Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Erotic Art Week III - My Experience

Frustration Indeed.

Back in August I posted about how I was so thrilled to be showing my work at the Erotic Art Week III Festival in Trinidad & Tobago. You can see it here: http://manyfacesart.blogspot.com/2011/08/erotic-art-week-iii-trinidad-tobago.html

My how times have changed. I'm so ridiculously frustrated with this festival, that I am absolutely pissed off. I am not one to rant online – ranting in conversation is one thing, but I generally eschew internet ranting because it's just nothing but typing into the airwaves as it may be...

When I first got in touch with Dave Williams who was heading up the Erotic Art Week III Festival in T&T everything was just fine and dandy. I'm part of this up and coming International Art Festival in a country that I like to call home. Absolutely loved it.

I had to send my artwork ahead of time so that it could be hanged in the gallery. I was loathe to send glass through any shipper so I made arrangements to have it framed once it arrived. No big deal at all. I shipped my artwork at a rather premium price. And this is where the first headache came in. Once my art was there, I was contacted by Dave that he couldn't pick up my artwork until I had paid the VAT tax that the customs had assigned to my work – which was the equivalent to how much it cost me to ship. No problem, we dealt with that as well. My artwork had to make it into the Festival after all.

There was some uncertainty with safety in T&T when the Erotic Art Week Festival was originally scheduled to run. The organizers had no control over that, however, shortly before the event was to actually take place they suddenly decided to completely change the dates and run the events two weeks later than planned. I could not travel down. There were just too many things that prevented me from attending in person. I was rather upset by this because I long to visit Trinidad, it's been entirely too long.

Here is where things take a turn for the worse. I contacted Dave to let him know that I would not be able to make the event with the new dates. I told him that I would like to make arrangement for someone to pick up my artwork and I was looking forward to happenstance transpiring smoother in 2012 so I could attend then. I heard nothing back from him. I tried calling the phone number that he had reluctantly provided me with in one of my earlier emails to him after I had asked four times for a way that I could speak with him – and again, nothing, just the voice mail robot.

Dozens of emails and multiple phone calls have been made on my part in the months since, with the last one being made a week past. And no reply in any way, shape, or form. I have even tried contacting other artists affiliated with EAW, the marketing studio that supports it, and the framer who was to frame my artwork. Not a single reply amongst them.

I'm devastated by this, I feel rather gutted. Artwork that I poured a little of my heart and soul into has just been taken from me. They have no right to my art, and none was implied; no right to sell nor keep it. My pieces were to be returned to me at the end of the show. Any sales transactions were to take place between myself and any prospective purchasers. I may not even be alone in this, there could be other international artists in the same situation. Worse still, a person interested in acquiring the original pieces asked me about them after they had shipped.

Does anyone have any advice, suggestions, or possibly even assistance that they may provide? I am unsure of what to do next. This is not something I can just let go of and chalk up to a learning experience. Any and all help would be infinitely appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man. Start with a lawyer. See if you can talk to one for free on the phone for maybe 30 minutes.
    Find every piece of information, every email, every attempt to contact them. Get it all together BEFORE you call a lawyer. Lay it out as quickly and thoroughly as possible. I'd think you have some sort of recourse.
    I hope there was some kind of contract. This is awful. Essentially, what they've done is stolen your artwork. Very bad. I pray things work out. Wish I could help more.