A rough day on the Board

Dear Artist, Thursday was my day to sit on the International Art Marketing Board. The paintings are brought along to us on a vertical conveyor that presents between 20 and 30 per minute. You have to stay alert, but I have to say we are well provided with excellent coffee and light lunches when we ask. Artists pay $30,000 per year to have their work priced and distributed. There is also a $100 handling fee for each work seen, and we board members get a small commission when the work sells. I happened to be placed between Angela Shwartz-Plewd (Ger) and Randi Gorfball (UK). When an interesting acrylic abstract came before us I couldn’t help noticing that Angela gave it 79 cents (US) and Randi clocked it in at $10,000. Shocked at the disparity and conscious that I was running behind, I gave it a firm $5000. When the final score went up on the readograph it was priced at $8745.26. It was on its way to a dealer in Manhattan. Prices are very much dependent on who shows up that day. A little later there was a medium-sized oil that depicted two dogs playing Scrabble. I immediately liked it as the Airedale had all the good tiles. Apparently Randi had been snooping on Angela’s pricing as he suddenly reached across in front of me and pressed a cucumber sandwich into her face. The painting came in at $1287.34, which was low in my estimation. It went to the UK. Randi had to be removed to another part of the table. The new person beside me was a fellow Canadian. I won’t mention his name because he was already asleep and continued abstaining for the afternoon. Somebody eventually took his pulse and announced he was dead and would have to go back to the Academy. I was exhausted, not only because I was sitting next to a dead person but also because of the general animosity in that room. I don’t like confrontation, and I won’t be attending again for at least a month. On my way home I had to stop and pick up a gallon of milk. Such a lot of nourishment for such a reasonable price, I thought. It feels really great to live in a country where they don’t charge the cows. Best regards, Robert PS: “Any ideal system is its own worst enemy, and as soon as you start to implement visions of grandeur, they just fall apart and turn into tyranny.” (Ben Nicholson) Esoterica: The making of art is one of the world’s great democratic rights. However, to be fully democratic and to extend art to its rightful audience, the practitioner is required to develop skills that go beyond the work itself. In the case of visual art, no academy or board, no matter how wisely chosen, can fully do the job for us. “A committee,” said Fred Allen, “is a group of the unwilling chosen from the unfit to do the unnecessary.” “History,” said Robert Henri, “proves that juries in art are generally wrong.”   Don’t go there by Joseph Jahn, Nibe, Denmark  

“Afternoon table revisited”
original painting
by Joseph Jahn

When I started painting 30 years ago I thought it was necessary to enter juried exhibitions. I soon learned as you pointed out that they are dependent on who shows up that day. The last one I entered was 28 years ago and my career did not suffer a bit. I have chosen to never enter that circus again.       There are 2 comments for Don’t go there by Joseph Jahn
From: Dana Whitney — Oct 31, 2011

Well, THAT’s a relief! :-)

From: Anonymous — Nov 01, 2011

Wonderful painting!

  Hanging with contemporary masters by Sharyn Mellors  

“The spirit of the West has her own special style”
original quilt 24 x 36 inches
by Sharyn Mellors

A range of $10,000 to 79 cents mimics what I have found in my medium. It seems that local guild contemporaries find the value of my work on the lower end of the scale but jurors of larger international shows welcome it and knowledgeable appraisers give it a very nice value and appreciate my work. Not that it matters. I don’t sell my work. I only enter it in juried shows to enable me to hang with the true contemporary masters in my field. It gives a good raised bar to inspire me. Then my job is to get the images out of my imagination using the best skills my muses can produce. I am by no means an Artist. I would rather think of myself as an ever learning folk-artist. Thank you for taking the time to broaden my knowledge.     There is 1 comment for Hanging with contemporary masters by Sharyn Mellors
From: Patricia Solem — Nov 01, 2011

You certainly are an artist! Don’t sell yourself short.

  Lovely job by Rich Williams  

“Hot night”
acrylic painting
by Rich Williams

I would love to have that job eating cucumber sandwiches and giving totally arbitrary value to art. It seems that you have found the perfect outlet to vent upon the true nature of critics, juries and art appraisers. For it is all lies — or lies in the eye of the beholder. You definitely need a raise as they cannot pay enough for your discerning eye. You should have saved this story for the day after March 31st.         There are 9 comments for Lovely job by Rich Williams
From: Everyone/no one — Nov 01, 2011

is this for real?? Mr. Glenn you never answered, doe’s this board really exist?

From: Virginia Wieringa — Nov 01, 2011

You couldn’t hear his tongue firmly inserted in his cheek? Rich, STUNNING composition!

From: Rich Williams — Nov 01, 2011

Thanks for the compliment Verginia and Bob does have a wry sence of humor. This makes him fun to listen to but you best be paying attention.

From: Marsha Hamby Savage — Nov 01, 2011

Rich, this is a stunning piece of art. Makes me want to keep looking again and again!

From: Lucy — Nov 01, 2011

Love your piece of work, makes me want to get out my abstract oil paints.

From: Maxine Price — Nov 01, 2011

Beautiful painting!

From: Locky — Nov 01, 2011

What are “abstract oil paints”?

From: Michael — Nov 01, 2011

Maybe she meant ‘abstract oil pants’, you know, the ones all bespattered with paint, that look sort of like abstract art in themselves?

From: Mishcka — Nov 02, 2011

This is an excellent abstract painting but when I looked at your website there are only landscape watercolors, realism ( which really don’t compare ). ???

  Amazing story by Brenda Behr, Goldsboro, NC, USA  

“Van Gogh’s tobacco barn”
oil painting
by Brenda Behr

I had no idea when I first started reading this that there was something called the International Art Marketing Board. Surely you’re joking, Mr. Genn! Amazing! Sounds like the Miss Universe pageant of the art world. We must be in a time when people want/need judges, e.g. Britain’s Got Talent, America has some too — Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, on and on. I find it difficult enough to find consensus by way of a jury of one, the one who decides from time to time to purchase one of my paintings. I am, however, familiar with committees. And in my past life as an advertising “creative” we had a definition of a committee. “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” We artists may need to go to our rooms. The buying public (with the mega-bucks) needs to go to art appreciation school. There are 5 comments for Amazing story by Brenda Behr
From: Suzette Fram — Nov 01, 2011

“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” I love that. That’s going in my collection of favourite quotes. Would you happen to know the name of the author??

From: Anonymous — Nov 01, 2011

Wikipedia says: One maxim is that a camel is a horse designed by committee; this has been attributed to Vogue magazine, July 1958, to Sir Alec Issigonis and also to University of Wisconsin philosophy professor Lester Hunt. Have no clue what’s right!

From: Brenda Behr — Nov 02, 2011

I don’t have a clue where it came from, just something I learned to be true in my advertising creative days. Another one I like is “from the Department of Redundancy Department”. Lots of great wordsmiths in the ad industry. Thanks for your comments.

From: Mishcka — Nov 02, 2011

Robert, I hope you will answer her question. I was unable to find the International art Marketing Board on Google, in fact I have been unable to find anything on International art Marketing, and I have been looking for years. Like, how do artist connect to the international art market & afford to ship their work, etc. ? Art consultants skip this issue in my experience.

From: Ben — Nov 03, 2011

There is no such thing, and if it was, it would be a circus…Robert’s essay is the answer to your question.

  Bewildered? by Tiit Raid, Fall Creek, Wisconsin, USA  

“Fall creek, North bank #3”
acrylic painting, 9.5 x 42 inches
by Tiit Raid

Your latest letter regarding your day on the International Art Marketing Board is not based on a dream… is it? There really is such a beast where artists pay $30,000.00 per year to have their work priced and distributed, plus $100.00 for each piece reviewed? Weird. What artist has $30,000 a year to spend on such a tragically comical sounding situation? I just got off Google… and couldn’t find anything that matched ‘International Art Marketing Board’… which doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist I suppose… but… are you putting us on regarding it? Or does IAMB mean – I Am Bewildered?   Enlightening post for young people? by Mel Davenport, Dallas, TX, USA   It must allot you great prestige to be on this board, not sure being with dead people, sans milk, would be my cup of tea. I do so enjoy your letters, though, and always glean from them. I’m off to substitute teach in a real live high school art class today (I got RIF’d last year from this same position due to school district exigency – they cut out one of the two art teachers in the district) and will be trying to find a place to insert your story of today. One of the questions art students always asked me was, “Why is it that some paintings cost $X and some cost $XXX. Your post will be enlightenment.   Who runs it? by Mike Bell, Northumberland, UK  

“Evening Druridge Bay, Low Tide, Rhythms and Textures”
mixed media painting
by Mike Bell

Sorry but I’ve never heard of this International Art marketing Board. (It doesn’t seem to exist on Google, except as a Board Game!) Which artists today apart from a few very high profile ones, i.e. Hirst, Richter, Emin, Prince etc, could pay $30,000 to join? No one I know! Especially in today’s “dead” market for the average good artist and not those selling through the top auction houses and galleries. Who buys from this Board and sets the paintings prices? Very strange. I’ve taught widely for thirty years and exhibit mainly in UK, but several times in USA and Europe with many galleries and this is an unknown to me. Where does this organization reside and who runs it?     There are 2 comments for Who runs it? by Mike Bell
From: ALAN SOFFER — Nov 01, 2011

Mike your work is superlative. But you are way too serious my friend. You’ve been had, but in a good way.

From: Bev Bunker — Nov 01, 2011

I like your work! However, as the other one who commented to you said, you have indeed had your leg pulled!

  Good to know the jurors by Dean Drewyer, Leesburg, VA, USA  

“Lake Afternoon”
oil painting, 9 x 12 inches
by Dean Drewyer

An old friend who was an artist and head of a department at a local college used to say to me, “If you win a juried award, you must have done something wrong.” I don’t enter any sort of juried situation any more but over a two year period as a young man still trying to get the whole ‘painting life’ underway — I entered two prestigious, local art competitions. I won best in show the first year with a nice abstract painting I’d done in Grad school (when I was all about showing the school I could paint any damn way I pleased). The second year I won BIS for a portrait I’d finished as an exploration into representation that continues to this day. Both competitions required that the work be unsigned to ensure anonymity. I found out a couple of years later that my friend artist / college teacher, who formed the quote above, had juried both exhibitions. We laughed about this when we realized it and he reassured me he had no idea the work was mine — we had only gone to drawing sessions together — and after that he always said, “I rest my case” — laughing uproariously. There are 3 comments for Good to know the jurors by Dean Drewyer
From: Bill Hibberd — Oct 31, 2011

Sweet painting Dean

From: Liz Reday — Nov 01, 2011

Makes me want to put my plein air pants on and paint outside. Lovely gem.

From: Connie — Nov 01, 2011

Oh Liz. That is sooooooo funny!

  Sorry you got caught up in that mob by Richard F Barber, Watford, Hertfordshire, UK  

“Refreshments with a Vermeerna”
original painting
by Richard F Barber

Having read your recent letter it seems to outline the problems for the artist within the world of art, brain dead people putting a price on art that they have little interest in or understanding of. Getting a free meal and cash for just turning up and possibly talking a load of crap. Artists who pay such a ridiculous sum of money to get someone to price their art is beyond understanding. It takes me back to the old saying of bull s — t baffles brains. I feel that is one of the main reasons art has gone the way it has. I’m sorry to hear that you became caught up as part of that mob. All the money spent on educating people in universities and obtaining degrees is now the 21st Century falsehood, as the degree paper now has no worth more than toilet paper, just like most of today’s art.   Appraisal needed for tax receipt by Halin de Repentigny, Dawson City, YT, Canada  

original birch bark canoe
by Halin de Repentigny

I am currently in the process of donating a piece of art to a Yukon teaching institution. The art piece consists of an authentic 30 foot birch bark canoe. The college is very thrilled about the new acquisition and I am also asking them if they could provide me with a tax receipt. They told me no problem but I would need to get it appraised first. There’s the dilemma. I have lived in the Yukon for over 30 years and I am also a very well known artist here. If somebody can appraise my art piece it should be me, the same as I do for my painting, but they want someone else. Can any of you help me? Finding a professional appraiser in the Yukon is like finding a moose in downtown Vancouver! There are 3 comments for Appraisal needed for tax receipt by Halin de Repentigny
From: JMJahn — Oct 31, 2011

I would say 100,000 USD. You can tell them it was appraised on a Famous Art Site by a little known American painter. Hahahahaha. Good luck

From: JMJahn — Oct 31, 2011

The comments you had included below really brought a smile to my face Robert. You truly are a twisted soul. It’s a pleasure sharing the same passion with you and your readers. I can’t get this grin off my face ;-)

From: Maureen Pardy — Nov 03, 2011

Oh thank you so much for your “Board” story. I’m fighting a lung infection and you sure helped me clear out a lot of artist angst stuck in there. The second time I read the story to my daughter my ribs hurt with laughing so much. I can hardly wait till I get my husband (artist also when he isn’t working construction which is 99% of his life)to read this and see how long it takes him to catch on. It is BRILLIANT. Thank you again Robert.

  One-liners by From a large number of readers   (RG note) Thanks so much for all the input! We couldn’t help noticing the large number of one-liners this time. I asked our editors to gather a representative sample and run them together in one entry. I’ve also suggested leaving out last names. “I never even knew something like this group existed.” (Kathi) “Good grief! People PAY for that??? I was disillusioned before but now it’s even worse!” (Jan) “Let’s hope this is a hoax! The ultimate in absurdity.” (Donna) “Thanks for starting my weekend off with a good laugh!” (Rebecca) “Alarming!” (Sharon) “Do you only host this board in Canada?” (Anselm) “What’s a Readograph? Sounds flaky.” (David) “You have lost it, Robert!” (Will) “Are you crazy???” (Dick) “I’d like to submit my work for the Board’s consideration.” (Albert) “I know the Swartz-Plewed family, they are very nice people.” (Helmut) “I vomited a little into my mouth.” (Art) “Could you send more information on this board?” (Judy) “OMG, what an ordeal you had!” (Linda) “Outrageous.” (Allan) “How could you, of all people, get mixed up with something like this?” (Fred) “Could you explain what this board is, does and where it sits and how often? It doesn’t sound like something I would be interested in.” (Rae) “It sounds like the corporate greed and — place colorful language here — I’m trying to get away from.” (Tommy) “Where do they get such poor quality jurors?” (Edwin) “Have you been drinking again?” (Ellen) “Did Dorothy write this one?” (Bill) “What an informative letter, Mr. Genn, about that aspect of the art world. Thank you!!” (Pat) “Being an American I’ve never heard of the International Art Marketing Board and the scene you describe. I must say that it sounds like a little slice of hell or a really good episode of The Twilight Zone. Do artists really pay for this system?” (Casey) “I am sorry, but if this event truly happened that the Canadian man sitting next to you died, you need to be clear if it really happened. I read your letters with interest, but if someone really died and your title indicates that you or the board had a rough day, how self-absorbed is that? Your letter went all over the place. I don’t appreciate wasting time reading letters like this.” (Mary)    

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for A rough day on the Board

From: bill — Oct 27, 2011


From: Dave C. — Oct 28, 2011

Now I know there is no justice in this world when it comes to art. Only $1287.34 for dogs playing Scrabble or poker or whatever? Damien Hirst gets $12 million for a dead shark. Dogs playing any kind of board game should command at least that much, maybe more.

From: Phyllis B. — Oct 28, 2011

I enjoyed your treatment of a subject that can really be a sore point for many. You made it into the true comedy it is. Never ask someone else what your work is worth. Let the market decide. After all, the critics, whether self appointed or impressed into service, are not the ones that will be writing you the check.

From: Daniela — Oct 28, 2011

I love the approach you have taken on this topic, Robert. By the way, no one thought to enter the dead guy as an art installation, and, call it, say “Frozen Moment”, or, “Bored Stiff, Literally” ?

From: Karen Brenner — Oct 28, 2011

Today’s my airedale Piper’s second birthday! I’m sure she would have liked that painting of dogs playing Scrabble! Is it online? Who is the artist?

From: Darla — Oct 28, 2011

I have always suspected that we are living in the Twilight Zone. The sad thing is that you can’t tell truth from fiction because the truth can be so outrageous.

From: Dot Welkins — Oct 28, 2011

Art is a big tent, there’s something for everyone. There are a lot of ways to parse out the styles and quality. Darts and dice and Ouija boards are nice. Ultimately the public (mostly) does what it wants, usually with and from those things the gate keepers let through. It’s too bad about gate keepers. For some reason they seem to think they’re authorized. Worse, they often think they’re able.

From: Jackie Knott — Oct 28, 2011

You’re kidding? I kept hunting for the punchline in this letter and was dismayed there wasn’t any. A group of hurried professionals sit at an assembly line, make a totally subjective assessment in seconds … and the marketplace isn’t governing the price of a painting?? A patron isn’t falling in love with a painting and must bring it home? I googled the International Art Marketing Board and couldn’t find anything about it. I dearly wanted to read about such a stunning entity, and more importantly why any artist would suscribe to such a thing. I’m equally befuddled why another artist would be party to such a board – it evidently is a soul killing exercise. Words fail me; why an artist would partake, why galleries subscribe, why such marketing exists … oh, wait, the answer to all questions: there is money to be made and it isn’t the artist who created the work.

From: Kath — Oct 28, 2011

Up until now i have marveled at the broad scope of topics you have brought forward to those of us out here in the real world. You were kidding about this. Right?

From: Tanya A. Brown — Oct 28, 2011

“You were kidding about this. Right?” It’s satire, but satire which is particularly on point. Had it been real, the deceased person would indeed have been put on exhibit.

From: Susan Avishai — Oct 28, 2011

Maybe one has to be a subscriber for a year or two or five to know when you are being outrageous, since your humour is quite nuanced. But thanks for starting my day with a huge smile. “The Airedale had all the good tiles…” Ha!

From: Susan Kellogg, Austin, TX — Oct 28, 2011

October Fool’s Day!

From: Nancy Lee Galloway — Oct 28, 2011
From: gail caduff-nash — Oct 28, 2011

“nuanced”? this was fiction? wow, i am NOT used to you being amusing. i got the Airedale funny – very cute. but were you being serious at all? if you’re “nuanced”, then i’m naive. I once knew a musician who said he envied me my art, because I could a piece once while he had to do it over and over again. But the idea of this conveyor belt pricing makes me want to jump out a very tall window. ~shudder~ and i can’t picture you volunteering for this at all!

From: gail caduff-nash — Oct 28, 2011
From: Suzette Fram — Oct 28, 2011

Oh come on folks, surely none of this is real. This is Robert’s joke of the month, surely (??)

From: Mikulas Kravjansky — Oct 28, 2011

Even Kafka will be proud. Robert, your creativity is mind-blowing. That’s what happened to my mind.

From: N. K Raluca — Oct 28, 2011

Wow, what a hoot! Actually, Canada has a Milk Marketing Board that levies a fee to all dairy farmers for each cow they own. This board guarantees the sale of milk and other dairy products so that there is little competition in the industry and farmers are protected. This is why milk is cheaper in the USA, and why Canadians by the thousands regularly cross the border to get it. As far as I know there is no levy on cows in the USA.

From: Bev Bunker — Oct 28, 2011

You are pulling our leg, right? I laughed out loud when I read this. I’m still laughing actually. Just lets one realize how subjective art is. Gotta go….probably should pick up a litre of milk, but I think I’ll make it the chocolate kind.

From: Faith Puleston — Oct 28, 2011

Thanks for all the letters, even if today’s was rather gobsmacking. I couldn’t find Angela here in Germany, though I think she is out there somewhere looking for the “c” that goes between the “s” and “h” in traditional German spelling (is she a fraud? you might want to look into that), but I think I spotted Randi in London the other day chained to some railings.

From: Elle Smith Fagan — Oct 28, 2011

Your articles are NEVER boring! And that includes this one! Food For thought. For the membership price ,how much can the artist expect in returns. Sounds a bit “hack”-ish. TRUTH, others say, is best served by JUST such, because there is no time to hem and haw, but to use the fine artist’s eye and report truth. I just judged our hospital gallery show with 4 others – 84 paintings and all lovely Golden Autumn themed. Still, I did an overview, then a second overview , “zooming in ” a bit and then the third time thru , I marked my judges sheet/show list. I think that the humanity is better served with respectful time and thought given

From: Jan Kirkpatrick — Oct 28, 2011

God so loved the world he did NOT send a committee.

From: Diana deMontigny — Oct 28, 2011

I think The Board needs to supply a personal masseuse and Chiropractic treatment on the spot as your head and eyes whip around from one painting to the next. They so need your sense of “Ha Ha”, and detached perspective. Kudos to you, for your hilarious accounting for those of us so remotely detached from that world.

From: Cyndie Katz — Oct 28, 2011
From: Fran Steinmark — Oct 28, 2011

Yesterday, I had a good cry about being an artist. Today, I read your newsletter; it put a smile on my face. Now I have more energy to face the world again.

From: Catherine Stock — Oct 28, 2011

This was your best letter yet!

From: Maureen O’Keefe West — Oct 28, 2011

Isn’t it a little early for April Fool’s??????????????

From: Roberta Schlesinger — Oct 28, 2011

Thank you – had a rough day yesterday. You made me laugh out loud this morning, no small accomplishment, I assure you. I love your letters and look forward to finding them in my inbox.

From: Dwight — Oct 28, 2011

Paraphrasing what my mother would have said, “April fools is gone and past and (some here) are fools at last.” But I truly loved the 79¢.

From: susan flaig — Oct 28, 2011

my dog really appreciated the reference to scrabble….it’s her favourite game in the studio…….great perspective and ironic humour! Ha!

From: marj early — Oct 28, 2011

I could not decide which was the funniest: your letter or the comments. Phyllis B. said it all. Thanks for the art fun!

From: violetta — Oct 28, 2011

Thanks to you pulling our legs, Robert, first I thought the dogs would be by Cecil Aldin but none of his beautiful images are card playing dogs, then I googled card playing dogs images and got a stream of quirky paintings of dogs playing poker. I watched Exit Through the Gift Shop, as one writer here suggested, great Banksy stuff. I think I know how my browser would feel when I – refresh the browser….!

From: anne — Oct 30, 2011

Hahahahaaaaaa, that was pure comedy. Thanks for that, Robert.

From: Jérémie Giles — Oct 30, 2011

My wife at a distance in the house, knows when Robert Genn has signed another letter.The laughs fills the air. She’s francophone and as I try to translate to her and our many French speaking friends, I get as many laughs from the look on their faces as I’m making my verbal acrobatics in an effort to translate your humour, which by the way, makes my day.

From: Claire Remsberg — Oct 30, 2011

Your letter is rather cryptic for those who are not familiar with the workings and purpose of the International Art Marketing Board. Could you give us a little background primer on this? Where it is? How often? Who contributes? How you came to be part of it?

From: C. Weid — Oct 31, 2011

I knew it! Where’s the outrage? They sell all of the artist, but for the Oink! Occupy!

From: Roberta Salma — Oct 31, 2011

I have no knowledge of the International Art Marketing Board, their system, how one applies, etc. If I am not alone in my ignorance would you devote your next letter to telling us more about this system, how it works, and if something similar is here in the U.S.

From: Halverson Frazier — Oct 31, 2011

Could you explain to your spellbound audience just what is the International Art Marketing Board and its purpose, presuming this is a Canadian venture. Conveyor belt selection seems daunting and exactly how do distant galleries see or bid on a painting? Are you all connected to Skype while evaluating a work? Sounds most intriguing for your fans from afar.

From: Dana Whitney — Oct 31, 2011

Please explain more about this. I understand the price setting… but not the distribution. Who decides? Fascinating and dicey… like gambling dicey.

From: Rosemary Claus-Gray — Oct 31, 2011

Sounds like a nightmare, Bob. I hope you have awakened and are in your usual positive frame of mind. Clearly, the joke is on us.

From: Lauren Finn — Nov 01, 2011

I’ll bet you couldn’t wait to read the responses to this one… hehehehe

From: Karen R. Phinney — Nov 01, 2011

I think you’ll find the good Robert is pulling our legs, with his Int’l Art Marketing Board! Hahaha! Can’t imagine anything like that……..he is spoofing the whole idea of juried things. And the eagerness with which some people will “buy into” someone assessing their work, and for (gasp) $30,000/year! No way! there are very few artists making that kind of money to begin with, let alone pay for someone else to assess their work (if you were making $30K+a year, you wouldn’t be asking someone else to assess it, would you??). that is my guess about this letter. Perhaps he’s got “fall fever”. Or Hallowe’en has got to him. Whatever.

From: Sue Johnson — Nov 01, 2011

Cucumber sandwiches all around! I have never laughed so hard in my life. Thanks Robert!

From: Sheila Minifie — Nov 01, 2011

Really funny letter Robert. I’m surprised people took it seriously. Although this was clearly a joke – I wouldn’t be so quick to think it beyond the pale for someone to die at a meeting. A friend of mine was in a meeting and someone at the table really was found to be dead at the end of it – he’d had an embolism (?) and made no noise, nor did he move. She and her colleagues were rather devastated, particularly since they hadn’t noticed.

From: Monika — Nov 01, 2011

It’s a Simpson’s version of the art world, or South Park–one full of irony and postmodernism, and shades of Kafka. Well done! I don’t know how the Canadian Milk Marketing board’s activities got into the discussion, but please, our milk is safe, consistent and gives dairy farmers a good living. Unlike the US marketing system that strangely enough ends up in the hands of huge agribusiness (often owned by big pharma) with loads of middlemen all demanding a profit– that means in terms of the resource, the quality goes down, the animals are poorly treated to maximize product and small farmers struggle to survive. (Like it’s happened with so many natural resources like trees, chickens, feedlot beef, lambs, etc. While the MMB has its problems, the resource, milk, isn’t compromised; and do you really want to have Canadian farmers fail?) Open marketing like the US is a lot like the ‘board’ the Robert created. Fantasy indeed. Somebody makes money and it’s not the artist. Monika

From: Laurel Alanna McBrine — Nov 01, 2011

Amusing piece of satire – loved the one-liners too!

From: Gavin Logan — Nov 01, 2011

Canada has just dispensed with its Wheat Marketing Board. Now farmers can sell where they want, when they want, to whom they want. It may not be as secure for the chosen ones as the old system, but the free market has always proven better in the long run.

From: Rick Rotante — Nov 01, 2011

Sounds like more hokus pokus to confuse the populace even further. I can’t believe you sit on a board that prices works like that?? I know you get paid for this but…Robert please- knit sweaters; there is more honor in that.

From: John and Ina Beierle — Nov 07, 2011

We are wondering what this International Art Board is about, after trying to check online, there is no reference to it…did you make it up to present a point? You must be congratulated if it is a fictitious account, for gullible artists who believe that this sad event can be reality… it is like Orson Welles’, The War Of The Worlds radio drama…the aliens are coming:>(

From: Pepper Hume — Dec 06, 2011

I had several responses to this letter. A – is this October or April 1? B – this system of pricing sounds about as good for the world of art as a starving artist sale in a defunct service station. C – when you can no longer paint, you can make a good living as a writer!!!

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Overlooking the Bow

arcylic painting, 24 x 36 inches by Brian Buckrell, Comox, BC, Canada

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