The good news is that three of my original “tall tree” paintings have been sold! The bad news is that the local gallery owner is refusing to pay me what we had agreed for the sale of these paintings.
I’d love to hear folk’s thoughts and advice on how to proceed! Here’s the story:
My agreement with the gallery owner is a standard 50/50 split of the retail price of sold original art (and does not cover any discounts). Without my knowledge or agreement, he sold these three paintings to his client at a 20% discount. And, he subtracted half of that discount (10% of the total sale… over $500) from the payment he has sent me. In effect, forcing me to participate in the discount he gave. This gallery has sold one other painting and, per our agreement, I was paid 50% of the retail price.
We discussed this discount after the sale was completed twice: once I even offered to participate in this discount at a lower rate and was refused; the second time I was told I would get no more money and that I could continue our discussion through litigation if I wanted to. Ouch!
As you might imagine, this issue both surprised and angered me (this gallery owner is a good friend of a family member – I mistakenly assumed a level of honesty and trust). My relationship with this gallery has ended after this sale, so I have no vested interest in maintaining it. I worked very hard to create these large paintings and would just like the full, agreed-upon payment.
What’s the right thing to do? Pursue this more? Walk away and deposit the check he gave me? Warn the other artists that he represents? Name names here on my blog?