This all started a couple of months ago. A local artist was opening a new show and we were there for support. I had no intention of buying anything, but one of her pieces was damn near irresistible. So we bought it. But it was opening night and the guys running the show swiped my credit card and then placed a little round sticker on the wall next to the picture. I completely understood. They wanted to show that her art was selling and hoped that those colored stickers would motivate more people to move from lookers to buyers. I would get my art when the show ended in four to five weeks.
We all know the three worst lies. The first and most common is “the check is in the mail”. It’s not. The other two may be a little dated or sexist, so we’ll skip them for the moment. Besides, I have a new one to add to the list – “I’ve been reaching out to Dave but haven’t heard back”.
I contacted the artist in mid-June looking for my purchase. The credit card had been charged the night of the opening. The picture? Who knows? One should never confuse artists with business people. I understand that. I also knew that the guys running the show should be managing the delivery process. Monday was June 24th, over two months since the show and almost a whole month since it closed. I contacted the artist again.
She was shocked. She had been told that all of the art had been delivered. This is an important point. She wasn’t told that there was a problem. On the contrary, everything was copasetic. Now she was worried that she had the piece in her studio. Failing to find it, she contacted the curators.
Now it may be that this particular gallery opening was below their target market. Perhaps that would explain their shocking lack of professionalism. Or it could be that this and any other assignment was more than the two guys could manage. Either way, this is the exact conversation that took place today via Facebook direct message. The names have been eliminated to protect the incompetent. Please don’t waste time trying to guess the names.
Artist – Guys! It seems we have a piece we sold at the show to Dave & Sally. Do I have the piece and if so, let me know I can bring it tonite!
### 1 – We can run it to you tonight. ### 2 has been reaching out to David but hasn’t heard back. Seems as if you’ll have better luck getting it to him. Thanks!
Me – ### 1, I can’t imagine how you or ### 2 have attempted to reach out to me. Smoke signals? My office number – 216.292.8700 is unchanged for 15 years. I am listed in the phone book and easily found on Google, FB, Linked In, etc…
### 1 – ### 2 has called and left messages for you since the show closed at the end of May. For some odd reason, they may not have gotten to you or you were unable to respond at the time. That is neither here nor there. We will deliver the piece to the artist to get to you. Thanks.
Me – My secretary and I were just laughing at the thought of not being able to get a hold of me. Awaiting both my art and your apology!
### 1 – It seems you were e-mailed, not called. Either way, we did try to reach you.
Me to the artist – Please let me know when they get the piece to you. No reason for me to be bothered with any more of this conversation…
And there you have it, the perfect execution of the stupidest of lies. Can’t find someone? In 2013? We have no privacy. We are playing hide and seek where everyone, including the federal government, is IT. And these two bunglers are trying to say that they couldn’t find me.
Actually, they first neglected to tell the artist that they were even looking. Of course, the truth is that they weren’t looking. My art, and possibly the purchases of others, may have once been scheduled for delivery, but now was just one more unfinished assignment.
I know you caught the problems in the exchange. First they didn’t acknowledge the undelivered piece(s). Then they said that they had reached out, called, and left messages. And then, when all else failed, they fell back on the missing email excuse.
I hope to have my art by this weekend. But when it comes to the two guys that ran the show, I am reminded of one of the other great lies. Yes, I will respect you in the morning.