We’re following a developing story about Dallas-based artist Dan Lam’s lawsuit against two business located at 312 Bowery in Manhattan: the café Mamacha, and The Hole gallery. Artnet reports, “Lamb says she only received $6,000 of the nearly $36,000 she is owed for the eight works that were sold, four that were damaged, and nine that have gone missing.”
New York law firm Grossman LLP published a blog post that gives some insight into the litigation. In the post, attorney Kate Lucas refers to New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law (NYACAL) § 12.01, among others, which establishes a consignor/consignee relationship between artists and people handling or selling their work. Section 12.01 (a) states “Whenever an artist or craftsperson, or a successor in interest of such artist or craftsperson, delivers or causes to be delivered a work of fine art, craft or a print of such artist’s or craftsperson’s own creation to an art merchant for the purpose of exhibition and/or sale on a commission, fee or other basis of compensation, the delivery to and acceptance thereof by the art merchant establishes a consignor/consignee relationship as between such artist or craftsperson.”
Disputing any such gallery/artist relationship with Lam in an email to Artnet, Hole Gallery owner Kathy Grayson is reported to have written, in part: “Any fiscal relationship was between Dan and Mamacha only. We didn’t earn commission on sales, we didn’t know Dan wasn’t paid. We are obviously very disappointed in the business practices of our tenant, and are especially sensitive to artists being paid in a timely and complete manner.”
It will be up to a judge to determine how NYACAL 12.01 is interpreted in this case, and if any such consignor/consignee relationship between Lam, The Hole, and Mamacha can be established. Glasstire reached out to Lam for comment and an update on the lawsuit but were referred to her attorneys. We are awaiting a response and will update this news as needed.