The ``art'' shows are heavily advertised in newspapers and on television: ``Beautiful original oil paintings, with spectacular mountain landscapes, ocean scenes, and much, much more! This is a collection of our prestigious artists!'' The ``starving artists'' business, it seems, deals in paintings and hyperbole. One is more likely to see someone trying to get rid of this stuff than actually buying it. ``Sofa-size'' paintings, which sell for $10 each and some for as low as $5 in enormous shows of largely identical pictures, are no one's idea of highbrow.
Joe Phillips, who heads Midwest Starving Artists in Indianapolis, runs an asphalt maintenance business during the summer. Both he and Bill Stone, president of the San Diego-based Collectors Art, spend time during the off-season locating art they will sell later on. Mr. Phillips says that his artists are not from the Midwest, nor are they necessarily starving.
``I get the pictures from an importer who works out of Chicago,'' he says. ``I don't know where he gets the pictures from.'' Most of the artists, he suspects, are in Taiwan, Mexico, and elsewhere in the third world. 781b155fdc