Artists are an easy group to scam

“Artists are an easy group to scam. They’re grateful for a place to show their pieces, and trusting of the people who house and sell them. Art galleries are full of works by out-of-town artists who wouldn’t be privy to local gossip and wouldn’t have the opportunity to check in on their artwork very often. Artists are sometimes thought of as shy, lacking in confidence and not savvy in business—people who wouldn’t stick up for themselves if a gallery owner closed up shop and disappeared without paying them.

“Michael Ornstein isn’t that kind of artist. The Massachusetts-based painter lost $2,000 when the Brick Gallery in Essex closed in December, and he has actively organized other artists who showed there. Gallery owner Joe O’Neal owes thousands of dollars to artists for works of theirs he sold, a business practice that’s landed him in the crosshairs of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s office. Blumenthal’s office is investigating O’Neal after receiving complaints from 31 unpaid artists.”

Read more at The New Haven Advocate: What’s Wrong with this Picture? Betsy Yagla 4/3/08

Posted by: Tanya

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