Posted by panch from pool0162.cvx20-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 10:04AM :
Okay...this is how it went. he's been practising law for a few years...doing better and better...and so he decides it's time to buy some Assyrian sculpture. Only he's just bought a house and a BMW, what else, for his wife and so he is "broke". naturally he finds that the best time to buy Assyrian Art. So, just as naturally, he asks for a discount...cause we are cousins.
The first piece he buys right after the convention...and I'm broke for real now, not because I bought a BMW but because Jackie and Golani had me kicked out of the convention. So in order not to make him tell me his sad tale of woe ("the yacht was SO much more money than I thought it would be")...I offer to sell him the king's portrait he wants for $8,000. They were commisioned for ten thousand.
I make the piece, send it to him and he's all googley-eyed. Next we switch to Mexico where yoors trooly is getting broker by the minute. I need to come back to the United States to try to peddle my sculpture now at half price...partly because Jackie has bad mouthed me enough, telling people I cheated her, swindled her, cheated her some more and "how can you do business with him when he threatens to sue OUR club???"
So this time I offer the next king's portrait for half price...or $5,000. At least that's what I intended. Later on it will turn out that I wrote to Robert and told him he could have the piece for $3,500. Weeks later when it was time for him to make the final payment, I learned of my mistake. I didn't argue with him, didn't plead with him. I believed him...figure I must have mixed up pieces or prices...half of this one...or half of that one. Now, in all fairness Robert could have pointed out my error...could have told me that $3,500...though it saved him another $500, wasn't really and truly half of $10,000. He claims that he was going on the already reduced price of $8,000. Okay...I didn't argue, but even then...half of $8,000 is not $3,500. But, he saw an advantage, and he took it. After all we ARE cousins...shouldn't i WANT to be good to him?
All of that was still okay. The trouble came when I asked him to send me the final $1,500 so I could get back to the United States and among other things, deliver the piece to him...it had been cast already.
Over the phone from Mexico he assured me I don't know how many times that he'd sent the money...I would wait...check to see if the money had arrived...then call again, or send an e-mail. We played this game I don't know how many times. Finally I managed to get the money from someplace else,,,but had to pay it back...so upon arrival back in the States I called him again. This time he was "just writing the check"...a week later he had just "sent it out"...and this went on and on...altogether it must have been two months at least. I didn't mind so much if he couldn't pay just then...another payment due on the Beemer no doubt, or some furniture. What I grew increasingly to resent was the idea that he was playing with me...that my needs were of no importance...he could just stall and lie and put me off until HE was ready.
And when he did finally send the check...after I had returned to Mexico...he included with it a note saying he hoped now that he'd paid it off, he could expect to get the sculpture quickly. That did it. If I accomplish nothing else, I will expose this way our "moneyed" punks treat artists. There is no such thing as valuing the Art, while you belittle the artist.
So now it was MY turn not to respond. HE was the one now sending e-mail fast and furiously...and I was the one taking my time. When finally I did respond...we set about arguing the case...with him never once explaining why he had led me on and on, when he knew I needed the money desperately...or why he so gleefully took advantage of my error...at a time when I was distracted by many things. Didn't being a "cousin" impose some rules on both of us? Was it only a way to benefit himself? How about extending the benefit of a doubt and paying the additional $500...that would have made it truly half-price? Jusy how much of a discount did he expect? was it to be a deep discount because of my misfortune?
The upshot was that I told him to go suck a Benz...that I would pay him back the money, plus interest, but no way was I going to send him the sculpture. he has threatened to "file" something or other. So what else is new? I told him to file away.
See...now what Janey and Robert will tell you is that I am giving artists a bad name...that people will be less likely to trust an artist because of me and all will suffer. I am saying that THEY give patrons and customers and Assyrians a BAD NAME because of their chiseling, weasley, weiner ways. If you want to deal with me, buy my art etc...then behave honorably...don't think you can take advantage of me, or us...because you have the most valuable commodity...MONEY...while we have only mere trinkets and all of them overpriced too. You do your part, and I promise you I will do mine. But...if you try to fuck with me...screw you, screw the art, screw any agreement, screw any contract...and please please, SUE me!
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