Art dealer Ivor Braka is being sued by artists’ resale rights groups for failing to pay royalties to living artists or their estates. The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) and the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) have both challenged the merchant in a rare court case. The lawsuit is expected to set a legal precedent for a lawsuit to address breaches of artist resale right regulations and the disclosure of sales information.
The groups said in court documents that since the formation of the artists’ resale right laws in 2006, they have “repeatedly asked Braka to report the sales on which the royalty is due” and that Braka had “refused to respond in breach of its legal obligation to do so”.
Braka has made millions flipping the bluechip art of Bacon and Freud and seems more interested in donating funds to mainstream art institutions in the US and UK, including the Yale Center for British Art, Whitworth University in Manchester, the Serpentine Gallery, the Tate and the National Gallery in London, than to support emerging and mid-career artists, who could use the meager funds generated by the fee, in post-pandemic Britain.
The artist’s resale right is fundamental because it ensures an equitable distribution of royalties generated from secondary market sales to artists and artists’ estates. »
Ivor Braka retorted with this arrogant statement: “DACS/ACS issued a statement last week that aims to damage my reputation and “make me an example. They say this by not paying their resale levy. I let artists down and I’m immoral. It’s not the truth.” Braka listed the following reasons why he disagrees with ARR: 1. I have always fundamentally disagreed with the introduction of artists’ resale right It was a European law that was imposed on us 2. I don’t agree with this because it favors artists with an active market and ignores those who really need it There are some amazing artists who need support but do not produce works recognized by the market. Why is there no discussion about this and why was it not discussed at the beginning? 3. I may be on my own, but I’ve always been very clear about my objections to the artist resale tax This only applies to art professionals (“art market professionals”), and yet , nowadays, many so-called collectors are the biggest traders 4. It is often compared to copyright law in the world of music, but it’s not the same thing. While I believe the artist should own the copyright in the use of mechanical reproductions of their work, the work itself becomes someone else’s property once sold. The ARR goes against the spirit of English property law. 5. The ARR is a deeply flawed tax in that it raises funds almost exclusively for artists or very wealthy estates. 6. ARR also fails to recognize that when you buy for £5000 and sell for £3000 you are still liable to pay the tax. It does not mean anything.
The Artists’ Collecting Society said: “The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) and the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), with the assistance of the art law team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and Harry Martin of 5 Stone Buildings, have united to defend the rights of artists and artists’ estates and ensure they collect the royalties rightfully owed to them by jointly filing a lawsuit against the well-known art dealer , Ivor Braka.
Since the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) was first introduced in 2006, ACS and DACS have been committed to ensuring that their members receive the royalties rightfully due to them on secondary sales of their work.
ACS and DACS have repeatedly asked the art dealer Ivor Braka and his company Ivor Braka Limited to declare the sales on which the royalty is due, to which Mr. Braka has refused to respond in violation of his legal obligation to do so. . The complaint against Braka is the first of its kind in the UK. ACS and DACS hope that this case will set a precedent for legal action to address breaches of the ARR and the disclosure of sales information.
Generated from secondary sales of works by artists and artists’ estates, ARR royalties provide an invaluable form of financial assistance to thousands of artists and their beneficiaries across the UK. The decision to take legal action underscores the commitment of ACS and DACS to seek a fair and transparent level playing field among CHAs to ensure that artists and their estates receive the royalties that are legally owed to them.
Mariupol museum razed by Russian soldiers
A museum in Mariupol dedicated to the 19th century artist Arkhip Kuindzhi was destroyed by Russian bombing. The gallery was located in the Ukrainian port city, which has been under attack since February.
Kuindzhi was born in Mariupol to Greek parents and was associated with the 19th century Russian realist art movement known as The Wanderers. The group is popular with Russians and Ukrainians. Fortunately, the collection had been dismantled and none of Kuindzhi’s works were on display at the time of the bombardment.
Turner Prize-winning artist Steve McQueen knighted by Princess Anne
The Turner Prize, Oscar and Golden Globe winning artist/director received his knighthood from the Princess Royal at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on 15/03/22.
Steve McQueen was born in London in 1969 and currently lives and works in London and Amsterdam. He is one of the most renowned artists and filmmakers of his generation, creating works for display in gallery spaces as well as four motion pictures: Hunger (2008), Shame (2010), the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave ( 2013) and more recently Widows (2018). Solo exhibitions of his work have taken place around the world, including a major retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago and Schaulager Basel in 2012-13. He won the Turner Prize in 1999, represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2009, and received an OBE in 2002 and a CBE in 2011.
Top Photo courtesy of the Royal Academy