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Old August 1st, 2011, 04:13 PM
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Default Park West Gallery Under the Gun Again...

It's a bit sketchy...

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Old August 2nd, 2011, 06:50 PM
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I've been following closely the videos by Fine Arts Registry. It sounds like they have taken advantage of thousands of people. New trials are pending, the last I heard.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 05:15 PM
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Chuck Palm,

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I've been following closely the videos by Fine Arts Registry. It sounds like they have taken advantage of thousands of people. New trials are pending, the last I heard.
So what confidence do we have that Fine Arts Registry is above board in all of this? They may well have prevailed in court only because they hired a slick lawyer who figured out how to twist the argument so a jury would buy it. In a civil case, the burden of "proof" ("more probable than not") is quite low.

Norm.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 08:12 PM
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when southebys and christie's won't accept their artwork for resell, it kinda gives you a clue. Oh duh!
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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Since Fine Art Registry hasppens to be located here in my home town of Phoenix I contacted them by email just to say "Hi".

I try to stay uncomitted where it comes to saying controversial things, and "just report" - mostly because Park West is so litigious. But I wll say the videos at FAR are very interesting, and I don't see how Park West can survive these upcoming trials.

However - Teri Franks at Fine Art is already on to what appears to be Park West's new strategy. If you recall one cruise line announced they had replaced Park West with a name I know some readers here know - British American Auctions.

Guess what - it is still basically the same people. And to further obfuscate (since British American got itself in trouble a few times) they have made yet another new company name to work under.

The key player is a man named Ira Shore.

If you recall Park West always said they were not responsible for what an auctioneer may have said because the auctioneers tecnically worked for a diffferent company that merely supplied uctioneers to Park West? (a cop out, IMHO, because on a ship they never say "we don't work for 'Park West'" - in fact they say just the opposite).

Anyway = Ira Shore is the guy who owned the company that supposedly supllied auctioneers to Park West cruise auctions. he is all part of the same big family. Now he has a new name. It is "Art International" and even more astounding, he just raised about $4-million in venture capital! Just to sell art in cruise ships. These people are going to be VERY mad if we start reporting Ira is the same guy who helped Park West rip people off for so many years. So we won't do that - we will just send you to Fine Ary Registry http://www.fineartregistry.com/

I guess some of the cruise lines are just hoping cruisers won't be able to see through all the smoke & mirrors and they will come to believe Park West has been divested of cruise ship art auctions. But by all appearances they are just as deeply entrenched as they have ever been - just with various holding companies making it harder to track and sue the principals. Sad really.

In the end the best advice we can give is just this - don't buy art on a cruise ship.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
Chuck Palm,



So what confidence do we have that Fine Arts Registry is above board in all of this? They may well have prevailed in court only because they hired a slick lawyer who figured out how to twist the argument so a jury would buy it. In a civil case, the burden of "proof" ("more probable than not") is quite low.

Norm.
Norm - can't you say that about anybody who has ever been tried?? I'm a bit sad to see that from you. The fact is that there hundreds of people lined up in class action lawsuits who want to sue Park West. Are they all just going to have "slick lawyers" who can make a mockery of justice.

The JURY came back with a verdict that awarded FAR $500,000 for the trademark infringement countersuit. Sadly, the judge set aside the jury verdict and ordered a new trial. Talk about "slick" - how often does a judge set aside a jury verdict? almost never.

While that new trial was scheduled for this autumn, the judge (Zatkoff) apparently decided he did not want to hear the new trial so he granted an appeal to the verdict instead. The appeal will be heard this autumn.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:29 PM
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I sometimes watch the American Auction Channel on TV where bidding on art starts at zero , and there is no reserve price. Obviously the buyer can be defrauded there as well as in an art gallery and particularly on cruise ships.

I sometimes enjoy watching the auctions on cruise ships and see people spend hundreds of dollars on junk art for a free glass of champaign. (sp)
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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When does some of the responsibility fall back on the cruise lines that contract out to these companies? are they just chosing to ignore it all because they made a bit of a profit? That's pretty sad. Just get rid of the art auctions altogether and wash your hands of these scam "artists".
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Old August 5th, 2011, 06:12 PM
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Paul,

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Since Fine Art Registry hasppens to be located here in my home town of Phoenix I contacted them by email just to say "Hi".

I try to stay uncomitted where it comes to saying controversial things, and "just report" - mostly because Park West is so litigious. But I wll say the videos at FAR are very interesting, and I don't see how Park West can survive these upcoming trials.

However - Teri Franks at Fine Art is already on to what appears to be Park West's new strategy. If you recall one cruise line announced they had replaced Park West with a name I know some readers here know - British American Auctions.

Guess what - it is still basically the same people. And to further obfuscate (since British American got itself in trouble a few times) they have made yet another new company name to work under.
The fact that it's "basically the same people" is not reall a surprise. When an incumbent government contractor loses a recompete for follow-on work, guess what happens! Yes, the new contractor usually makes offers to a majority of the staff who were doing the same work for the contractor who lost. Why?

>> The incumbent contractor who lost the recompete typically does not have other work for those employed on the previous contract, and thus lays them off, creating a cadre of available personnel.

>> The new contractor needs to hire people to fill the positions supported by the new contract.

>> The staff who did the work for the previous contractor have established working relationships with the customer's organization and know the technical details of work. Thus, they typically are the most quailfied individuals for the new positions.

If the work is on site at a government facility, the personnel clean out their desks on a Friday and return to the same desks on the following Monday with new business cards and new letterhead bearing the name of their new employer. If the work is off site, they report instead to the facilities that the new employer has assigned to their tasks.

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The key player is a man named Ira Shore.

If you recall Park West always said they were not responsible for what an auctioneer may have said because the auctioneers tecnically worked for a diffferent company that merely supplied uctioneers to Park West? (a cop out, IMHO, because on a ship they never say "we don't work for 'Park West'" - in fact they say just the opposite).

Anyway = Ira Shore is the guy who owned the company that supposedly supllied auctioneers to Park West cruise auctions. he is all part of the same big family. Now he has a new name. It is "Art International" and even more astounding, he just raised about $4-million in venture capital! Just to sell art in cruise ships. These people are going to be VERY mad if we start reporting Ira is the same guy who helped Park West rip people off for so many years. So we won't do that - we will just send you to Fine Ary Registry Fine Art Registry - The World's first Online Permanent Registry and Marketplace for Fine Art and Collectibles!

I guess some of the cruise lines are just hoping cruisers won't be able to see through all the smoke & mirrors and they will come to believe Park West has been divested of cruise ship art auctions. But by all appearances they are just as deeply entrenched as they have ever been - just with various holding companies making it harder to track and sue the principals. Sad really.
This is quite interesting.

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In the end the best advice we can give is just this - don't buy art on a cruise ship.
I'm not sure that one must go that far. My advice is not to buy art anywhere unless you fully undertand what you are buying.

Norm.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 06:29 PM
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Paul,

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Norm - can't you say that about anybody who has ever been tried??
In civil cases, yes.

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Originally Posted by You
The fact is that there hundreds of people lined up in class action lawsuits who want to sue Park West. Are they all just going to have "slick lawyers" who can make a mockery of justice.
I'm confused. The purpose of a class action suit is to consolidate cases with substantially similar claims so the court can dispose of all of them in one trial. In such cases, the lead plaintiffs retain lawyers for the whole class of clients.

But in any case, we should wait to hear what happens in the pending cases before passing judgement on Park West. It's quite apparent that Fine Art Registry (FAR) is getting a LOT of publicity out of these cases. Unfortunately, FAR is looking pretty sleezy to me so I'm not quite sure who to believe.

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The JURY came back with a verdict that awarded FAR $500,000 for the trademark infringement countersuit. Sadly, the judge set aside the jury verdict and ordered a new trial.
1. The claim of trademark infringement had no bearing on the merit of the claim regarding sale of art.

2. The fact that the judge set aside the verdict clearly indicates that there's a problem with it -- another reason not to ascribe too much credence to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Talk about "slick" - how often does a judge set aside a jury verdict? almost never.
In civil cases, that actually happens a lot more often than you might expect. All it takes is a media interview with a juror in which a juror makes a comment that one could construe to indicate possible prejudice one way or the other or some other irregularity. ("Yes, I understand how the process works. First, we conduct a fair trial, and then we hang the guilty SoB!")

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
While that new trial was scheduled for this autumn, the judge (Zatkoff) apparently decided he did not want to hear the new trial so he granted an appeal to the verdict instead. The appeal will be heard this autumn.
In that case, we'll see what happens in the appeal. Appellate courts do overturn or otherwise modify many of the decisions of trial courts.

Having said that, I purchased a fewe pieces of art thorugh Park West Galleries on two different cruises I do have to say that I was very favorably impressed in my dealings with Park West on both sailings.

>> 1. The representatives were meticulous to a fault in ensuring that I had accurate descriptions of the pieces that I was considering and accurate information about the artists. I still remember asking, perhaps somewhat imprecisely, if a particular piece was an "original painting." The repesentative clarified that it is an "acrylic" to ensure that I had fully correct information.

>> 2. When a representative could not verify some information that he had related to me, clearly identified as a "rumor," about one of the artists whose piece I had purchased, he sought me out to inform me of that fact and offered without hesitation to cancel the purchase.

>> 3. All of the pieces came as promised. When a piece came in the wrong frame, Park West arranged to pick it up, reframe it, and return it in the correct frame, and paid all of the additional shipping charges, without question.

>> 4. I have compared the prices of the pieces that I purchased through Park West with prices for similar pieces by the same artist from other sources, including one artist's direct sales outlet. In all cases, they have been comparable.

Now, there's no question that the pieces that I purchased were not works of Picasso or Rembrant or someone of similar stature, but they are original works by moderately well known contemporary artists that were not exactly cheap.

I will add that I did not buy any of these pieces at the art "auctions." It turns out that ParkWest Galleries will sell any piece for the stated minimum bid, without haggle, in their galleries. My reaction: why have the piece go up for auction and take the risk that another passenger might bid a higher amount? Let's just make the purchase and be done with it. And if you want to say that the "auctions" are shams, I agree completely!

Norm.

Last edited by Rev22:17; August 5th, 2011 at 06:48 PM.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 12:51 PM
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Exclamation Caveat Emptor

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My advice is not to buy art anywhere unless you fully understand what you are buying.Norm.
My advice is not to buy ART, JEWELLERY, ANTIQUES, CARPETS, SILVERWARE, LEATHER GOODS and so on and so on and so on unless you know what you are buying and WHO you are buying it from.

Frankly these people who were "ripped off" by Park West are a bunch of fools who should have known better. I don't have much sympathy with them. Caveat Emptor still remains the legal rule, and "puffery" is still legal in sales pitches!

In fact, on cruises we usually restrict ourselves to coffee mugs and t-shirts.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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>> 1. The representatives were meticulous to a fault in ensuring that I had accurate descriptions of the pieces that I was considering and accurate information about the artists. I still remember asking, perhaps somewhat imprecisely, if a particular piece was an "original painting." The repesentative clarified that it is an "acrylic" to ensure that I had fully correct information.
Rev - are you aware of the art world's definition of "original" - a lithoghraph can be considered an "original" piece of art as long as it is done in a limited run (maximum 600, I believe) and each piece is numbered.

However, your queation as to whether you had purchased an "original Painting" should have been "no" if the auctioneer was being honest. Park West does not sell any "original paintings" on their ships. In fact, they sometimes sell pieces that are qualified as "artist embellished" but they are clever not to say "by the original artist" - They sell many Peter Max repros that they claim were "artist embellished" but I direct you to ask them point blank if that means "by Peter Max himself" and see what they say.

Your quite above - as to whether your purchase was an original painting, and the answer coming back as "it's an acrylic" is jabberwocky nonsensical.

It is like asking "is the piece of fruit an apple?" and someone answering "it's green." That answer gives no indication at all in terms of answering the original question.

"It's acrylic" could mean its an original painting, except that Park West doesn't sell those on ships, they specialize in Giclee prints. So your piece could still be a giclee print done with acrylic paint. Simply google "acrylic giclee".
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Old August 8th, 2011, 06:22 PM
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Paul,

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However, your queation as to whether you had purchased an "original Painting" should have been "no" if the auctioneer was being honest. Park West does not sell any "original paintings" on their ships. In fact, they sometimes sell pieces that are qualified as "artist embellished" but they are clever not to say "by the original artist" - They sell many Peter Max repros that they claim were "artist embellished" but I direct you to ask them point blank if that means "by Peter Max himself" and see what they say.
Sorry, but that's not accurate. They were very careful to distinguish between the "original painting" and the "giclee" thereof, even when the giclee was embellished by the artist -- and there was indeed a difference of about an order of magnitude in the price. What I bought were in fact original paintings.

Norm.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 11:06 AM
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Dear Rev:

Call up Southeby's and ask them to auction your piece and give you an estimate of value. Their response should answer your questions. I'm betting they will not accept it as an auction item.

I'm sure not everything sold by Park West is a fraud, but the more expensive pieces are definately in question.

Many years ago Park West Galleries were in trouble for selling falsified Dali prints in their land auctions as well. That is not very well known.

There is nothing "sleazy" about people who have experienced fraud coming together to get justice under one umbrella. I myself have spoken with people from FAR and there is nothing sleazy about them. They are honest, upright, and seek to make the art market a little more real and safe for collectors.Or so it seems to me.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 12:03 PM
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I don't understand how they still get people to the auctions. Obviously they do.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 12:23 PM
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I wpuld never buy at one. Just talking to the auctioneers makes my skin crawl. But there are people who buy one piece, and it sortof seems like after that they have to feel like they were right to do it, and they become advocates of the art auctions.

I just want to say "if you bought a piece and you are happy with it, that is great."

The thing we are concerned about is people who get caught up in the wrong idea that they are actually investing in something that will go up in value. The odds of that happening are infinitismily small. Its far more likely that PWG or BAA just walked away with several thousands of dollars the buyer never see again.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 12:32 PM
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Norm...

I am not calling you a liar, but I assure you I have been told by PW auctioneers that the only thing they sell are Giclee prints - they do not sell original paintings.

As I said - legally, even a giclee can be sold as an "original" work of art, because it is a limited edition print of a singular run made from a unique, original plate.

I am only stressing this for other readers - not YOU, Rev. I want other readers to understand that it is very possible (even likely) for an auctioneer will refer to the pieces they sell as "originals" - however that does not mean they are actual one of a kind paintings. Maybe YOURS are, Rev, but in the cruise auction world that is like a one in a million thing.

It is important for people to understand how easily they can be fooled at these auctions - fooled into thinking things that are not accurate. That is exactly what these auctioneers are trained to do. And technically it is legal - which is why amateurs should not buy expensive art.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 02:37 PM
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And technically it is legal - which is why amateurs should not buy expensive art.
Amateurs should not buy expensive art -- or diamonds -- or tanzanite -- or leather goods -- or carpets -- or any of the other amazing things that somehow people believe they are getting a deal on while cruising that they could not get from a reputable dealer at home.

It never ceases to amaze me what people will buy on a cruise. Of course some of them are so rich they don't care about price. But so many others say that they got a good "investment" piece while cruising.

I was a jewellery appraiser for many years and I NEVER saw a bargain come back from a cruise. Seems likely to me that the same applies to the art auctions.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:32 PM
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The introduction of giclee printing a number of years ago has been a boon for those of us who've enjoyed having canvas prints made from our own photos or artwork. In fact, for a time the photo concessions on some ships were selling giclee prints of ship's portraits for insane prices (don't know whether some are still doing this). I know that I've had a few made by uploading files to the magic giclee server in the sky and having the prints delivered by UPS a few days later for cheap money. They look great on the walls.

But in the commercial art world, I know that there's been a controversy for some time about these "artist embellished" giclee prints, and how they should be identified. As Paul says, "original" no longer means original in the commonly understood sense, and it is now up to us to pick our way through the new vocabulary of weasel words and questionable claims.

I don't see how a cruise ship is the ideal place to do this.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 06:01 PM
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Paul,

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I am not calling you a liar, but I assure you I have been told by PW auctioneers that the only thing they sell are Giclee prints - they do not sell original paintings.
Their mix actually varies considerably from cruise line to cruise line, and probably does not include original paintings on the more 'downmarket" lines.

My inquiries about original paintings in galleries then operated by ParkWest aboard Celebrity's ships have occasionally yielded the response, "We don't have any originals in the gallery right now, but we do have some on board."

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
As I said - legally, even a giclee can be sold as an "original" work of art, because it is a limited edition print of a singular run made from a unique, original plate.
No, you cannot legally sell a giclee (phenomenally good reproduction) as an "original" work even if the artist personally embellishes it. That would constitute fraud.

But in my experience, ParkWest's rerpesentatives never represented giclees as "original" works. A couple of their auctioneers asked if I was aware that a giclee is considered to be a "unique" work because the artist takes brush in hand to embellish and sign it, but that is not the same as an "original" work. What ParkWest's representatives sold as original paintings are works in which an artist took a brush to a blank canvas to produce a picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I am only stressing this for other readers - not YOU, Rev. I want other readers to understand that it is very possible (even likely) for an auctioneer will refer to the pieces they sell as "originals" - however that does not mean they are actual one of a kind paintings. Maybe YOURS are, Rev, but in the cruise auction world that is like a one in a million thing.
As I noted in an earlier post, one should never buy anything unless one fully understands what one is buying.

Undoubtedly many of the passengers who wander into the art galleries and so-called "auctions" on cruise ships are NOT knowledgeable, and probably shoudl not be buying the art there. I doubt that you are the only person to misconstrue "unique work" to mean "original painting."

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
It is important for people to understand how easily they can be fooled at these auctions - fooled into thinking things that are not accurate. That is exactly what these auctioneers are trained to do. And technically it is legal - which is why amateurs should not buy expensive art.
I think the most common problem is misunderstanding of terminology, as in the example above. I work in an environment that requires a lot of precision so I'm accustomed to it, but I also know that many people are not so accustomed. But if ParkWest is preying on such ignorance, so is every other art gallery and dealer out there because the terminology is quite standard in the industry.

I'm all for warning people to make sure that they know what they are doing before purchasing any artwork. From the front, it is not possible to tell the difference between an original painting and a giclee because the giclee reproduces the texture and color of the original with amazing fidelity.

Norm.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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AR,

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But in the commercial art world, I know that there's been a controversy for some time about these "artist embellished" giclee prints, and how they should be identified. As Paul says, "original" no longer means original in the commonly understood sense, and it is now up to us to pick our way through the new vocabulary of weasel words and questionable claims.
Just to be clear, I have never heard a representative of ParkWest Galleries use the word "original" in reference to a giclee. Rather, the representatives have consistently said that they are considered to be a "unique" work. In the world of art, these terms are NOT synonyms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I don't see how a cruise ship is the ideal place to do this.
I agree with you. I have no problem with people who have enough knowledge of artwork to understand the terminology deciding to purchase a piece on a cruise ship, but those who don't know art should refrain.

Norm.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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A Giclee is painted by a machine and is a glorified print using acryllic paint in many cases. Many people would not choose to call this process art. But they can be quite beautiful.

If you like the way it looks on your wall and the price was right for your budget, what the hay! But never expect to recoup your money because it is highly unlikely you will do so.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 09:54 AM
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Terri from FAR says it very well. "A real auction house sells works of arts, owned by others, getting a commission from both the owner and the buyer. Cruise ship auctions are selling the artwork that they themselves own. Thus they are retailers working from a warehouse and even have the nerve to charge a commmission to sell their own property." This is a big difference.

They (Park West) don't even publish a catalog of each sale with estimated values like real auction houses. Why, because they don,t want buyers to google the items and find the real value prior to the artwork being sent to your home. After that point, all sales are final according to the fine print in the contract.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 10:27 AM
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To reiterate what so many have already noted, I, regardless of whether I could easily afford and liked the piece, would never purchase any "art" on a Cruise Ship. Why? Simply because you could find, if not the exact piece, something similar with very little effort and pay a fraction of the price you would during a cruise ship "auction."

I once stood back and watched a cruise ship auction and it was a true travesty. I just couldn't believe the gullibility of the people (after overhearing private conversations of those attending as they were leaving) but again, "to each his own" and "caveat emptor."

Todd
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Old August 17th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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I read today at the F.A.R. website that even Park West's "free" raffle drawings were rigged. They have auctioneer's testimony about that as well. O.M.F.G. Say it isn't so!

Is there no shame?
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Old August 17th, 2011, 05:30 PM
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Chuck Palm,

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A Giclee is painted by a machine and is a glorified print using acryllic paint in many cases. Many people would not choose to call this process art. But they can be quite beautiful.
The Giclee process actually is a bit more complicated than that. First, the reproducer (1) makes a rubber mold of the original to capture the texture of the brush strokes and (2) takes a digital photograph at very high resolution to record the exact color of each micropatch of the image. To make the reproduction, the reproducer first coats a canvas with a base material and press the mold into it to reproduce the texture. When the coating has set, the reproducer removes the mold and passes the canvas through a large format ink jet printer that sprays the color onto the base material. There are some additional complexities to ensure the proper registration of the mold and the color so that the colors land in the right places on the texture, of course, and there's actually some adjustment to the coloration as well to compensate for limitations imposed by the color resolution of ink jet technology, but the result is a piece that those who are not in the know cannot distinguish from the original painting.

The straight Giclee produced by the above process is considered to be a reproduction, but most artists "embellish" their Giclees by hand. The artist obviously will touch up any flaws or details that don't reproduce well, but many artists actually make the mold and the digital image before they complete the final details on the original so that they can also complete the final details by hand on the Giclee. The embellishment of each Giclee is unique, and thus makes the Giclee a "unique work" worth more than the original reproduction. The artist also can add value with little effort by numbering and signing each Giclee.

Many people who read this board undoubtedly remember the Thomas Kinkade galleries that proliferated in many shopping malls a few years ago. Those galleries were selling Giclees of the artist's paintings.

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If you like the way it looks on your wall and the price was right for your budget, what the hay! But never expect to recoup your money because it is highly unlikely you will do so.
I agree completely with the advice never to buy art that you don't want to hang on your own walls for years to come.

As to recouping your money, well, that is a much more complex question.

>> 1. There are those who dispute the legitimacy of appraisals done by appraisers employed by ParkWest Galleries on the basis that there's a conflict of interest, but most of these allegations seem to come from other art dealers who have an opposite conflict of interest -- that of trying to take out a competitor. What I can say is that ParkWest's prices and appraisals for works by living artists are on par with prices for comparable pieces (same artist, type of piece, and size) that I have found on the artist's own web sites or galleries, so my inclination is that probably are fair. In any case, you would need to get three or four appraisals from independent appraisers who are familiar with the respective artists and their work appraising the work for considerably less than ParkWest's appraisal to dispute this. By "truly independent," I mean appraisers who do not have relationships with ParkWest's competitors.

>> 2. If you decide to sell a piece through an auction house, the auction house that sells it will take a commission computed as a percentage of the price. If the artist is still painting, the value of the piece probably will not have changed much so you will lose the amount of the commission. Also, an auction house that's not familiar with the artist may undervalue the work out of ignorance and sell it for less than fair value.

>> 3. Nonetheless, the value of a work by a well known artist generally increases significantly in value after the artist's dealers clear out their inventories of the artist's works following the artist's death because the supply of the artist's works is permanently limited to what already exists. The value of the artist's works will continue to escalate thereafter. At this point, it is often possible to sell works at a significant profit, realized as a long term capital gain for tax purposes.

The caution I have is that the holding period for positive return on capital for investment in art is typically measured in decades. Attempting to "flip" art is a recipe for financial disaster.

Norm.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 05:42 PM
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Chuck,

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Terri from FAR says it very well. "A real auction house sells works of arts, owned by others, getting a commission from both the owner and the buyer. Cruise ship auctions are selling the artwork that they themselves own. Thus they are retailers working from a warehouse and even have the nerve to charge a commmission to sell their own property." This is a big difference.
Yes, I agree completely that ParkWest is an art dealer rather than an auction house -- and I'll go one step further and say that the mock auction format is just a ruse to generate interest and thus sales. In fact, you can buy any work for the "minimum bid" in their galleries without ever going to an auction and without the piece ever going up for auction. Also, in the case of Giclees and prints, they will accept every bid at or above the minimum up to the inventory that they have in their warehouse.

If you want to buy a piece, skip the auction. Just go into the gallery when the representatives are there and buy the piece for its "minimum bid" figure. There's no haggle if you do this.

I also strongly recommend reframing of whatever you buy. Many of the frames in which they display pieces get marred and scratched in the normal shuffling of displays, etc. If they reframe the piece, your frame will be brand new. Also, if you buy more than one piece from ParkWest and have all of them reframed in the same style, you'll have frames that match.

Norm.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 02:46 AM
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One other thing. Has anyone wondered why these "auctions" are only made at sea? That is because they occur beyond the protection and enforcement of any U.S. consumer protection laws.

Todd
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Old August 18th, 2011, 06:21 PM
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Todd,

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One other thing. Has anyone wondered why these "auctions" are only made at sea? That is because they occur beyond the protection and enforcement of any U.S. consumer protection laws.
ParkWest Galleries actually holds art sales over "long weekends" in major cities thoughout the United States, many of which have a couple of their contermporary artists in attendance. I don't know whether they use the mock auction format in these sales or not, as I have not attended any of them.

Norm.
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