Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

A pattern of criminality or business incompetence?

Over on his blog, artist and writer F. Lennox Campello is posting a series of reports on an art dealer who at best appears to be very, very incompetent and who at worst may be the con artist and thief that she is alleged to be.

Campello's most recent post involves an artist who is owed over $5,000 in commissions from the dealer. Her name is Isabelle du Toit, and she paints cute pictures of babies and birds. Here's a sample of her work (and you can see more of her paintings at her website):

I seems to me that one case--the Bowland matter, described earlier--could be explained by a series of unfortunate events and misunderstandings that converged and ended up with a dealer selling a painting she had no license to sell. But the addition of a second artist to the mix, as well as the possible timeline that Campello presents in his recent post, seems to demonstrate a pattern of intentional criminality. Even the most generous interpretation leads one to view the art dealer's skills as a business person approaching criminal incompetence. (That said, there are things in the quoted emails that remind me of the smoke blown up the skirts of freelancers by any number of publishers I have known over the years as they were going out of business. Including myself.)

Another little part of the mystery-loving child in me has died. If what is alleged is true, then Campello's coverage is yet more proof that there is no such thing as a criminal mastermind. Even art thieves are pathetic little scavengers.

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