Let the Artist Beware



This list has been created to inform creatives of suspicious or fraudulent organizations that may seek to rip off creatives or take advantage of their skills. When we become aware of such organizations we will add them here and let you make your own judgement whether to interact with them or not. If you are aware of organizations that should be included please drop us an email and we'll look into them and add warnings as we feel are necessary. 

The threat level designates how threatening we feel the organization is.

Red - Extremely threatening
Yellow - Use caution




Organization: New Orleans Award Program (Fill in any city name)

Threat Level: Red

Synopsis: This is a total scam. You receive and email that says that you have been selected as the winner of the category "Artist" for your city. On further investigation you find that there is no cost for this (which I guess is to lull you into thinking its legitimate) but that you must pay for the cost of the award itself. Mind you that there is nowhere on their web page that tells you ahead of time how much this wonderful honor will cost you. 

When you look on their website under "Winners" you see a bunch of legitimate businesses all around the country that have been bestowed with this honor. Businesses that I suspect don't even know their names are being used. 

When I researched beyond the website they provided me with, I found that the name is so generic that you can't even find anything out there about them. If they are running this scam in other cities (which is apparent) you can't find anything for them either. Note below that the website address is tailored to the person they are attempting to rip off. There is no way to be able to track them past this. 

This is strictly a vanity prize. It in no ways validates you as an artist and in no way helps your career or business. It is no different than if you went to a local trophy shop and ordered yourself a trophy that said "great artist!' on it. 

Sidenote: I did use the "Contact Us" form on their website to inform them that they were being added to this list and we would warn as many artists and creatives that we could about this scam. 

Definitely steer clear of this one. 

Websites associated with this organization: 

https://neworleansla.2020bestselection.net/shgzszt6_GREY-CROSS-STUDIO




Organization: nartwork.it

Threat Level: Yellow

Synopsis: This is a strange one. An artist colleague asked us to check this art site out and see if they were legitimate. There were a lot of red flags with this one that make us suggest that you proceed with caution when interacting with them. 

The first red flag was in how they approached the artist. When they query an artist to be part of a show there seems to be no artist vetting whatsoever. Always remember that an arts organization, gallery, etc that is interested in showing your work will take the time to vet you. They will know about your work and will ask you questions about your available inventory, mediums of use, background and history as an artist. They will not just approach you online and say "Want to be in an art show." This should be suspect right from the start. 

The second red flag was the digital footprint of the owners of the organization. Art Gallery owners, whether online or located in an actual building will have a digital footprint online that shows something of their background. A red flag comes up when we can find very little to know information online regarding the owners. In this case there was very little information that they hadn't created themselves. 

The third red flag was the organizations location in Naples Italy. When I run the address I found no business at that address but a photo that looks to me like their location is in an apartment complex. Now don't get me wrong here. A lot of good arts organizations can be based in a home location. My own organization is that way. But, taking all things into consideration, it does raise a red flag as to the organizations longevity and professionalism. Their website makes them seem a lot larger and flashier than an organization run out of an apartment. There is always a bit of exaggeration found online, but when that could harm the artist then we take notice. 

The last red flag was the location of their next show, which is at the Hoxton253 gallery in London. A search of this location shows that it is not owned by nartwork.it but by an independent artist who shows his work in his own gallery. Now this by itself is not unusual because sometimes art organizations rent out space in galleries for their shows. But I can find no evidence that nartwork.it has done any other artists shows anyplace else. There is no past history of shows, advertising or anything else that shows a track record for hosting shows in the past. As well there is no evidence that the Hoxton253 gallery regularly hosts shows for other artists. There is just evidence for the artist who owns the location.

Sidenote: We may be wrong on this one. There is no evidence of fraud towards artists in the past. But there are enough red flags to make us suggest that you proceed with caution when interacting with this organization. If you get any information either good or bad about this group please let us know and we will adjust our recommendations accordingly.  




Organization: Clap Clap Hands Art Studio

Threat Level: Yellow

Synopsis: We are not really sure what to make of this. The organization claims to represent a certain Chinese artist who would like help in promoting the his work. There are many Chinese scam groups who try to hyper-inflate art work in order to make huge profits on it. We do not know if this is one of them. What we do know is after several emails back and forth where no offers were made to buy the artists work, the group suddenly ceased all emails and their website went blank. After 8 weeks we emailed them once again and told them flat out that their organization seemed like a scam of some kind and we were going to report them. In response they claimed they were traveling for the 8 weeks and not responding to emails. What business does not respond to emails for 8 weeks? Something is not right with this group and we suggest extreme caution if approached at any time by Chinese art investors of any kind. Check them out thoroughly! 

Sidenote: We will update this synopsis if we receive any further information.

Websites Associated with this Organization:

www.clap-clap-hands.com




Organization: JaamZIN Art Magazine

Threat Level: RED

Synopsis: This organization claims to conduct interviews with experienced artists "for a fee". They spam users on social networks a cute little ad that makes it look like its such a great thing to be interviewed by them and how much it will benefit you "for a fee". No reputable organization will EVER charge you for an interview. These are scams which benefit the artist in no way or form. Beware any Twitter handle which uses variations of the organization name. 

Sidenote: I've had to report and block at least a dozen Twitter accounts for spamming this organization. Please report them if they approach you. 

Websites Associated with this Organization:

https://www.jaamzin.com
https://www.jaamzin.com/interview
https://www.fiverr.com/zsolt72/make-an-interview-with-you-and-i-spread-it-to-my-40000-twitter-followers

If anyone has been taken in by this organization we'd like to hear from you.



Organization: Artist Ksavera

Threat Level: YELLOW

Synopsis: We are not really sure whats going on with this account. All we know is that there are hundreds of accounts across social media that all seem to lead back to one artist calling themselves Ksavera. When one of these accounts follows you, they will unfollow you within days of the time you follow them back. This has been going on for years and the fact that it seems to be some kind of scam, I would not trust anything related to a Ksavera account.

Sidenote: We no longer follow anyone with the word Ksavera in their profile or name. 

Websites Associated with this Organization: Too many to list




Organization: It's Liquid Group

Threat Level: RED

Synopsis: This organization targets artists through email by informing them that they have been selected to participate in a high profile art show. On first glance an artist can be taken in quickly by this scam thinking that their skills have finally been noticed and excitement ensues. The excitement ends abruptly when the artist is informed that there is a fee involved in submitting work to their organization. Some of the warning signs of a scam include misspellings in their emails, impossible to meet submission dates and odd wordings that seem elusive and purposely misleading. 

Any organization which offers you a spot in a major show without referencing specific pieces of your work that they are interested in is an automatic warning sign. No respectful arts organization charges you an up front fee to even be considered part of their show. Always check out offers carefully before ever responding. Any organization that talks up past shows, especially shows with high profile names or in high profile cities, without proof of the success of those shows is merely a front to make the artist think they are bigger than they really are.

Sidenote: A simple web search of this organization resulted in dozens of complaints about them and their owner, who seems to want to threaten that he will sue if the complaints are not removed. Don't be fooled by this guy, he's a fraud. Any organization which is purported to be huge would not have its owner responding personally with threats. 

If anyone has been taken in by this organization we'd like to hear from you.

Websites Associated with this Organization:

http://www.itsliquid.com/


Organization: RAW Natural Artists

Threat Level: YELLOW

Synopsis: RAW as a concept is actually a good one. Where the concept breaks down is in ticket sales. RAW requires its artists to sell 20 tickets each in order to participate. If they don't then the artists are required to provide the cost of those 20 tickets out of their own pockets. What results is a packed house for each show, but packed with people who are not buyers and are loyal only to the artist they bought the ticket from. The end result is that there are very few sales or art, if any.

This organization will send you an email or notification telling you how great your work is and what a great opportunity RAW is. Again, if the organization does not tell you specifically about your own work and why they think it would fit their show, a warning flag should go up. 

RAW holds monthly shows in most major cities and they make a big deal about the benefits artists get for being a part of those shows. Sadly the benefits are far less than artists are lead to believe. 

Sidenote: I was a RAW artists several years ago and came away very disappointed. I've attended some of their shows since then in order to see if my assumptions were wrong. If anything the organization seems to have gotten worse, not better in the intervening years. I will continue to periodically check them out to see if their system has changed or gotten better or worse.  

Websites Associated with this Organization:

http://www.rawartists.org/

Most cities have their own website that links back to this site. 

If anyone has been taken in by this organization we'd like to hear from you.




Organization: Imagekind

Threat Level: Red

Synopsis: We don't even know whats going on with this organization. It was set up to provide a quality website for photographers and artists who want their work printed. They included multiple options for printing needs. If you go to their site, they will look valid and everything seems to be great. But the organization seems to be gone. There have been no new posts on the site for years and no new updates of any kind. Its very strange because people can still sign up for their site and to all appearances can still order on the site. But we wouldn't suggest doing so since there is no guarantee you or your customers will ever get their prints. Its like someone walked away one day and left the door open to the house. Its just plain creepy and a shame because their work really was well produced. We'd really like more info on this if anyone has it. We're clueless as to whats going on. 

Websites Associated with this Organization: 

https://www.imagekind.com

If anyone has been taken in by this organization we'd like to hear from you.



Organization: BluDomain

Threat Level: Red

Synopsis: This website hosting company has major tech problems. Their lack of organization and insensitivity to customers have caused many content producers to lose everything they've put on their websites. Unless you want to risk a major meltdown of your website, this is one organization that you should definitely steer clear of. 

Websites Associated with this Organization:

http://www.bludomain.com/






IF YOU HAVE AN ORGANIZATION YOU THINK SHOULD BE ADDED TO THIS LIST, PLEASE CONTACT US! 

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting the warning about It's Liquid. They rep did cite an artwork of mine that she particularly liked. The website says there is a fee, but not how much. You are right that I shouldn't have to pay to be part of this exhibition. I think I'll explore more places in the US before even considering being part of a Venice art fair.

    ReplyDelete
  2. they just targeted me. not sure if it was twitter or instagram -- jaamzin mag.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing this scum shit. You saved me some nerves! Just been targeted by ITSLIQUID GROUP & ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL: Marianna Iaccarino and itsliquidexhibitions@gmail.com. BEWARE, they're active right now!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too!! For ANIMA MUNDI festival.

      Sofia Rastelli
      Project Coordinator
      sofiarastelli.itsliquid@gmail.com

      Arch. Luca Curci
      Director
      mobile: +39.3387574098
      email: director@itsliquid.com
      skype: lucacurci.com
      ITSLIQUID GROUP
      Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 33
      70122 Bari (Italy)
      Calle Larga San Marco, 374
      30124 Venezia (Italy)
      +39.0804117337
      +39.3387574098
      www.itsliquid.com
      giuliatassi.itsliquid@gmail.com
      director@itsliquid.com

      Delete
  4. Have you checked into the Pancakes and Booze art shows? A few people have told me I should submit, but it seems like a scam to me.
    And thank you for this list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've not received any complaints about Pancakes & Booze. But their model seems very similar to the RAW model, so I am skeptical about them. At the rate of speed they are putting up shows around the United States is a clear indicator that they do not have the artists best interests in mind. So I'd approach them with caution. If we get complaints, we will definitely post about them here.

      Delete
  5. ITSLIQUIDGROUP. I've been trying to get rid of their emails. Keep coming in my junk mail.. Beware of this piece of scam.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ITSLIQUIDGROUP - ANIMA MUNDI festival in venice
    be aware!
    they select you for exposition or performance (in my case) and they ask you for document and festival fee for exposition.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This a all great info. Thank you

    ReplyDelete


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