Bartering for art by Clifford Land   2/19/2018


Along life we sometimes have windows of opportunity present themselves. Our decisions are chapters for regrets or windfall legends. I’ve been recently reminded of one such story while trying to turn an old art collection into auction house cash.

Flashing back to the late 80’s and early 90’s NYC art scene I was chasing my own art dreams. I was attracted to the possibilities after a chance meeting with artist Mark Kostabi . He was visiting my art booth at the Piedmont Art Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. I had also been checking on outdoor advertising companies in NYC., eventually they hired me as a journeyman picture artist & also some part time art assistant work with Kostabi World. I began to mix with other struggling young artists like Ron English.

I then sub leased a small studio space from Ron and Tarsa English on Chambers St. in the financial district in NYC. I painted large walls in the city like Donna Karan on Houston & Broadway during the day and at night, I painted my own art pieces.

Ron introduced me to Harry Stendhal @ Stendhal Art Gallery, allowing me an introduction into the “Low Brow” art scene in 1990. In 1992 Ron had asked me for a small $125 grocery loan . I was actually fairly tapped out but decided it would be a good idea to ask for some art in lieu of repayment. I admired his creative science fiction pop scenes. He agreed to my proposal and presented me with a large rolled up signed canvas. I agreed to remit a current small work as partial trade & barter arrangement. The English piece depicts a multi colored alien women on a sci-fi planet landscape & beach. I still own this work today. Shortly after this I fell on difficult times having recently parted ways with well known art agent bill Levine over contract conflicts. He had been promoting me around the USA @ art expos & many galleries. I moved on with my wife and kids to our ancestoral home in the east Tennessee mountains where I continue to work as an artist and continue to enjoy bartering my skills since 1994.