I purchased an original piece of art from Park West Gallery on a Cruise in August. I was told that the painting was aquired from another auction house by the Park West Auctioneer. I was told that the canvas would be restretched and framed exactly in the manner I had viewed it.
A couple of weeks later I received a phone call stating that there was a problem with the piece. I called the company, but the response from the company was that there was not a problem with the artwork.
Upon receiving the piece, I received a letter stating that the art had been aquired directly from the artist. The art was also classified as unique and not original. Most importantly, the painting had been altered leaving smudges all over the canvas. The paint was not of the same type of consistancy. The work smelled of oil paint and had not yet dried. The canvas was ruined. Further, the painting of substantial cost was not framed in a heavy wooden frame like on the ship; the frame was partially plastic.
I promptly called the gallery and reported the painting as damaged and misprepresented. After a series of eight or nine phone calls, I was told that the painting had been cleaned, it had been restored, it was authentic, not original, damage might have occured do to salt air, Park West was the first owner of the work, etc. Nobody seemed to have the same story.
I was told I would have to keep the art. Later, I was told I would have to pay a restocking fee. Finally, a 'manager' using the term loosely had the painting picked up to be inspected. Thank goodness, I took pictures of the damage down to the canvas. The 'manager' later called and said the painting was not damaged but again needed to be cleaned, but the frame had been damaged and fixed.
I did not contract to have the painting restored or cleaned. I sincerely doubt that Park West would agree to such because both processes, done correctly, are difficult and time consuming. Their idea of restoration or cleaning damaged the painting to the point that it is not original, and they have attempted to pass it off as unique.
Despite my efforts to rectify the situation, I have had to place a dispute on my credit card, file a complaint with the BBB, and hire an attorney.
I am unwilling to accept a restocking fee or another piece of art to replace the original that I bought. Park West mispresented the piece, damaged it, committed fraud, and broke the contract. Park West did not send me the painting that I contracted to buy.
I would never do business with this company again. It is unbelievable to me that this company is allowed to conduct business in such a manner. Also, I sincerely doubt that the artist would appreciated her work being passed off as an original after being altered by what appears to be an amatuer. What I received is clearly substandard, and I cannot believe that the artist would want her name attached to this disaster.
Since I signed nothing stating I would accept the painting once it was returned to the company, the company tried to send it back to me. I will not accept it, as I was told that they would take it back, obvious as they arranged the pick up.
It is my intent to pursue legal action and not be bullied into such treatment. It is my advice to both customers and artists to refuse to deal with Park West in any form or fashion.