I have always told our city is not booming in the art scene. Few activities, most people think our art is only passion and not a profession, few collectors. That means artists are vulnerable with exploitation.
Before I even went back from a months-long break from the art scene, I have been warned by someone to be careful of this guy cos he tends to exploit artists back in Manila. So I was like cool tanxz me gon watch out which is what I did and I have been careful since.
So this guy has an influence on the art scene both in our city and in the capital city and I'm very aware of it. Our first interaction was not even that good. He bought my painting and resold it right away and overpriced it. Anyway, I just let it pass and told myself that's not gonna happen again. Since then, he has been sharing my works on his own page and profile. So I was like, okay, that's marketing, I guess. I'll just have to be aware of how much % he gonna put on my work to not overprice it.
So those sharing going on was not agreed upon or anything, he just started doing that on his own. I mean it's okay, we both are gonna earn from it.
Last month, he asked for photos of my available works and details so he could put it on a catalog and show them to his clients. We didn't discuss how much percentage he's gonna add to the price and what he's gonna do with it exactly since I assume we're gonna discuss it later on, so I just sent the photos. Don't get me wrong, free marketing doesn't exist, so I know there will always be percentage added to my price. Which is totally okay with me.
The next day, I found myself on their website. What I did not understand is why did he think it was okay with me to be on their website without asking me first? I looked like I was one of their exclusive/in-house artists. I am totally not and I did not sign any contract with them.
So what's my problem? Shouldn't I be happy a gallery lowkey claims me as their artist? No. First of all, there was no permission. Second, there was no contract signed. Third, the prices of my works are not indicated on their website and who knows how much percentage they're gonna add to my works since we never discussed it. Fourth, they never put my contact details on their site and only said to contact them for inquiries. Fifth, my works aren't consigned to the gallery - they are literally in my house. Sixth, people who think I'm an exclusive artist will contact the gallery for commissions, and not me. Seventh, they can exploit my prices without me being aware of it, which will damage my reputation as an artist for being inconsistent with pricing, etc. Since there was no contract, I am not protected by any law. And oh, eighth, I'm gonna have my own website ready soon, I'm not gonna allow their site to get the traffic that I should be getting on my own site.
So me, being on their site, looking like an exclusive artist, I was enraged.
I messaged the guy and asked him what is the agreement with the works and what can we do with it. He told me the info and stuff like that. I then proceeded to tell him to kindly remove my works and artist profile in their site cos I will be having my own website soon. He removed it and told me I'm not gonna be in their list of artists he's promoting anymore.
The audacity? lol.
So, they were promoting me? Without even telling me? No contract signed? No nothing?
Just because they haven't seen me before doesn't mean I didn't have my own connections beforehand. So like they think just because they promoted my works (without even telling me) they think I should be there and owe them something? Nah.
I take that as a threat. Yep. No, I'm not threatened at all. I know he's influential AF and he could stain my reputation if he wants to. But I have connections as well who are more influential than him, he just didn't know cos I don't brag it.
But but just the audacity is what I'm laughing at LOL.
I mean, there's nothing wrong with promoting artists, and I do think that's gonna be helpful ONLY if there was a proper agreement to protect both parties. I just really didn't like it being shady and the fact that they never discussed anything with me.
Just sad that just because the artists here don't have enough experience they think they could just exploit us here. I have other issues with them as well but I won't discuss it here anymore.
But yeah just funny to me that someone would have the audacity to think I can be exploited like that lol.