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Old 02-09-2018, 03:19 PM
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Modern Eye Modern Eye is offline
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Sabotage

Help! Hope this is the right forum to post.

I work in an artist studio that houses about 50 artists, separate studios with locked doors. Yesterday I found a thumb tack hole had been put into a new canvas I've been working on . I share a studio space with another artist, who would seem be the obvious suspect. But I've been having problems with the guy next door studio that is bordering on stalking.

It looked like the hole had been put through the canvas a day or two before I noticed it. I had put on a layer and was letting it dry while working on another. Yesterday I picked it up to work and noticed the hole.

I came here to just hear some advice about how to sort out this incident. I have been kind of numb about it but am becoming angry and anxious. The artist who shares my space is a little mentally unbalanced and might have done this, but I have no proof. I have never locked the door behind me when going to the bathroom or washing brushes, so conceivably someone, or the creepy guy next door, jumped in the studio during a 20 minute interval to do this...but why the F!?!

It just makes going to studio all the more nerve wracking. I'm also feeling unsafe leaving my work there now. And now I feel compelled to have an awkward confrontation with my studio mate, whether she did it or not. I'm not totally sure its a good idea to confront her. I have 4 months left on lease with her, but I had been planning to renew the space (not exactly with her) because it's a great space.

And in a 3rd option, what if no one did it, and by some random fluke a nail or some art warehouse thing fell on it making the hole and I go around accusing people of something they didn't do?

I am stunned/ Any advice?? How would YOU go about this situation?
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:55 PM
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Yorky Yorky is offline
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Re: Sabotage

A tricky situation. I wish you luck.

Doug
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:42 PM
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artbymdp artbymdp is offline
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Re: Sabotage

Life is filled with these type of annoyances and odd behavior from others. The most important thing to protect is your safety. If your work environment does not feel safe or secure, you should find a way to improve the situation. (On face value, your stalking comment is more concerning than the damaged canvas).I wouldn't get too concerned over one pinhole. It may even be a canvas defect that went unnoticed. If the damage recurs then you have an issue that should be reported to the manager of the studios.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:12 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Sabotage

If I were going to sabotage someone's work, I'd do a lot worse than make a pinhole in it. You can probably close it up with some gesso on the back. I would probably not say anything about it and just fix it. If it happens again, you'll know.

I would also get some pepper spray and keep it on me. I have done this to feel more comfortable about hooligan teenagers in my area. It's legal pretty much everywhere and it's cheap.

In the past, when I had trespassers in my yard, I got a motion-activated camera. Nothing like a camera to discourage jerks.
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Old 02-10-2018, 05:58 PM
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Re: Sabotage

On the subject of the canvas, it can be fixed easy enough. Gesso or thick spread of paint. However, just from a business practice pov, can i still sell this canvas? DO I have a responsibility to disclose it as part of the sale price? One pic is the hole, and the other with light coming through the back to show size.


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Old 02-10-2018, 06:05 PM
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Re: Sabotage

I'm going to just try to ignore the canvas situation for the sake of getting work done, however Im planning to install a little webcam somewhere discrete in my space to make sure nothing like this happens again.

As it stands I've been locking my studio door even when I'm inside. Its probably not a bad idea to keep pepper spray on me also.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:00 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Sabotage

I think in terms of selling the work, I would consider whether the damage you have successfully repaired might lead to further damage in the future. If not...

I used to paint on wood panels a lot, and I found the veneer of some of the cheap ones might split away from the underlying wood in a tiny section just by me handling it. Or the corners of the veneer might chip. If it was a tiny chip, I would fill it with gesso and sand it down and paint over it and say nothing. But if the veneer was splitting, I put a little soft gel under it to glue it, revealed the issue in my description, and sold the painting at a discount, like 1/2 off. Btw, someone who bought a painting of mine like this said that one reason they wanted it was that it showed the something can be imperfect but still beautiful. Made me feel pretty darn good.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:47 PM
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Re: Sabotage

Finding studio space in an art building is a bit tricky.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:05 PM
CaliAnn CaliAnn is offline
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Re: Sabotage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Modern Eye
however Im planning to install a little webcam somewhere discrete in my space to make sure nothing like this happens again.


Be very careful about this - in a lot of states it's illegal to record someone without others permissions (webcams, phones, etc). You could be the one facing legal problems more than the person causing you damage (if there is someone causing you damage).
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:37 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Sabotage

What are they going to do? Sue you for recording them destroying your property? I don't think so.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:59 PM
CaliAnn CaliAnn is offline
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Re: Sabotage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold Roth
What are they going to do? Sue you for recording them destroying your property? I don't think so.
It's not about being sued - it's about this potentially being a criminal charge against him if anyone found out and it was "illegal" in the state that he lives in
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:22 PM
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Re: Sabotage

TV court shows often have cases about rented /leased places being unsafe, and personal safety is included in this.. re possible stalker factors...
Often you can break your lease , but you might need to have some evidence to prove it if it gets to that point... of course read the lease/contract or local statues it that becomes more of an issue..

A tiny pin hole can be repaired , plenty of videos & how to on line..
Safety is the more important part of this... IMO..

I think if you notice this person hanging around, and if you happen to have your phone in your hand in video mode.. get them on video just casually.. not confrontational.. No crime in that.. just a random video and just happen to record this person... hanging around..
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Last edited by ~JMW~ : 02-11-2018 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:29 AM
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Re: Sabotage

Talk to the landlord. Politely make them aware of what's happened without pointing fingers since you don't know much yet. Make sure you let them know you understand that, so far, it isn't a very big deal. Hopefully, they will see it as a big enough deal to take some interest though. This is part of the process of documentation of a problem. If you do find you need to install a webcam, and it's legal in your area, you will very much need the landlord's approval to do so.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:32 PM
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Re: Sabotage

Thanks so much everyone for this input. I had never considered legality of webcam. I will send a polite email to the landlord and see about the camera situation, and just let them know whats going on....in a lower key manner.
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:08 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Sabotage

I wouldn't. They are just going to say no. And IME, landlords of studio spaces could not care less about the artists' safety.

You have a right to protect yourself. You're not a corporation who has to worry about being sued or whatnot for having a webcam in your studio. So don't worry about that part.

I do think it's a good idea to have your phone with you when you're out. But I don't think it's a good idea to be paranoid or worried about being sued or arrested for having a webcam.
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