idea to present them with a copy of this column, or your own set of rules. Once they're more aware of the harm they're doing, they may well change course.
Olga: A standard auction is where people verbally bid on a piece, trying to outbid one another. A silent auction is where they write their bid on a slip of paper, and put it with the work they're bidding on. Highest bid wins, though the "highest" bid tends to be abysmally low.
on Wednesday, June 21st, Robin Anderson said
My husband Ron Anderson is the artist, but I review many of the requests that he receives and we are often asked to donate a piece of his artwork.
What can be frustrating about the process is that many of the people that we would like to get his art in front of are sometimes the people in attendance at the art auctions.
I take the time to review and reply to any serious requests that we get, as a courtesy to the sender.
To date we have politely declined the requests that we have received. We just do not feel that donating his work is the best way to go to get additional exposure.
on Wednesday, June 21st, Olga said
Gabriella, it's exactly what I missed - how much the work brought in auction, to whom it was sold. Maybe because the auction was silent they could not say exact details, but at least something... to say. I selected that artwork for this auction because I liked it, because it was for students financial aid (including my daughter) and afterwards my husband has to ask them about it's fate and got only "yes, it was sold".
I also participated with 2 paintings at web auction with 100% (plus costs of shipping) going to some medical organization that helps to treat sick kids. That site was "attacked" by spammers...we could not make our contribution - maybe next time.
Paul, what is the difference between auction and silent auction?
on Wednesday, June 21st, Paul Dorrell said
Olga: Your experience is typical. These people mean well, but usually handle the details in an amateurish way--all the more reason to steer clear. Sounds like it was a good cause anyway, but if you do it again, you might want to set some basic rules.
Gabriella: Sound observations, although I rarely meet the artist who is willing to destroy his/her inferior work. Edward Steichen did, burned it all up in a big bonfire with the help of his French gardner. But man, did he regret that later, after his photographs became all the rage. Actually it wasn't inferior, it just wasn't selling. Too contemporary for the time.
on Wednesday, June 21st, gabriella said
Olga; you have donated to a cause that is dear to your heart, and should be pleased that you as an artist are represented at that auction by work you, yourself, consider good. What might have been lacking in the situation is a clear spelling out by the organization doing the fundraising of the information given back to the artist (how much the work brought in auction, to whom it was sold, proof of advertising, writeups in the papers about the occasion, etc.) for the artist's own records. Did the Juillard school give you a charitable tax receipt for income tax purposes?
I have watched the process of several such auctions and have noted an interesting phenomenon. Some artists donate work that they personally couldn't sell on the outside market. Some of these works represent the artist and his/her oeuvre rather badly. Work that an artists dislikes or finds wanting in any way should be left behind, destroyed or worked over at a future date, as it will most likely find few takers at an auction and do more damage to the artist's reputation as a representative sample of his/her work.
Paul's points are well taken! They make absolutely good sense and are good caution.
on Wednesday, June 21st, Olga said
Paul, thanks - good to know this. Since I am always ready to donate my art. I thought that this is a good exposure, but you are opening my eyes. Last year I donated one really nice painting (I liked it and my friends too) to a Juilliard silent auction for pre-college students fellowships (my daughter is one of them). I was glad that they were happy to take it (otherwise I should donate money or something else...). I was also happy to hear that it was sold immediately...but they would never told it to me - only when my husband asked. Don't they think that it is important for me to know that my art work is sold? Anyway...next time I'll donate something I do not like much:).