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February 10, 2006

AIPAD NYC Fair & The 1st MAO : Greedy Art Dealer AWARD

The Curators and Collectors AIPAD Preview yesterday over at the 7th Regiment Armory was a poorly attended event yesterday. The AIPAD Fair is there till Feb 12th.  It looks good, lots of things to see, a few early MAO observations..

1. It seemed smaller than last years Fair.

2. No heat in the building, you could see your breath in parts of the fair.

3. I counted 11 Dealers who had Diane Arbus Prints for Sale, all at pretty high prices.

4. There was a surprising lack of New Color Photography, may dealer were strictly vintage B&W.

Now, I've never been a fan of buying secondary works at Art Fairs. I'm much more of an Auction Junkie. I think it's best to find (one or 2) honest/knowledgeable/trustworthy dealers to work exclusively with to find secondary pieces for your collection.  But there's one thing that drives me absolutely bat shit crazy nuts... Dealer buying something at a very recent auction, and then marking it up immediately to an insane price. I believe there's a funny commercial by Ameritrade... that jokes about this. It's always on CNBC. Which gave me the idea to create something new.

The 1st Official MOA :


Mrgreedyartdealer      Now, as you might imagine, the competition is steep for such a shady prestigious award. And sad to say, there were several worthy contenders at the Fair.  But for this years, AIPAD 2006, it goes hands down to the GREEDY, Irresponsible, Rip Your Clients Off, Should Probably Be Barred From The AIPAD Association, Janet Lehr Inc/Vered Art an NYC/East End LI thief gallery.

So this greedy dealer purchased 2 Robert Mapplethorpe Color Photo's at the Christies October 10th sale. (results attached).. I know.. cause I was sitting right behind them in the auction room.

Lot 230.. Mapplethorpe's "Orchid, 1989" 22.5x22.5 #1/5 signed by the estate sold for $19,200. Now Offered at $85,000 by Janet Lehr Inc/Vered Art

Lot 235...Mapplethorpe's "Jack-in-the-Pulpit, 1988" 26.5x20.5, #2/7 Signed by the artist, sold for $22,800, Now Offered at $95,000 by Janet Lehr Inc/Vered Art

Granted you say.. well they took the risk, they saw the value in these 2 photographs. Maybe, but these are not works by an unknown artist... it's Robert Mapplethorpe's Flower Photos, which are as much of a known value as it gets in photography collecting.   But charging a 443% Mark-UP on the first one, and a 417% Mark-Up on the second photo in a 4 month time period borders on criminal. I'm all for dealers and artists making money for all the great work they do.. but a 400% mark up is not reasonable. It's Predatory !!  And it's sad that people like this make me (and I'm sure others) really distrust so many art dealers for being nothing more than taking advantage of their customers. My advice, stay far away, and never buy anything from Janet Lehr Inc/Vered Art.

Please Don't reward this type of Greedy Unethical Behavior!  And frankly.. I think other dealers should be mad at these stupid greedy people as well.. it gives your profession a bad reputation!


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Well... some people!

I guess it's hers to do what she wants to with. But... anybody that would spend that much money on a picture would probably know this already... I hope. Not a smart move to attempt selling it a few months aftery buying it and in the same town with a lot of auction buyers here.

Good call!

Don't know why I was expecting to see a different image of Mr. Greedy. Maybe it's because I have associated images of the current administration with that title?

That is hilarious! I saw the two Mapplethorpe prints at these ridiculous prices and laughed. However, I did not know she had just bought them at auction, which makes it even better. Lehr always has crazy prices. Check out her American paintings some time. Just silly, really. Also take time to visit her gallery in East Hampton. Strange place. Expensive artworks in direct sunlight and no air conditioning. . .

Another view at the AIPAD. The flip side. Prior to the show, I had been in touch with Janet Russek(Schienbaum & Russek) regarding a Bullock print I was interested in. I had no prior contact with her, and she didn't know me from a cold stone. After seeing the Bullock, I decided to take a pass. After going through the show, I walked by her booth again to take another look at the print, and came to the same conclusion. No sales pressure, no hype, no trying to move me to another print. As I was leaving, and after thanking her for her time, she identified another dealer(needless to say, a competitor) who had a Bullock print which she thought I might like. There was nothing in it for her, other than her desire to help me locate a fine quality Bullock print, as I was not even a client. It was heartening to deal with a professional with values based in community instead of personal profit.

Why shouldn't Janet Lehr make a substantial profit on her investment in a Mapplethorpe at Christie's. Why are YOU so resentful and angry about that! I don't hear you complaining that "collectors" are paying astronomical sums for Metropolitan Museum of Art deaccessions. Dealers sit there scratching there heads at these prices thinking maybe I'm selling my material to cheap and why aren't these buyers patronizing dealers who are selling equally good pieces at a fraction of the price. God Bless the "free market" and democracy (but not George Bush)!!!

Deith ke Lellis,
There's a differnece between making an honest profit, and taking advantage of your client. Seeing 400% mark ups in 4 months by Janet is exactly the reason why people would rather take the risk and buy at auction. Collectors don't trust dealers because we see this crap all the time!

It's foolish for a dealer to do something like this cause someone who has $100k to spend on a single photo would probably be aware of the recent auction prices or what prices other dealers are offing the exact same print.

IMO Janet is a stain on the Art Dealer Profession. Other art professionals should be mad at her for doing this!

Hi, if you are still intrested in a muniz medusa plate I have one.
greetings from Amsterdam

If you have a problem with it don't buy it. The beauty of capitalism is that it gives all of us freedom of choice, hers to mark them up and us to say no thank you. Don't get angry, buy somewhere else

If you have a problem with it don't buy it. The beauty of capitalism is that it gives all of us freedom of choice, hers to mark them up and us to say no thank you. Don't get angry, buy somewhere else

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