Monday, May 21, 2018

Rebekah Jacob releases personal narratives in online series

The embattled gallery owner owes tens of thousands to artists and galleries for mismanaged work

Posted by Adam Manno on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 3:16 PM

Jacobs - JONATHAN BONCECK FILE PHOTO
  • Jonathan Bonceck file photo
  • Jacobs
Embattled gallery owner Rebekah Jacob has been quietly publishing what appear to be chapters from a memoir on her blog since May 1.

The romantic and wind-swept first-person passages start with her humble Mississippi Delta beginnings. The latest entry, posted on Friday, follows her journey to New York City to become an art dealer shortly after the September 11 attacks.

"Perhaps my work has been a combination of fragments driven by my love of the South and the Caribbean, imagination, social justice, politics, and the burning determination to succeed, no matter what," she writes in the introductory post.

In an August 2017 cover story, CP reported on eight artists who either spoke out about Jacob or took legal action against her for allegations that mostly centered on her selling their work and not paying them.

Jacob, 42, owns the Rebekah Jacob Gallery on John Street. She has been involved in a series of litigations for the past few years, and the latest judgement against her, issued in March, ordered her to pay $47,000 to Georgia-based oil painter Ed Rice.

In a hearing for a different case late last month, a county judge said that he would find her in contempt of court if she refused to turn in her financial documents and sit for a deposition with an attorney representing an artist and a D.C.-based gallery. Jacob was ordered to pay them both a total of close to $68,000 in 2016.

Charleston attorney Patrick Chisum, who represents Hemphill Fine Arts and artist Cynthia Knapp, says that he expects the action to be dismissed due to Jacob's lack of assets.

In an interview with CP, Rice couldn't believe that Jacob's gallery was still open.

"A gallery, in a perfect world, should not be allowed to abuse its artists with impunity," he said at the time.

The excerpts are scheduled to go up every day until May 31, according to a Facebook "event" page hosted by the gallery.

With a dramatic flair and not a hint of irony, the event page for "Art Hunt: A Memoir" describes the posts as follows:

In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Rebekah Jacob investigates the drama and thrill of the Art World as a dealer and curator. Her writings cover the workings of a gallery, the elite art fairs, the eccentric artists and colleagues, the competition behind prized inventory, and the wonderland of it all.

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