Art World Horror Stories Vol. 3: Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

Art World Horror Stories Vol. 3: Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

Today’s Art World Horror Stories are a mixed bag of tragedies and disasters that serve as cautionary tales to empower artists to protect themselves and hope for the best while planning for the worst, because you never know what is going to happen! For example, David Alexander Willis shares the story of painter, Jason Shawn Alexander, who had a show at Booth Gallery in New York City where a forklift was driven through one of his paintings. Yikes!

In this episode, we share more horror stories of assholes doing asshole-y things, stolen intellectual property, and even a real-life haunted art venue. The stories you’ll hear in today’s episode are not read by the artists involved, but by an AI avatar, introducing an added element of spookiness, so make sure to tune in and enjoy!

“In this next story, we’re actually going to hear about ghosts. Ghosts in the house, people! I think the moral of the story might be: any time you get a new client or commission to do an on-site installation, just make sure it’s not haunted. You might want to ask the client to disclose whether or not they know whether or not ghosts inhabit the venue.” — Scott “Sourdough” Power [0:09:33]

“For me, as an artist, it’s the constant scams out there, from contests [with] crazy submission fees [to] the curating world constantly wanting art but not paying adequately for my work.” — Ally Zeleter [0:11:07]

Key Points From This Art World Horror Stories Episode:

  • Mikel Cirkus shares how Swatch Watches stole his intellectual property after a pitch.
  • The lesson in Micheal’s story: do not give away your ideas, sign contracts, protect yourself!
  • The horrifying comment that Diane Navarro received from a pretentious museum president.
  • How his comment about “living artists” damaged Diane’s art career.
  • Dan Monteavaro’s creepy tale of a haunted mural site in the old Howard Hughes Hangar.
  • Ally Zeleter on the scams artists face, from contests with crazy submission fees to inadequate pay from curators.

“Faking professional and skipping legal is never advisable, especially for creatives.” — Mikel Cirkus [0:06:00]

“This statement was so damaging to my art career that I never worked on personal art during my time [at the museum].” — Diane Navarro [0:08:53]

“I did a mural for Google at the Play Vista Campus, in the old Howard Hughes Spruce Goose Hangar. Long story short: the place is haunted and they didn’t bother to tell me! They even have a silhouette of Howard Hughes in a blank staircase to reference it.” — Dan Monteavaro [0:14:15]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

“I hope sharing these Art World Horror Stories helps to fix some of these problems and, if nothing else, empowers artists to protects themselves and hope for the best, plan for the worst because – as we know – there are ghosts out there, there are ghouls, there are monsters, long-legged beasties we have got to be aware of.” — Scott “Sourdough” Power [0:11:25]


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