Saturday, May 20, 2006

Lousy news, lousier reporting


Back when I was a young boy, I was told about the 5 w's if I was going to be a reprorter; Who What When Where and Why. This article by Megan Hurley about a theft from the Life is Intoxicating Gallery only gets three, and if I stop squinting, maybe 3½.

Who: Michael Godard, Emanuel Mattini, David Wight (artists), Vaughn Warrington (Gallery Owner).
What: Eight paintings, three glass sculptures, all stolen.
When: The article doesn't mention it, and no one seems to think it is important.
Where: The Life is Intoxicating Gallery
Why: Ms. Hurley doesn't have a clue, and she makes no bones about it. She swallows hook, line and sinker, Mr. Warrington's statement that the paintings and sculptures are worth $50,000 (which I'm not so certain I believe).

On this website you can see that Michael Goddard's Original Paintings sell for $2,995. Ms. Hurley writes "One original and five limited-edition paintings" were the ones stolen. Again on this website you can see that Michael Goddard's "limited edition" paintings go for about $500. So, five time $500 equals $2,500, plus $3,000 equals $5,500 worth of Michael Goddard paintings, assuming that his prices in California are similar to his prices in Toronto, which means that the paintings by Emanuel Mattini and the sculptures by Dave Wight must be worth $44,500, or on average $8,900 each. A little voice inside my head, says "I'm not so certain."

The just to make matters worse, Ms. Hurley swallows whole and complete, Mr Goddard's assertion that he is the "top seller internationally of giclee limited-edition paintings." That statement is as useful as me writing that Ms. Hurley is the only person on the staff of the Toronto Star who has a name that is similar to a Gaelic sport (I don't think that there is anyone named Caber Toss working there...) I also have heard Eric Waugh (a much more modest man) state in an interview he did here, that while he isn't certain, he is fairly confident that he is the best selling artist of all time.

Normally I prefer it when real reporters cover art - but not this case.

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