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Won't pay; artists, framers, assistants etcBounces checks, loses work, pisses off collectors,Has lost almost all his decent artists in the last few years because of this behaviour.BEWARE
I second all of the former "anonymous" observations. he even gave away my friend's work as a gift to ffriends (!) and without asking the artist, and without compensating that artist. he strings artists along and then drops them. truly full of crap.
Stay away from this man at all costs. He owes every single one of his artists immense amounts of money. He bounces checks on every single person that works for him. And he treats female employees very inappropriately. He is a bad person.
im not one of his artists but he has been really helpful with my applications for residencies and grants. he would always make time to visit me and discuss about my work in process. he's truly a great guy.
The finest dressed man in the New York Art World.So yeah, maybe he's a creep and a clothes horse.But he's fun at parties.Come on folks, it's the ART WORLD!
In NYC it is normal for artists to have gripes about their dealers. I am sure Michael has rubbed some of them the wrong way at one time or another (who hasn't). My own experience is that he has always paid me promptly. I have also observed that he takes chances on artists which do not result in immediate financial returns for him. Considering the cost of running a gallery that size - this is extremely generous. Michael may have "lost" a few artists - but he has gained others. Currently he represents an eclectic group of very interesting artists. Generally I would say his choices are intelligent and a testimony to the breadth of his vision. Finally, I would say that it behooves artists to have a clear business relationship with their dealers - whoever they are - leave no room for misunderstanding - no verbal agreements - everything in writing - no tears.
I have a friend who have left this gallery because of not being paid.
paid me just fine, all the assistants ONTIME. I never heard an artist complain about $ owed.
11:31 AM - Have several friends who were Assistants, multiple bounced checks. I remember for a while he couldn't get any art handlers in the city to work for him for the same reasons, the list goes on. Oh, and the comment about female employees being treated inappropriately is true as well.
i have personally heard from some of his artists that he doesnt pay and that he owes some people lots- the people who do say everything is ok are lying or just trying to make a bad situation better by bolstering the sinking ship.
for all those leaving anonymous negative comments:could you please consider that your opinions affect not only the gallery but the business of the people represented by the gallerymeaning that since this blog now comes up when you do a google search on the gallery, you are affecting the people who he represents and how they are perceived by the publicdo you really want to negatively impact the business of the artists he represents?this seems to be the opposite of what this blog was intended for...
What??? The point is to EXPOSE these scammers so the artworld doesn't end end up being owned and controlled by Madoffesque criminals. I don't think this blog in and of itself is going to destroy anyone, but it may give them the opportunity that poor Bernie never had, to develop some business ethics before the ride downtown! Until this blog, these people were largely self-policed. We all know how well that works. Remember folks, no pain, no gain and hats off to Buck Naked.
i wasn't criticizing the blogi was asking the people who comment negatively on the gallery that represents my work to please be mindful that their comments affect other people in ways that they may not have considered
Freedom of speech is one thing - but this blogs allows anyone with a gripe or an agenda to tarnish the reputation of others. In the real world these cowards would have their sorry asses sued for slander. I am one of the gallery artists. I have always been paid ON TIME. It is my principal that the artist gets paid when the gallery does. Michael has always paid me as soon as the check arrives. He has been struggling against all odds - as are other galleries at the moment - to stay afloat. So thanks, you assholes, for your vile bitching (yes - we know who you are). Grow up and do something creative with your lives.
It is significant that the complainers on this blog always phrase their poison with - "I have a friend who ...", "I know someone ..", etc - whereas the gallery artists - those with direct experience and involvement with the gallery - have NO complaints and rather commend the dealer for paying on time. I thought these comments were supposed to be from those with DIRECT experience - not twits who are seeking revenge for some imagined slight.
Is it possible to use this forum to thank him?Thank you SO MUCH Michael for your invaluable support of my work.
Why don't more artists use their own names in expressing support for their galleries? Too much anonymous rallying, especially multiple posts in a single day, looks more suspect than the anonymous "bitching". Zach Feuer and Leo Koenig, among others, have had positive comments posted by their artists. Those attributed comments go a long way in cancelling out anonymous criticism.I understand the need to post negative items anonymously.
I worked With Michael Steinberg He pays relatively quickly when he purchases art and when he pays his workers he understands that they are frequently living paycheck to paycheck and has payed all ON TIME. Despite the slander In all my dealings with him he has been honest and on time. -Jeffrey Chiedo
I am represented by Michael and I can say, frankly, that Michael has always behaved honourably in my business relationship with him and has always paid as soon as the check has arrived from the collector. I know a number of the other artists he represents and none of them has complained to me about non-payment. Initially, I thought this site a good idea - that it might prevent some of the horror stories we hear about by keeping dealers aware that nefarious behaviour can be exposed. However, this particular blog has been used as a vehicle of outright slander to hurt the reputation of a respected gallery owner. I think it is very irresponsible of the so-called moderator - the very anonymous "Buck Naked" Rat Fizz or whatever you call yourself - not to have intervened earlier in this exchange. A reading of the negative comments above shows a common thread. It begins with a general slander - which does not identify any relationship the individual may have had to the gallery. The second comment is in the same vein as is the third. From the style of those comments one may guess it is the same individual. Then the other negative posts commence with, "I have a friend who ..", "I have several friends who were ...", "I have personally heard .." etc. So you begin to notice a stylistic signature here. Obviously the work of an individual venting a grudge while pretending to speal on behalf of others. Perhaps a former assistant who was let go for the dullest incompetence?Not only has Michael behaved honourably but he is also a friend to the artists he represents and has shown great generosity in promoting them and showing their work. This is a man with a genuine love and a keen intellectual understanding of art. The slanderer in this blog has freely and without check insulted not only the dealer but also, starting with the initial comment, demonstrated disrespect for the artists he represents.Stephen Puseyhttp://stephenpusey.org
CongRATS. You've earned your dealer a green circle.
When it's good, it's cool, but hell, even in the hay day Steinberg did endless good-bad shit. You know, bouncing checks, payment deferral for years, ambivalent scheduling, etc... the good stuff is his love of art, of sculpture, painting, video, experimentation with installation... the cool gallery space, and the freedom he gives artists when they exhibit. A bunch of us had some good years with Steinberg, and fought for reciprocal respect in a gallery with administrative weaknesses. enough on the comment chain, get back to the studio.
Michael was my art dealer for a number of years. Yes, he is dapper and charming and very fun to spend time with. Although I believe he truly cares for art and artists, his inability to face up to the realities of his own business leads him to let a lot of people down - very seriously down. I gather from my own experience and from the experiences of other artists and staff members (I am close friends with numerous artists who have showed with him, and a number of his staff)that his pattern seems to be this: there is an initial honeymoon period during which he pays promptly, and then slowly things start to deteriorate. I started dealing with Michael when he was a private dealer and the relationship was very good. That was also the case when he opened the gallery, but soon he started to owe me more, and the payments got smaller and smaller, until they stopped completely. I did have signed agreements with him stating the amount of time he had to reimburse me for sales - they were eventually ignored. Although it's lovely that some artists have decided to commend good art dealer behavior on Michael's part, my fear is that they are experiencing that initial period in the relationship when Michael is on "the up and up", and soon will find that that responsible behavior will end - gradually maybe, but it will end. It's a terrible thing to be saying from one artist to another, but would be worse if nothing was said at all.I believe Michael isn't a actually an evil person (and I've met dealers who are), but is a chronic f**k-up enclosed in the persona and clothes of the most charming, chic, and well connected people you'll ever come across in NYC. For whatever reason, he is unable to face up to reality and just close his space, which is unbelievably irresponsible. Which is so Michael.
Michael is willing to support artists who are often trying to do something new and different that may not always bring immediate financial returns. A lot of artists feel they are entitled to a lot of money for their work and they demand it immediately, but they also feel that it's the responsibility of others to watch over their careers and finances, thus setting themselves up to be taken advantage of. Some art dealers are dishonest, that's for sure, but many others live lives that are almost as precarious as the artists they represent. Michael gave me and my friends a chance, offered us all the resources of the gallery and did his best to promote the show in a very bad art market. I've never heard any complaints from anyone about Michael, and I have nothing but good things to say about him and his gallery.Will Corwin
HMD Gettin' Slammed - It is significant that the complainers on this blog always phrase their poison with - "I have a friend who ...", "I know someone ..", etc - whereas the gallery artists - those with direct experience and involvement with the gallery - have NO complaints and rather commend the dealer for paying on time. I thought these comments were supposed to be from those with DIRECT experience - not twits who are seeking revenge for some imagined slight. - 10/3/09buck loves it when you attack him. helps his little ego . saying don't post it is and then him posting it is the most sad little power trip ever. although he won't post this, even though I am saying it: do not post. this blog is so over. no one cares except the people being slandered. - 10/7/09 12:52PMthat comment above is right on. I haven't heard anyone talk about this thing in a while. It's only the people being slandered using it. It's a shame it's messing with people for no productive reason. This blog has died a very slow death. - 10/8/09 8:41AMBuck - You are such a loser for cutting that last few comments about this blog. This Blog is really becoming useless. - 10/8/09 8:09PM
To all the Michael supporters, I'm glad you had a good experience with him. I did not.Michael included me in a couple of group shows (which was great) and sold a couple of pieces of mine. To date - and this is almost four years later - I have not been paid a dime. This is despite numerous (too many to count) phone calls, letters, emails, etc. While I'm not in a position to dispute posts from artists who say they've been paid promptly by Michael, any person purporting to be an MS Fine Art staff member, and claiming that they've never heard complaints from artists about payments, is - simply - lying. I have spoken to every single employee of MS Fine Art over the last four years to complain about this issue. Most (2/3 or so) of them have told me that a large part of their job is fielding calls from artists and vendors who haven't been paid. The half dozen I've run into after they've MS Fine Art have all (yes, all) told me they left because they were tired of getting screamed at by irate creditors.He is a nice guy. He is entertaining at dinner. But, if he's selling your art and not paying you for it, is that really enough?
The above comment (October 9, 2009 2:26 PM) is troubling. As a collector, I am disheartened to hear that a gallery has not paid an artist for works that were sold 4 years ago.A while back I bought a painting from a gallery with a somewhat troubling reputation. The gallery has since closed, but a few years after the sale the artist contacted me to tell me that he had not been paid. I was horrified and embarrassed that I was somehow unwittingly involved in the problem.Perhaps I am being naive, but is there an option for a collector who would like to buy from a gallery that has a bad reputation for stiffing artists to write 2 checks? One for the gallery and one "Pay To The Order Of ____________" (insert artist's name here).
As an artist who has worked closely with Michael Steinberg for many years, and as someone who is deeply aware of his gallery's activities, I find it amazing that people who should be expressing end less gratitude to him are choosing to attack him (anonymously of course) It is quite obvious who wrote the recent post that talks about honeymoon periods, and who tries to sound sincerely concerned about the well-being of other artists. A quick look at the gallery web-site shows that more than half the artists represented - including me - have been with the gallery from nearly the beginning, have had multiple shows and had their work represented in multiple fairs, All of them continue to work with the gallery - quite long honeymoons. Also the roster has been boosted by the addition of strong artists - some with already distinguished careers who left other places to join Michael. I find it very interesting that nearly none of the artists who left Michael's gallery have found any other representation.It is also fascinating that in all the blather about bad checks, no one bothers to mention that they were fully repaid. Michael Steinberg may have many faults and may be careless on the administrative side of things, but his personal commitment to the cause of underrepresented, mid-career artists is extraordinary. People also fail to mention the amount of volunteer work he has done on behalf of not-for-profit's in the city.
Michael bought a work on paper by me from my dealer. Payment was a little slow, but it was made. Either I was lucky, or the negative comments here are exaggerated.
Michael loves art. He is a terrible business man. And unfortunately a deadbeat. He was sued by his top selling artist for non-payment of a five figure sum. He sold a little piece of mine, which probably would have cost him less than his monthly dry-cleaning bill, and never paid me, despite repeated promises. Personally, I like him, but I wouldn't trust him an inch.
I am an artist represented by Michael and I have been paid, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. He is a terrible administrator and I have no reason to disbelieve the stories about other unpaid bills. Unfortunately, the distinction between who gets paid and who doesn't is probably made according to who he wants to continue working with. This is not a good situation. But I am grateful for his support and I do believe he loves art and people. I had heard the rumors before I joined but I joined anyway because I respect quite a few of the other artists and that is quite a rare commodity. I was also obviously happy to have a gallery since until then I had been unrepresented in New York forever. There is something to be said for a dealer who takes on people like me, who are not a sure bet at all. I am waiting to see what act two (or ten) will look like.
This man won't pay you and I am one of them with experience. If you just want to hang out in a cafe or bar only for a nice talk, yes yes yes as someone said here, he could be helpful for sure haha..and if you are a woman, you might get more attention from him. BUT If you want to work with him as an artist, better listen to the people (probably the majority) here. Beware a dog beware MS.
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