Stefan Simchowitz Delivers Tirade Against Paddle8 in Facebook Post

The controversial dealer is as outspoken as ever.

Stefan Simchowitz Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for MOCA

Stefan Simchowitz has launched a scathing attack on online auction house Paddle8 in a post on his Facebook page.

The controversial and outspoken art dealer predicted that “Paddle8 will not be in business in a few years,” compared the company to “tax subsidized businesses that stay around longer than they should,” and labelled them “a sort of mongrel rerun of guilt and hatelook [Gilt and HauteLook].”

He went on to criticize the venture-funding model used by a host of online art businesses. Paddle8 has, of course, raised $17 million from 10 different investors, according to data provided by Crunchbase.

Paddle 8 founders Alexander Gilkes and Aditya Julka Photo: JCReport.com

Paddle 8 founders Alexander Gilkes and Aditya Julka.
Photo: via JCReport.com.

Simchowitz also claims that sites such as Paddle8 “distort the real demand curve for art by providing fake liquidity to ‘collectors.’”

Commenting on his post, he elaborated that “False liquidity is provided to people when they believe there exists an immediate exit to sell something.”

The prolific social media user added that other benefits, such as the sharing of information and contacts, “are covered by the two mainstream social media sites Instagram and Facebook.”

The attack may — at least in part — be explained by the fact that Simchowitz launched his own online art platform called Simco’s World in May. The site provides services such as promotion, artist management, art advising and logistics, and promises to “provide unedited access to a global network of contemporary artists, collectors, dealers, gallerists and institutions.”

Simchowitz criticzed Paddle 8 for providing collectors with a "false sense of liquidity" Photo: screenshot via collectortribune.com

Simchowitz criticzed Paddle 8 for providing collectors with a “false sense of liquidity.”
Photo: via collectortribune.com.

He also laments the intentions of today’s art collectors and compares them to martyrs in a bizarre reference to T.S. Elliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral. 

Simchowitz points out that “the true martyr never thinks of the prize of martyrdom, for if he does he is not a true martyr…so it goes with collecting…one must collect without the thought of value in order to achieve the very result he/she wishes.”

He concludes by comparing Paddle8 with “a neon sign reminding the martyr at the stake that he or she will become famous for his her acts,” and writes that he “cannot wait ‘till the neon lights are no longer funded.”


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