A British artist who claims his work was reproduced and distributed by art:i:curate without his consent, has gone online to express his anger about the incident and his subsequent treatment.
London-based artist Luke Turner has published an email conversation with the organisation which he says shows that the art:i:curate network created prints of his work, which were then passed off as special editions as part of a Kickstarter campaign for the organisation. “It was done entirely without my knowledge,” says Turner. “They had absolutely no right to do this.”
Turner accepts that he agreed that art:i:curate, which showcases emerging artists on its website and organises exhibitions based on what its members like, could reproduce his work as free postcards.
However, he says that he didn’t consent for posters to be made and had no idea that they were being sent out to people who had backed the organisation’s Kickstarter campaign. He only found out, he says, when he was contacted by someone who had received a print of his work after backing art:i:curate’s Kickstarter. “I haven’t managed to track down any further prints so far, since I haven’t been able to contact any of the other Kickstarter backers,” says Turner.
Launched in March 2013, art:i:curate was set up by friends Irina Turcan and Nur Elektra El Shami. Responding to Turner’s claims, they sent the following statement to a-n news:
“art:i:curate raised funds to organise exhibitions featuring over 25 artists through the support and donations of its friends, family and immediate network through Kickstarter in April 2013, before the collaboration with Mr Turner started. Mr Turner’s work was not mentioned on Kickstarter.
“art:i:curate and Mr Turner agreed in June to create cards to promote the artist and his work. Due to unfortunate staff misunderstandings, a mistake occurred and once it came to our attention, we acknowledged the mistake and the artist’s concerns, apologised and returned the prints.
“It is art:i:curate’s goal to support and promote the work of emerging artists. Over the last year, we have promoted over 100 artists in 40 countries. We remain committed to this mission.”
Turner, however, remains unconvinced by art:i:curate’s explanation, maintaining that rather than a misunderstanding, he was misled. He says: “What is most disturbing is that I would not have found out about any of this had that one backer not contacted me out of the blue with a query about the print he had acquired.”