We recently got an email via Artists UK Dotnet from a French lady complaining about Château des Réaux (see other plentiful previous posts and comments on Château des Réaux !). It runs as follows:-
Désolée de répondre en français! Je suis également une “victime” de Château des Réaux. Je ne conteste pas le prix bas qui a été proposé, puisque je l’ai accepté. Cependant il était prévu une exposition au château des Réaux et dans d’autres lieux similaires en échange de l’abandon des droits annexes. Puisque l’exposition n’a pas eu lieu, ne peut-on contester les droits annexes ?
This translates into English for our non-French speakers as follows –
Sorry to reply in French! I am also a “victim” of Chateau des Reaux. I do not deny the low price that has been proposed, since I have accepted it. However, it was anticipated that there would be exposure at the Chateau des Reaux and other similar places in exchange for the abandonment of the ancillary rights. Since this exposure has not occurred, can we challenge the ancillary rights?
Hmmm, I think the answer is probably not. The whole point of the controversy over this “offer” was that the artist signs away any right to be associated with their original artwork for what, to most artists, is considered a pitance. Since, by the terms of their contract, Château des Réaux do not seem obliged to credit the artist at all, I’m not quite sure what kind of exposure at Château des Réaux or elsewhere would be of benefit to the artist anyway. Wasn’t the final verdict on Château des Réaux something along the lines of “avoid Château des Réaux unless you are totally desperate to sell a painting” or were we misreading the range of comments we received?
Château des Réaux have still not sent us the information we requested. However, one of the artists in contact with us who was considering submitting paintings to the art exhibition competition did get a reply from them with the list of the judges for the competition. Since they don’t want the names published we will honour that but we will give some details that artists thinking of submitting their oil paintings might like to consider. Château des Réaux state the following: “The acceptance of works is decided by a jury, the members of which are figures of art and literature.”
There are five members of the jury who will decide what artworks are accepted etc. Of these, one is a published French art critic whose inclusion would appear quite valid. However, the other members are one poet (guess who), two civil servants and someone who works for an auction house (as yet unnamed). Four of the five members are French. We are really not sure why these people have been chosen and how they can be deemed qualified to judge this competition. It seems like a case of “it’s my game and I’ll choose anyone I like”. Certainly it is hardly an international jury and to describe these people as “figures of art and literature” is really stretching the concept in most cases. In any event, what would a “figure of literature” be doing judging an art competition anyway? Would you have Salvador Dali, Gil Elvgren, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and HR Giger deciding who gets the Booker prize?
After reading the list of judges, the artist who contacted us decided not to send her paintings off to Château des Réaux, thanked us for our blog and immediately sold one of the paintings for far more than 305 Euros and without losing her copyright on it :-)