Artist Sends Half Painting To Man Wanting COVID Discount

Story ByLee Bullen, Sub EditorJoseph Golder, AgencyNewsflash

A buyer who claimed he wanted to continue supporting struggling artists during the pandemic but expected a 50-percent COVID discount was horrified when he was sent only half the painting for the reduced fee.

The unnamed collector was interested in a portrait by artist Ali Leblebici called ‘MMXI’, and he asked for a 50-percent discount, citing the pandemic.

The artist agreed to the discount, but cut the painting in two and sent one half to the buyer.


Leblebici shared a photo of the cropped painting on Instagram.

He said: “Last week a collector contacted me to buy this painting. We talked on the phone about the pandemic, the situation in the art market and that sales have slowed down.

“He said that the price of my work was high in this context and that there should be discount, as I am an independent artist and do not have to pay a gallery sales share.

“I agreed.


“Of course, what the collector could not foresee was that I would only give half of my work. I cut the work in half, packaged it and sent it.

“After a few days, he called me in great panic and said that half of the canvas was cut. His voice was trembling. I explained why I cut the canvas, ‘the art market is not good, sales are at a standstill, I do not have a gallery where I am represented, I am an independent artist, and the pandemic of course’.”

The painting was initially for sale for TRY 17,000 (GBP 1,695), but was reportedly sent back to the artist after it was delivered cut in half.


Leblebici now wants to keep hold of the piece.

Some netizens compared Leblebici to British street artist Banksy whose ‘Girl with Balloon’ painting self-destructed in a hidden shredder after being sold at auction.

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