This article is by Brian Sherwin, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Myartspace, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint, Vandalog and Art Fag City. Disclaimer: This author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
In researching the Art4Love scandal -- and the confusion surrounding the story --I have discovered several key facts. For example, many originally thought that Art4Love's founder -- Chad Love Lieberman -- was an alias of Craig Pravda. According to Pravda's ex -- who asked to remain anonymous -- the two are not the same person. In fact, she described them as good friends and business partners. I have discovered that many of the business partnerships that Art4Love has claimed to have in the past are fraudulent claims. In other words, Art4Love released unauthorized press releases involving companies that in reality had no real connection to Art4Love Inc.,. Digging deeper I have discovered that some of the direct business associations that Chad Love Lieberman has claimed to have are in fact false.
Based on a StockPhotoTalk blog post from 2006 and an Art4Love press release it appears that Chad Love Lieberman had claimed to have a direct business connection with Jerry Tavin -- founder of the Young Photographers Alliance (YBA) and former CEO of nonstock. Due to the sketchy claims I had discovered concerning Mr. Love Lieberman I decided to contact Mr. Tavin in order to find out if he really served on Art4Love's advisory council and if he did in fact have other business relations with Art4Love. Needless to say, I was not surprised when Jerry Tavin verified that Chad Love Lieberman's claims were false.
Jerry Tavin informed me that he did have a conversation with Chad Love Lieberman "many years ago" pertaining to Love Lieberman's request to represent his stock photo company on Art4Love. Of the conversation Tavin stated, "I saw fit to never finalize any agreement and I have never heard from them since.". Tavin also made it clear to me that the claims that he had served on Art4Love's advisory council are false. Tavin said, "I have never been on their advisory board and I have never participated in any meetings related to Art4Love's business affairs.". Once again, it appears that Love Lieberman published unauthorized press releases, including bogus quotes, about business arrangements that never happened.
I asked Mr. Tavin how he felt learning that Chad Love Lieberman had used his name to support Art4Love in a fraudulent manner. Tavin responded, "This is a first ever in my long business life and of course it is disturbing.". Tavin added, "I am also concerned about how this false information will affect my foundation since it has been built on my reputation and constantly requires support in order to stay alive. If the young photographers and the professionals back off because of these statements we will not be able to survive, so it is not just about me.". When asked about the Art4Love scandal in general, Jerry Tavin stated, "I am saddened and angry that they (Art4Love) may have abused the rights of artists.".
Jerry Tavin also took the time to clear the name of Jeffrey Burke, former acting President of the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA), who was mentioned in the same press release. As I previously reported, an Art4Love press release claims that Burke, President and CEO of PictureArts, praised Art4Love and the business arrangement forged between the two companies. That partnership never happened -- and the quotes attributed to Jeffrey Burke were never spoken.
Tavin explained, "I did tell Jeff about Art4Love in reference only to what their company was proposing to do in the marketplace.". He continued, "Jeff and his company Picture Arts have an excellent reputation in the stock photography field. With humility I can say the same about my company nonstock and about my own reputation in the industry.". He added, "Chad came across as another vendor I was not aware of the kind of person I was dealing with, If I did he would not have gotten into my door.". Jerry Tavin made it clear that the interaction never went any further than that.
When asked about his opinion of Chad Love Lieberman and Art4Love, Jerry Tavin stated, "I abhor Chad's alleged actions to perpetrate frauds on artists' rights and I abhor his use of the names of innocent parties to further his own reprehensible interests.". He added, "I'm shocked about this horror story. Of course it needs to be exposed but it is sad that innocent people are dragged in through Chad's callous use of our names.". He made it clear that he appreciated the fact that I'm trying my best to get to the bottom of this story -- and clear names in the process. Chad Love Lieberman clearly has some explaining to do.
Take care, Stay true,