Friday, September 5, 2014

The Art of Getting Money

"Be one of the first 100 artists to connect with Basel Art Collectors during opening night!"

That was the first thing I saw in a little announcement on Facebook this week for Art Basel and it tickled my curiosity, so I read on...

It only takes a moment to make an impact,that can change your life. Be one of the first 100 to have an exclusive opportunity to reach VIP Collectors during the opening night of Art Basel Week. Each premium promotional package will be given to hand selected collectors and galleries with all artist information and a sample of their work.   Let us help you stand out from the rest of crowd with our elegant and eye catching designs. We will make sure your information gets into the right hands.
Not too shabby, lets read on...

Give us your best shot and we'll take care of the rest.
Premium Promotional package includes:
100 double sided color and uv gloss coating
Sponsored promotional tote
VIP presence during fair opening

To reserve your place as the first 100, Artists please have ready the following information:
- 3 high resolution images of your best work ( include size,medium and title)
- artists contact information ( website, email, phone#, social media )

Sounds great! Now let me summarize this exceptional deal for you as far as I understand it:
You pay $ 285.00 together with 99 other artists = $ 28,500.00
100 sponsored (sponsored by whom... let me think.. oh yes 100 artists) promotional totes will be prepared each with 100 double sided color and uv gloss coated card with 3 photo's + info (1 per artist).

Ever carried a tote bag filled with a 100 post cards... ever took a look inside and read all the cards?

I thought so.

Let's say the person behind this offer is of good will and spends around $ 7,000.00 on the whole package, puts it all together and makes it look really eye-catching (after all he is of good will). What to do with the rest of the earnings? 

Maybe the person will pay for a stand at one of the bigger shows at during Art Basel. Yes, the 100 artists just sponsored a stand... they are mentioned of course, just take a look in the promotional tote. 

Any of the 100 sponsors who want to their work in the stand, they can always email them for the other exhibition opportunities (with a price tag) during Art Basel Week and put "Fair Opportunities" in the subject line.

I am almost sure they mean art fair and not "honest, upright, honorable, trustworthy". 

To me it seems that this whole offer has very little to do with art made by artists but everything to do with "The Art of Getting Money".... from the artists again.


I will normally not vent about these offers, but I know how hard it is to get into a proper stand during Art Basel if you are not represented by a gallery. Many of the hardworking serious artists will try to find other opportunities to be part of this important art week and pay big bucks just to be shown and hopefully interest a buyer, scout and / or gallery. 

Because it should be about ART.


  1. Greed sucks, particularly when it is paraded as something else.

    1. I have nothing against people making money, I like to make some profit myself... but these things always smell like a scam to me....

  2. If there is a group of people working together, someone will find a way to make money off of them. Greed is one of the biggest dangers in the world.