Art World Horror Stories Vol. 2: So Disrespectful, It’s Scary!

Art World Horror Stories Vol. 2: So Disrespectful, It’s Scary!

Welcome to Volume 2 of Art World Horror Stories, where we share the stories we have collected from our larger network of artists and creators. Art World Horror Stories are intended as cautionary tales about how things can go wrong in the art world and beyond, and will hopefully prevent you from falling victim to the same horrors!

Today’s stories come from two artists who share their accounts of the disrespect that artists are oftentimes subjected to when someone damages our artwork or insults our artistic integrity. In this episode, you’ll hear from Tara Vantapour, a multidisciplinary artist based in Paris, and OG low brow artist, Anthony Ausgang, about the contempt and ridicule they have endured at the hands of gallery curators and wealthy art collectors. In one, the artist walks away with new ground rules and, in the other, with $100 in cash. Make sure to tune in today to find out how these horror stories end!

“It is the season for ghosts and ghouls and scary stories. We started Art World Horror Stories as a way of honoring this special time, this special season, one of my favorite times of the year. For those who have worked in the arts, we all have horror stories. We all have a real-life, true-story tale of something horrific that has happened, either to us, or by us, or just life. Shit happens! We started Art World Horror Stories as a way of collecting some of these stories, sharing some of these stories, and we want to bring them to you because, hopefully, there are lessons to learn.” — Scott “Sourdough” Power [0:02:17]

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing today’s artists: Tara Vantapour and Anthony Ausgang.
  • Tara shares an Art World Horror Story, which starts with a pre-pandemic exhibition in Paris.
  • How the gallery disrespected Tara by ghosting her and refusing to return her artwork.
  • How Tara believes her work has been ‘emotionally’ damaged by the art and fashion worlds.
  • Another horror story about how a restaurant owner belittled Tara’s fashion design practice.
  • Hear how these horror stories have inspired her to create ground rules to protect herself.
  • Anthony’s Art World Horror Story that happened many years ago when he was an art installer.
  • How a Warner Brothers’ executive ridiculed Anthony’s work by saying it wasn’t art.
  • The contempt Anthony was subjected to when he was asked to install a Mark Kostabi shopping bag in the same executive’s home.

“This [horror] story is about fighting for having some rights in the art world. In a weird way, being an artist can be an excuse for being weird, [improper], and impolite. These stories inspire me to create ground rules and maybe a new art law so that artists are protected.” — Tara Vantapour [0:11:39]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

“He goes, ‘This isn’t art. As a matter of fact, Anthony, I’m going to show you [what] art is.’ He gets up and he walks to this cabinet. He opens up the cabinet and he takes out this bag. It’s a fucking shopping bag from Bloomingdales and it has a Mark Kostabi figure on it.” — Anthony Ausgang [0:14:15]


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