• Report: #681834

Complaint Review: the starving artist group

  • Submitted: Wed, January 12, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, January 19, 2012

  • Reported By: will — springfield gardens New York United States of America
the starving artist group
Internet United States of America

the starving artist group these guys don't represent themselves correctly! Internet

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Please ignore this guy

*Consumer Comment: "Original" Mass Produced

*Consumer Comment: I like the Starving Atists Group

*Consumer Comment: This complaint is a copy from 3yrs ago??

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Don't be fooled by the traveling 'rip off' road show by a company called the Starving Artists Group, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, and owned by D. James Stringer (aka DJ Stringer or Jim Stringer) and Gildete Stringer. When this fly-by-night outfit comes to town, it bombards local television stations with slick ads offering "original oil paintings" for $59.00 and less, and cheap frames manufactured in Mexico. I've checked the Texas corporation records and this company IS NOT IN GOOD STANDING.

I attended one of these scam sales over the weekend at a local hotel. Here's what I discovered:

    A conference room inadequate to accommodate the rather large crowd drawn in by the glitzy local television ads, promising 'original oil paintings' for $59.00 or less.

    No official company representative on duty to assist the buying public with questions about the inventory.

    No marketing materials of any kind that would put a prospective buyer on notice of the true identity of the company selling the merchandise. Nothing but cheesy white sheets of paper with the prices of the poster art noted. I took the liberty of picking one up. View the cheesy "Starving Artists Price List", below:

    Also notably absent were any certificates or other documentary evidence that gave any indication as to the identity of the artists who were to have produced the work being advertised and sold at this event, much less any documentary evidence in support of the claims that Mr. Striker and his company, the Starving Artists Group, Inc. were in fact selling "original oil paintings" by authentic living artists.

    All of the workers (all conveniently stationed at the cash registers) at this sale sported self-adhesive name tags on which were written in marker, names like "Edward Scissorhands" and "Lady Bug". Interestingly, when I asked "Lady Bug", who claimed to be a new employee, if I could speak with the person in charge of the event, she directed me to "Edward Scissorhands". No one who worked there had a legitimate name.

    When I asked "Edward Scissorhands" (the manager in charge of the event) if he could show me an "original oil painting", he was dumbfounded and directed me to look about the room, that the entire inventory in the room was "original oil" on canvas. I told him that unfortunately, all I was able to find in their inventory were cheap, ink jet prints on inferior canvas. When I pressed him on the false advertisements and representations they were making, he finally admitted to me that they were indeed selling prints and not 'original oil paintings' as advertised.

    All of the workers we talked with represented the multiple poster art prints as "original oils on canvas". The worker "Lady Bug" told me that the artists were all students attending "Phoenix Art School". The manager (Scissorhands) told me that the art all came from European artists.

    The public purchasing art at this event actually believed they were purchasing original oil paintings by actual working artists (and I'm not talking about assembly line artists here). Many felt that they had gotten a great bargain and had made a great investment. A lady proudly exclaimed to her husband and friends that she just loved the technique of the artist who painted her piece when in fact there were 50 or 100 exact duplicates in the inventory inside that room with different artists names applied to the work, and always either the last name like "Graves" or "Smith" or first initials with last names like "E. Roberts" or "T. Mann".

The bottom line: Don't be fooled. If you want to invest in "authentic original art", it just can't be done at these types of sales because no matter what they advertise, no matter what they tell you, they are not selling "original oil paintings". They are selling cheap prints that come out of a wholesale warehouse somewhere.

These fly-by-night operations (much like traveling carnies selling snake oil) must be stopped from their continual fraudulent trade practices. The company, Starving Artists Group, Inc., in particular, should be worried as they happen to be situated in Texas which has a pretty mean DTPA (Deceptive Trade Practices Act) on the books.

If there are others who have had the same experience, please post here. I am going to request that Fine Art Registry investigate Starving Artists Group, Inc. just as they have Park West Gallery. It is these types of bogus sales that continue to hurt the legitimate artists, printers, and publishers in the marketplace.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with buying poster art or cheap prints as decorative pieces. But there is something terribly wrong with representing poster art or prints as 'original oil paintings' when in fact they ARE NOT!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/12/2011 04:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/the-starving-artist-group/internet/the-starving-artist-group-these-guys-dont-represent-themselves-correctly-Internet-681834. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Please ignore this guy

AUTHOR: Artist Lover - (United States of America)

I am associated with the Starving Artists Group. I have worked for the company for 6 years now. Mr. Stringer is the owner who has ran this business for 30 year. Starving Artists Group is a legitmate company which brings really nice oil paintings to suburban neighborhoods so people can decorate there home.

The paintings are only $69. They were hand painted by an artist. I don't know a better way for someone to be able to decorate their home.

The ripoff report that continues to show on the internet has been on here for a long time. If anyone has been to an art sale they would see there is always a manager there to represent us and it is no secret who the owner of the company is. If you dial the phone number on the receipt you will go directly to our office and everyone here is very happy to help in any way.  And, maybe, one time at one art sale in 2006 the sales clerks put unusual names on their nametags but that was not encouraged. That is an uncommon practice at our sales.

If any wants any further information you can call our office at 281-360-3420. We are a family owned business and we just want to help people be able to afford nice oil paintings.
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#2 Consumer Comment

"Original" Mass Produced

AUTHOR: Kg - (U.S.A.)

Your observations match what I saw at the Starving Artists Group show on January 15, 2012 in Sugar Land, TX.  I included some pictures in my review 
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#3 Consumer Comment

I like the Starving Atists Group

AUTHOR: Artist Lover - (United States of America)

I go to these art sales every year and love them. I live in a suburban home with a middle class salary and want to have oil paintings to decorate my house. I have been to art galleries and there is no way I could afford those artists work. If there was no Starving Artists Group my poor walls would be empty and sad. Because of this company my house looks full and well decorated.

Yes, there is a crowd when I go there but that is because so many people appreciate the opportunity to buy oil paintings at such a great price. It is best to get there early in order to get first pick of the great art work. And I am not sure who the artists are but I am very impressed with the quality of the paintings they have. Plus, the frames are great too. No where else can I buy a frame of that qulaity for that price.

Can I say I am being fooled when I walk out the door with a good quality painting and frame for a good price? Does it really matter who the artists are when I am ab le to decorate my home in such a beautiful manner.

I am going to continue to buy paintings from this company. They are doing me a great service by providing me and opportunity to buy such lovely art work at such amanzingly low prices.
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#4 Consumer Comment

This complaint is a copy from 3yrs ago??

AUTHOR: kcmot - (United States of America)

I was researching the starving artists and read a complaint from Jan 2008


I then found this complaint which is an exact copy of the 3 year old one. I don't know if it is malicious or a long held grudge but it seems less than honest to imply that something that happened 3 years ago happened last week. I will continue looking into the group on my own but wanted to alert others that this complaint is more than it seems.

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