Monday, May 20, 2013

Art Book of Contemporary Masters

by
Armand Cabrera




There is a sucker born every minute. The quote is attributed to PT Barnum although it has been disputed over the years. Another quote is a fool and their money are soon parted. Both quotes relate to the latest in a series of art books that have cropped up in the last few years asking artists to buy space in their pages.


These books claim to represent master painters in some genre of painting.  For a fee of anywhere from 1000 to 4000 dollars you can be recognized as such a master. Forget about winning awards or having a successful track record of sales through galleries and shows. Now you can buy your master status. These books usually anchor the images with some quality painters to sell the rest of the books pages. Of course after they are printed no one would admit to paying for something that was given away for free to someone else so everyone will claim their spot was given to them.

I have made the list and receive one of these offers every three or four months, if not more. They of course want me to pay; I guess I’m not anchor material yet.  The good thing is they usually arrive as an email so no trees were directly harmed in the making of this scam.

I guess this new crop of artists don't realize that book publishers pay you to use your art not the other way around. And people wonder whats wrong with the  illustration art market these days.If your work has any value at all people will actually pay you to use it.

These books are nothing more than a new twist on the old vanity press publications, perpetrated to take advantage of large artistic egos attached to small talents. You know who you are… and now everyone else does too. You can hear them chuckling to themselves in the art section of Barnes and Nobles as they look up people they know when these books hit the shelves. 

2 comments:

Sergio Lopez said...

Those offers go straight to my spam folder.

Kait said...

Haha similar to the model or actor searches, which request the "scouted" child's parents pay thousands for unhelpful training.

Anyway, I found your blog through a comment you left on Lines and Color:

"Say it isn’t so! I respect you and your blog but I have to disagree about the usefulness of the Edwards book. I wonder how many people have been ruined by this book compared to those it has “helped”. There are so many better books for interested parties, especially now that the Loomis books are being reprinted."

Would you be willing to do a blog post or something on this to explain further? In what ways do you think Edwards would mislead someone? I'm interested, mostly due to curiosity, and partly because I'm learning to draw (using Loomis and Matt Kohr's lessons atm), but did read Edwards book as a teenager.

Thanks.