I was approached some months ago by Angelo, who is a co-owner of Pink Monkey Water. He frequented the starbucks in which I worked and had made friendly conversation with me. One day while I worked he came up to me while looking at the wall of my artwork I had displayed in the store and told me he had around 1,000 dollar budget for a painting that he wanted to put in his new office. He had told me that they were moving into a building right here in new milford. He told me that he wanted the painting to be large, around 4ft. by 4ft. Which in the art business, is a large painting, and very costly. He told me he wanted the pink monkey logo and wanted his bottle and our planet to be incorporated into the painting. I instantly knew what i would do and told him of my idea. He even went so far as to tell me he would pay me half in advance. At this point i was excited because it is not every day that you get commissioned to do a large piece. So we talked about it and I told him I would start right away; and I did. I finished it within the week. I spent hours and hours on it each day, and finished what I thought to be his exact vision. His pink monkey sitting cross-legged (like buddah) in space with planet earth in one hand and his pink monkey bottle in the other. One a space ship flying out of the scene had the letters "Pink Monkey Water" on it. Here is a photo of the finished piece which is 3ft. by 4ft. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6901168#!/photo.php?fbid=887366144040&set=a.828568529930.2295495.6901168&type=1&theater ..... So i told him I was done and saw him at a local food establishment that next week (cookhouse) and he said how excited he was, and how good he thought it was. I had put it up at starbucks on that wall so that he would be surprised when he went in. It received compliments from everyone who saw it, and i told angelo that I would keep it up for a little while and he said he would come into starbucks and pay me the next week. Which at that point was the discussed 1,000 dollars. Next week rolled around and he was a no show, in fact he has not come into starbucks another time since he commissioned me to do the painting. At this point I thought him a nice guy and gave him the benefit of the doubt, that he was busy. Then week after week he would tell me that he was busy, or that he was out of town, or that he would call me, that he would meet me, and never did. This happened for months and months until finally I emailed Nancy, who is co-owner of pink monkey water. I emailed her in hopes that we could find a solution, and I even dropped the price of the painting to 500 dollars, which is reasonable for such a large painting. I have personally sold smaller paintings for 500 dollars. I was met with a quite confusing response, one saying that angelo had no recollection of ever asking me to make such a painting, and that i was lying. Here is the hateful email word for word:
Still your story does match Angelo's. He maintains he did not ask you or commission you to paint the painting. I suspect that when our product first came out you, like everyone else, was very excited about it and our monkey is pretty fun. So why not paint him. People are motivated and do alot of different things in this world none of which I
can explain, understand or really care about.
The fact of the matter is that no one asked you to paint the picture and what you are asking for it now is outrageous and borders on extortion! Apparently your "impression" was wrong. Once again, we have art work in our home by masters who have art in museums around the world and we would be hard pressed to get the dollar figure you are asking for your painting.
Frankly, I saw the painting when it was hanging in Starbucks and I would never pay what you are asking. Where it is cute, it is simple, amateurish, has nothing to do with our concept and not worth what you are trying to strong arm us for.
I am sure you are a nice guy and had good intentions but I am not interested in your painting for ANYTHING close to what you are asking. Too rich for me for what it is. If we were able to make some kind of deal, really, I would put it in my garage. Not interested in hanging it in my office.
I have made 100's of paintings, why would i waste my time with such a project. I am not one to jump on the bandwagon.
I for one, consider myself to be a well respected young artist within my community. My goal in making art is not to rip anyone off, but to make people happy. Art is about the enjoyment of the act. As most artists will agree, selling a piece is simply a plus, but never the main goal. I am not a malevolent, extortion artist, as this email would accuse me of. I am simply an artist who was asked to make a painting for a company, who i thought at the time, had a great message. I found out the hard way that I need to get such an agreement in writing.
I do not wish to sell the painting to angelo and nancy for any amount of money at this point. I just wish for people to know the injustice of which I so undeservedly am the brunt of. I did not wish to be insulted, but it seems that is the way they do business. I am not a liar, and I wish that things did not turn out this way.
And if you believe that all I want is attention, think of this first. I have friends, family, co-workers, customers that knew about the fruition of the pink monkey painting. I have a whole slew of people backing me on this one. I am not just some dumb kid that can be pushed around. I am a college educated 25 year old, and such is the reason for this post.
Maybe if they had said, "I am sorry, I was wrong" or "I can't afford the painting right now" I would have let this go. But instead I was treated like trash, and called a liar by someone who knows better.
I am a peaceful person, but what was done and said to me really struck a nerve.
So here is the truth. Good day.