What would you do?

I'm wondering what others think of this situation and if anyone would try to right this wrong, even if it did not impact them directly (but could impact fellow artists). I am aware that an "artist" acquaintance of mine, someone I met quite a few years back, is sometimes entering shows in the painting category, or watercolor if that category is separate from painting, with watercolor effect photoshopped and adobe illustrator photographs. Further he has actually even won some lesser awards in several instances. He is also no longer a Florida resident who exhibits in the autumn Winter Park show which is for Florida artists only. I feel bad that he is taking a spot from not only a legitimate artist but even a legitimate resident. Not to mention awards that should go to someone honest about their work. We do know for a fact what he is doing, and he knows that we know, since we have known him, his wife and partner, and his work for years. I am sure he trusts us, while holding his breath, that we will not out him. They most often enter under digital art, photography and even printmaking but have "branched out" to painting, miraculously overnight morphing into master award winning painters. Both of them, with the same style. They "paint" architectural and street scenes. I know I will probably do nothing, beyond this post, but should I?

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  • Can't get Connie's Reply button to open. I have had shows ask for an artist statement as a separate document, where as the application asked for the statement of process. The artist statement may include the latter or it might not.
  • Yes, they do. I always have to make sure my other half has this as he is not as organized at packing for a show and worse - not being totally organized when packing up after a show. So I always have to make sure he has it so he won't lose points lol. He does do all of the better shows many more than I do. But an artist statement is meaningless if it is untrue. Merely having it hanging up if it is full of bs is of little worth! Incidentally on the subject show website, winter park fall show, where the artists are listed along with their websites, he did not have a site listed by his name. I assume that is because whoever clicked his website link would see what he really does. Let me reiterate, I have no problem with anyone's work as long as they are honest in telling people how it is made.
  • This is why many of the better shows require an artist's statement of process to come in with the application and to be posted at the show. Then there can be no hiding. It is also why shows include definitions of the categories on the applications. It sounds as though these individuals are skirting many rules.

    I know a photographer who "enhances" his photos with some kind of media that he applies by hand (sorry, don't remember what he calls it) to make them look more like original paintings. BUT he always applies under photography.

    How about a heart to heart talk with the person? In addition, at least from the responses I get personally from show directors, they do want to know this information. If a show wants to remain true to its purpose it does not want their exhibitors masquerading as something they aren't. It undermines the event's credibility and heaven knows there is already enough of that around.

    • Statement of process is important to weed out the non-art, but most applications on Zapp limit this to 100 to 140 characters (not 100 to 140 words). Then you don't know if the jury ever bothers to read it.
      • You're right there, Dick. I erred in my statement ... many of the best shows require an artist statement to be posted on the wall of the booth at the show. Last time we did Cherry Creek we sent it to them and they printed it out and laminated it with a photo of the artist and you were required to hang it in your booth.

  • Hi Kathleen, tru dat. My husband did the subject show with them and if I had been there in his booth you can be sure I would have confronted him. Ron is shyer about these things but I assure you if that is what they are juried in under, watercolor or painting (includes all media), I will tell them I know what he is doing and that I think it is wrong. In the past when I have seen him at shows he did describe his technique as painting on the computer, but now as I explained, he is saying it is with actual paint. Yes you are correct that I do know what I feel I should do, but I am curious as to what other artists think especially if they think I should just mind my own business. If anyone does feel that way they have not said so here. So again I am thankful for the feedback and affirmation.
  • Im a bit late to this discussion but in my humble opinion if you are asking others what to do then YOU know what you should do. As distasteful as it may be you need to approch your aquaintance and let them know that you are aware of what they are doing and  cannot go along with any longer. Its not an easy thing to do to confront someone directly so maybe sending them a letter would work .Better that they are confronted while at home than at a show. At least then they are given a chance to do whats right from that point on and if they dont then contact the show management and let them deal with it. Having this knowledge and by not doing anything you are giving your approval of what they are doing.  Besides if they do get "outed" at a show whats the public going to think??.. it dosent do anything for their trust.I know you said you like to let Karma take care of things but sometimes Karma needs a bit of help.



  • My suggestion would be to anonymously tip off a jury or show committee as to the work.  They could then examine it when the artist arrives, possibly pretending to be randomly checking the works entered.  What they do about it is up to the show.  I would require the "artist" to put up a large sign stating how the work was created, then not allow them back into shows in the future.  Better than making a scene with the artist packing up and leaving in the middle of a show.  If the work was inspected before the show opened, and there was time for them to pack up, then I might ask them to leave. 

    • That is good advice and well thought out Dave. And fair to everyone especially the buyers, who are really the ones at the bottom of this pile. Thanks very much.
  • This is not a residency issue. More power to them if they can get into a show because of the address on an application.

    And it's not a jury issue because you can't tell how the work is created by looking at a two dimensional digital image.

    But why are they not thrown out of every show where they apply under paintings and don't show up with paintings?

    Larry Berman

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