I typically don’t write negative posts, nor do I give personal opinions on people but I felt that this was something that needed to be said. I’ve mentioned time and time again how important it is to know who you are buying artwork from. It’s one of these important things that often gets overlooked and a reason why I pride myelf as being the primary seller of my work, other than that which is sold aftermarket.
Art Dealer Arrested On Art Fraud and Forgery Charges
According to an article recently published in the News-Press today, a man by the name of Eric Ian Hornak Spoutz, who is the former owner of Gallery 928 in Cape Coral, FL was arrested today.
The 32-year-old art dealer was arrested in Los Angeles in connection with wire fraud and selling forged artwork. The art dealer goes by a bunch of aliases such as Robert Chad Smith and James Sinclair to name just a few and he could rightfully spend 20 years in the slammer for all of this.
If you’re interested in reading the written complaint that was published you can do so right here.
However, the main purpose of publishing this article was not to out this guy even though it makes me sick to see dealers do this. It was to once again educate collectors on how truly important it is that you be extra careful when purchasing artwork. I’ve actually written an article on the overall importance verifying artwork in a previous post. If you have time, I’d suggest reading the article.
I always recommend purchasing your art directly from the artist themselves if the artist is still selling or from an authorized dealer.
And most importantly, when in doubt, be sure to think it out! That means calling the artist directly, if possible, to further verify that the piece, is in fact, authentic.