Saturday, June 19, 2010

Online Contest Mill Wannabe?

Originally posted June 16, 2010.

Someone calling himself Dave Bown Projects is offering $5000 in prizes to winners of the "1st Semiannual Competition." Costs $30 to enter. Might be legit, might not. Lots of signs it might be just an easy way to raise some capital: 1) Virtually nothing else on his website except a series of images by well-known contemporary artists. Nothing to say what they are doing there; perhaps they exist to give the prospective entrant the idea the he/she will be in good company. 2) Whatever he is doing, has just started, as Dave Bown Projects is not referenced anywhere else in Google but by his site and by the various competition listings he has submitted his contest to. 3) Nevertheless, his "about" page says DBP started in 2005. 4) Bown claims he will "produce a Press Release and obtain Reviews" and then goes on to say "our private network (offline database) includes over 13,000 contacts spanning over 80 countries. Furthermore, we will have an announcement sent via email to an aggregate of over 76,000 subscribers."

As someone who has worked in the field, I can tell you sending a press release is unlikely to obtain reviews of a online show of 25 images by people who are submitting to contests at $30 a pop and showing in a space with no track record. He doesn't tell us who those subscribers are. If they are not people interested in buying art, it doesn't matter how many of them there are. Also, he announces he will be buying art himself. There's only one reason to make such an announcement: to induce people to enter the contest.

It takes only 167 submissions at $30 to equal the prize money. Putting on a contest like this takes some overhead, but the rest is pure profit. Nothing wrong with a legitimate contest, but look out for ones making questionable statements.

33 comments:

  1. Yes, i don't trust it either. I agree with your points above.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It IS fishy. He has his applicants "apply" and send images along with money, starting at $40. He feigns interest in the work for a brief period of time then you don't hear from him for a while and receive an application request for the next competition. It's completely bogus. Stay away from it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re: He feigns interest in the work for a brief period of time
      So why haven't you spoken to the people involved?

      Re: ... and receive an application request for the next competition.
      Really ... who (specific email address) sent that to you?

      Delete
  3. I agree. the first reading made me very suspicious and the second I went no this is not right. has anyone spoken to a "winner".? He says not to contact the jurors ? well it would be the juror that would be able to say if this is ok>

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  4. I agree. Everything about this "walks like a duck,..."

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  5. It seems like one more scam that preys on the dreams of "Desperate Artists"

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  6. Dear Anonymous April 4, 2012 4:35 AM

    Libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image.
    Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation

    Re: He feigns interest in the work for a brief period of time
    Please tell me, what facts are you basing your story on?

    Re: ... and receive an application request for the next competition.
    Really ... who (specific email address) sent that to you?

    Sincerely,

    Dave

    Dave Bown
    (917) 365-5265
    info@davebownprojects.com

    davebownprojects.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Benny Shaboy

    Libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image.

    Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation

    Is there a specific reason why you are defaming the company and me?

    Re: Also, he announces he will be buying art himself. There's only one reason to make such an announcement: to induce people to enter the contest.
    Well, as you must know: Dave Bown Projects (the company, not me) will be buying works of art from artists as submissions are received.
    I believe that artists (society, the world) would be better off if more people bought works of art. And I am not sure how your line of thinking fits into the big picture since I have been buying works of art well before Dave Bown Projects existed.

    Sincerely,

    Dave

    Dave Bown
    (917) 365-5265
    info@davebownprojects.com

    davebownprojects.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. There was nothing defamatory about this blog post. When you put yourself out into the world, Dave Brown, you will be subject to criticism. And I, for one, agree with each and every statement in this thread. When I read the contest details, I cringed. And when I went to your web site, I cringed even more.

    I mean, why in the world do you have so many famous artists names listed? As this blog post says, they're there for no apparent reason, other than to give the contest more legitimacy.

    If you want to get into legal issues, I'm sure Chuck Close would not appreciate his name being associated with this "project." Unless, of course, he's an endorser, which is what your site implies. Should I contact his office and ask his people about this?

    Mary Ann

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Mary Ann (Anonymous October 24, 2012 7:24 PM)

    Please note that there is no “r” in my last name.

    Re: When I read the contest details, I cringed. And when I went to your web site, I cringed even more.

    Why?

    Re: I mean, why in the world do you have so many famous artists names listed? As this blog post says, they're there for no apparent reason, other than to give the contest more legitimacy.

    Please tell me, have you read the press release for the Online Project?
    davebownprojects.com/online_project_press_release.html
    The Online Project was not a competition and has nothing to do with the Competitions. And I am looking at the davebownprojects.com website statistics and the top viewed artist pages are artists that are featured under competitions ... not artists under Online Project.

    Re: If you want to get into legal issues, I'm sure Chuck Close would not appreciate his name being associated with this "project." Unless, of course, he's an endorser, which is what your site implies. Should I contact his office and ask his people about this?

    All appropriate parties (artists, gallerist, museums, estates, trusts, etc.) granted permission ... and provided images and caption information to Dave Bown Projects for the Online Project. Please read the caption information for each image (e.g., Image provided by Pace Editions, New York).

    Please tell me, have you read the press release for the Online Project?
    davebownprojects.com/online_project_press_release.html

    “This project has been made possible due to the generosity of artists and organizations ... A few of the participating organizations are The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston; The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.”

    Sincerely,

    Dave

    Dave Bown
    (917) 365-5265
    info@davebownprojects.com

    davebownprojects.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dear Benny Shaboy

    Please tell me, what specifically are you trying to accomplish by your negative blog post?

    Please tell me, what specifically are you trying to accomplish by permitting people to anonymously post negative comments on your blog?

    Sincerely,

    Dave

    Dave Bown
    (917) 365-5265
    info@davebownprojects.com

    davebownprojects.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was also curious about this contest and its legitimacy. I agree that there could be more information about the contest, especially since the criteria for participation is almost too open (any artist in any style/media - no restrictions on date the work was made, etc). However, I do personally know one of the $1,000 winners, and they did receive a check. Also, I've talked to a prior juror who confirmed that they judged one of the competitions, even though the process was a little unusual.

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  12. It's real as real can get. Look at his jurors ... Did he make them up as well?
    Oh and the award money that's fake too, just play money I guess.
    And the artist that enter, well I their just made up, a part of the scam right?.

    ReplyDelete
  13. There Dave,
    Your kindness and success will inform those who posted negative thoughts about your project. I am an artis and I have entered your 1st Semiannual Competition but I was not selected. Just because I was not selected does not mean your project is a scam. Selection into a competition depends on mode and interest of the Jurrors. The fact that you added you will be buying artwork from the artists is the major reason why they are writing all these negative thoughts. I was even suprised that you responded to their messages, you should have let your success inform them like I siad earlier. They should all go to hell if they need additional information about your projects. I don;t know dave but i believe this man did not force anybody to participate.If anyone is interested fine but if you are not go back to the studio and paint. that is when i will recorgnise you as a bussy and good artists busy artists don't have time for this trash.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear Dave,
    Your kindness and success will inform those who posted negative thoughts about your project. I am an artist and I have entered your 1st Semiannual Competition but I was not selected. Just because I was not selected does not mean your project is a scam or you try to raise capital like they mentioned. Selection into a competition depends on the Jurror's mode and interest. The fact that you added you will be buying artwork from the artists is the major reason why they are writing all these negative thoughts. I was even amazed that you responded to their messages, you should have let your success inform them like I siad earlier.Don't be amazed if any of them entered into this competitions in the future. They should all go to hell if they need additional information about your projects. I don't know Mr.Dave Bown but I believe this man did not force anyone to participate.If anyone of you is interested fine if not go back to the studio and paint. This will make me respect all of you more because busy artists don't have time for this trash.

    Go back to the studio develop your own style you will win award one day.

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  15. Has anyone verified this contest's legitimacy?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mr. Brown, much of this can be resolved by displaying all the wonderful art that you have purchased. This in itself would double the amount of applicants. Also. post your numbers. After all, this contest is legitimate right?. It is very possible that tens of thousands across the world have come to this competition with great hopes. Those application figures could be rather high agree?
    So. just reveal all Mr. Brown...And do it quickly, for the internet ebbs and flows.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I personally think its not a scam. It doesn't actually have to be. How hard is it to find,payout jurors whatever. and even all the awards mentioned.
    The word is disclosure Mr Brown.
    Disclosure.
    You NEED a separate site focused on education, altruism and a sense of social responsibility. Viewers find your collections, museum partnering ventures. etc.
    In the event you need assistance in these areas, let me know. I can help you,running a powerful,responsible site that engages and helps artists. It can educate them, show currently "watched" works. Highlight pages with current art topics around the world.on and on. contact me and lets go.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'd like to see work, the results, the photographers who have won, their websites, in short, the entire chain from entry to payoff. This is exactly how every other legit competition does it. I'd like to enter but I can't afford to throw my money at a contest that seems dubious. The sudden appearance of positive reviews in succession is a bit fishy too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree. Especially since they are all defensive comments and anonymous.

      It seems fishy. That was literally my first impression. As artists we have to be able to take judgement and criticism in order to improve our work our websites etc. Why is criticism not allowed of the Dave bown mystery art competition? Why is he threatening people on here? Seems like a business (scam) not a competition truly vested in the arts.

      I will contact the college art association and ask them to investigate.

      Delete
    2. Dear another Troll (Anonymous December 2, 2016 at 7:47 AM)?

      Are you serious?

      first off you are posting as Anonymous, so that says a lot right there.

      I think your replies to the next 3 question will be an enthusiastic “no”:

      1.) have you ever talked with Mr. Bown?

      2.) have you talked with any of that Artists that won?

      3.) have you talked with any of the Museum Curators that have been Jurors?

      So where exactly is anyone threatening anyone?

      and my dear, the art competition would not be so "mysterious" to you of you actually went to the secret website where the past jurors and past prize recipients are revealing what really goes on at Dave Bown Projects:

      http://davebownprojects.com/about.html

      and have fun and good luck talking with the folks at the College Art Association about Dave Bown Projects which organizes the best art competitions in the world.

      Warmest wishes,

      Alice R. Travesty

      Delete
  19. I am one of the short listed artists for the latest Dave Bown Project. After reading the comments and looking more into this competition, I am kind of disappointed with the way Mr. Bown runs this competition. After I was shorted listed, I sent an email asking Mr. Bown the number of total submissions (this is a public information for all the other legit competitions I have participated in the past), because I need that information to apply for future grants/awards and even my immigration EB-1A green card application. However Mr. Bown refuses to disclose such information. He wrote me back: "We respectfully and strongly disagree with that practice. The total number of applicants (quantity) to a program (undergraduate school, grant, competition, residency, etc.) says nothing about the quality of applicants."
    Of course, the total number of applications says nothing about the quality of application. However, the total number of applications says the SIZE of this particular competition. And I think all the participants, no matter win/shortlist the competition or not, have the RIGHT to know the size of the competition. Even for a perspective applicant, it is better for he or she to know what kind of competition he or she is getting into. It is merely a fact about this competition. A fact that is not subjective to the judge or anyone else. Why it has to stay as a mystery? Many other grants/awards I am applying simply need me to provide the information about my past competitions such as the SIZE.
    Another thing I noticed, as every else. Mr. Bown says he is going to purchase art along the competition, which has been run for 7 times. Did he purchase any? I can not find any information, at least on the website. The site should have a tab showing the names and artwork he collected throughout the 7 competitions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much revenue do you (Mr. or Ms. SIZE matters) bring in each year from selling your art?

      How much of that revenue is profit?

      How much do you How much revenue do you (Mr. or Ms. SIZE matters) spend each year buying art by other artists?

      Delete
  20. “Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.”

    ― Andy Warhol

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  21. Geesh, so many discontented artists out there. Have a little faith. I have paid my $40 and will take my chances to see what professionals think. I do not expect to be bought nor do I care what he has bought. That is his prerogative.
    I will let you know how things turn out. My best scenario is that someone sees enough potential in my art to look. Anything else is like winning the lottery, sometimes you win and most times, lose.

    ReplyDelete
  22. All the people that have posted negative, slanderous, or defamatory comments anonymously might not have heard that ...

    ... 'Anonymous Posters to Pay $13 Million for Defamatory Comments:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/jury-awards-13-million-texas-defamation-suit-anonymous/story?id=16194071

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  23. this contest has been around enough now that it should have generated some press, or publications by some journalists.........where is that?

    ReplyDelete
  24. http://www.examiner.com/article/artist-marcus-jansen-wins-5th-semiannual-dave-bown-projects-competition

    ReplyDelete
  25. another troll (Anonymous November 30, 2015 at 12:59 PM)?

    A fantastic article posted almost 3 years ago by Thomas Hall on Dave Bown Projects and prize recipient Marcus Jansen.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/artist-marcus-jansen-wins-5th-semiannual-dave-bown-projects-competition

    Nevertheless, what’s more important: reading the opinion of an outsider or reading about the experiences and successes of artists and jurors that have participated?

    Kind of a silly question I know. It would be the same thing as asking a person that’s never been to Disneyland how much fun Disneyland was.

    Oh and I found the secret link of where the past jurors and past prize recipients are revealing what really goes on at Dave Bown Projects:
    http://davebownprojects.com/about.html

    on a serious note, do you have any idea of how valuable and good it is for Dave Bown Projects that this blog and comments are still here?

    And yes that definitely includes the negative comments.

    Do you have any idea how much money this type of publicity on this one blog would cost Dave Bown Projects if they had to pay for it?

    oh and looks like the last Tweet Dave Bown Projects sent out to about 83,000 of his Twitter Followers got over 1,300 Re Tweets.
    https://twitter.com/DaveBownProject

    Warmest wishes,

    Alice R. Travesty

    ReplyDelete
  26. I applied to the competition and won one of the prizes. It was surprisingly straight forward and encouraging. Thank you.

    Adrian Tone
    adriantone.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations on your win! Thank you for posting here.

      Delete
  27. The Dave Bown you refer to is not the same one I'm acquainted with. Dave Bown Projects is legit and offers a total of $10,000 in awards. The jury is usually made up of three reputable members of the art world and this is now the 14th semiannual competition. I have spoken with Mr. Bown and found him to be straight forward and having a sincere interest in promoting the arts.
    Any competition is a risk. If you haven't learned how to accept rejection and/or success then don't bother taking the plunge!

    ReplyDelete