Monday, November 17, 2008

The Palin Hoax

This story in the New York Times got me to thinking...

"It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times."
Are there more hoaxes out there in other realms of information? - of that I am pretty sure, but my focus is the visual arts and thus my question to myself is: could such a hoax be executed in the fine arts?

I don't think so, and the reason that I don't think so is because unlike the need to demonize our political opponents that exist in places like Fox and MSNBC, the fine arts world is sort of a self-licking ice cream where 95% of the people who pay attention to it and want a lick at the ice cream are somehow involved in the art world itself, and very few are interested "outsiders," who are the ones needed to consume such a hoax and spread it eagerly.

And I'm not sure if the people who write about art lack the very basic "check the story" and "check it again" mentality of the political press, always frothing at the mouth to report something negative about the other side.

And of course, news outlets generally could give a rat's ass about the fine arts unless it involves some sort of scandal, sex, censure or shock.


New Art Scam

This is a scam... posted exactly as received, with all the grammar errors which usually characterize this sort of scam...

Date: Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 10:59 AM
Subject: Artists File Online: Your artworks

**This following message was sent to you by a person who found your artwork on Artists Space's Artists File Online website. Please report any problems or concerns regarding this email to

My name is kevin, I am an individual art agent and interior decorator from Glasgow, scotland. I got an order for the supply of some artworks from a group of client, and when i came across your portfolio on your site, while searching for good artworks, I found some of them to interest me and fit what i am looking for, and I intend to market these items to my client and also negotiate a price that will include your price (i.e your selling price) and a mark-up as a profit for my effort.
Payment will be made directly to you at the price i am selling and i will expect you to ship after payment clears and send me my commission /margin afterwards.
My client prefers to make payment using a credit card as this is much easier and cost effective for an international transaction thus will provide you directly their credit card for payment.
Please let me know if you do commission work and if you accept master card payment after which I will let you know the items we are interested in, and we can proceed with the order.
I am looking forward to a long term working relationship beyond this order.I am sorry I do not have a website yet but it should be ready soon however you can always contact me if you have any question and I would get back to you as soon as possible.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Best Regards.
kevin Stokes
Delete this email if you get it or email Kevin back and tell him to go fuck himself.

Lauren Sherman on the new art fairs

Forbes' Lauren Sherman has an interesting article on the "other" art fairs at Miami and elsewhere.

Gallerists are holding their breath at Miami; I know now of four dealers in DC and Philly who have pulled out of the fairs in Miami because of economic fears.

On the other hand, I have been told that SOFA Chicago, after a dreadful start, ended up being surprisingly good for many galleries.

Read the Sherman report here.

Artists Websites: Priscilla de Lima

Greater DC area photographer Priscilla de Lima-Ledesma has been "assembling photos, video, art installations internationally since 1997," and her works focuses on social realism.

Visit her website here and her blog here.