Art gallery spam! Now I’ve seen it all.

I recently found this gem in my inbox from a man whose last name and first name is Craig and he lives in London and specialized in a contemporary art movement called “ART SALE”.

Well, he did not actually address me by my first name, or last name (maybe having a different first and last name is confusing to his mono-name traditions and values) but I know he sees the vast ART SALE potential I possess and reached across the Atlantic ocean with an email and employment form to me. They are such big players in the international art scene, they do not refer to Toronto by name but instead as “around your city”.

Also, there is so much money to be made in the ART SALE scene that they can deduct 10% from my pay *before* it becomes available to send to me.

… but seriously folks, this is a spam as I’ve never seen it. I know, I’ve been an email marketer for many years and we are all used to oil barons, government funds, email lotteries and men’s herbal medicines. But a spam scam under the guise of working for an art gallery!? Hilarious but also concerning – this seems to relevant to me as an arts blogger to be coincidence. Much like Google ads are chosen by the context of your email or web history, I suspect this is also using my online behavior but I am not sure how.

If so it is very clever spam, but also incredibly stupid for picking an industry as particular and devoid of available funds as the fine arts.

Below is pasted the email. Enjoy.


My name is Craig and I am the Human Resource Manager for London Art in United Kingdom. London art is the UK’s largest online gallery with a huge collection of contemporary art from the four corners of the globe. Founded in 1997. We are into ART SALE, PAINTINGS SALE,SCULPTURE SALE and PRINTS FOR SALE.

We are looking for a Representative around your city and your job description is as below:


Recieve payment from our buyer by BALANCE TRANSFER i.e (CREDIT CARD) making of payment dirtectly in to your credit card account.
2. Cash Payments at your Bank
3. Deduct 10% which will be your commission on each payment processed.
4. Forward balance afetr deduction of 10% commission to offices which shall be provided by us as soon as the fund becomes available


Full Legal Name :
Address :
City :
Zip code :
Nationality :
Home Number:
Cell Number:
Company name:


Warmest Regards,
London Art

TIAF 2009 galleries fail to communicate – who is utilizing email campaigns to market exhibits?

I’ve handed out hundreds of cards (especially at the Toronto International Art Fair 2009) asking to be put on an email list and so far I am maybe getting about a dozen galleries sending news in my inbox.

That is not a very impressive ratio so far.  Especially considering I spent three days at the sprawling contemporary visual art festival introducing myself and shaking hands. There are few who informed me they do not send out emails regularly, if at all due to a representing a small cadre of artists with no actual physical gallery space (seems like email should be more important in this circumstance!.

Others are still only using paper mail for their lists – hey, even though I have made a choice to try to be as paper-free as possible I have to admit I love paper art invites and publications. However, this is simply no excuse to exclude a huge segment of the art demographic.

Art is getting very, very hot in social media and the online community – young professionals are collecting work more than I have seen in the last decade, and they connect online for information and events.  Affordable prints (and perhaps more importantly browse-able works) on websites like Circuit Gallery or 20×200 ensure these art dealers are future-ready and not slowly diminishing into obscurity.

Where is the art love?

Listed below are the TIAF galleries that email me art news and because of this end up regularly mentioned on websites and blogs – including mine. (sign me up!

Outstanding Email Communications:

Mike Weiss Gallery (simply one of the best gallery marketing emails in my inbox – images, and a link back to relevant content to the press release)

Galerie Orange (with social media links right there in the email – right on)

Park Walk Gallery (from England – a personal email to thank me for my email and including a reference to meeting me at TIAF. Now that’s a superb confirmation / introduction email! )

Median Contemporary (Rui emails about once a month with varied and relevant art happenings. His gallery also seems to be one of the handful that are not totally dependent on a third party service for sending out (and hosting) any and all news)

Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain (BTW if you do a consistent, professional translation of your content to french then generally you can count on a traffic increase of about 20% Though generally it seems our relevant online demographic cares less about language and just wants the image, name, location and links. )

David Kaye Gallery (great print / digital branding templates)

Ingram Gallery (excellent email content and lay out i.e. “on the wall at ingram right now” – whoever is doing communications at Ingram really gets this whole intertubes email marketing thing)

Honourable Mentions:

Art Mûr

Bau-Xi Gallery

Galerie D’este

Roberts Gallery

Parisian Laundry


Christopher Cutts Gallery

Lausberg Contemporary