Does Artist Have To Paint?

(WSVN) - He hired an artist to paint a beautiful picture, but months later, the artwork had still not been delivered. Hoping to draw up a picture perfect ending to a project that had suddenly stalled, he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Find a wall in Ed Fisher’s home and you will find a piece of art he and his partner have picked out…

Ed Fisher, waiting for artwork: “We love to collect art.”

Specifically art with faces.

Ed Fisher: “I commissioned using the technique of masking tape on a black canvas, and it’s one of our favorite pieces.”

But even art lovers sometimes grow tired of their art.

Ed Fisher: “And thought, ‘Maybe we would replace it.'”

Instead of storing or selling this work on the living room wall, Ed wanted to use the canvas for art to go along with their waterfront condo.

Ed Fisher: “Which was going to be a piece that incorporated a large body of water with a male athletic swimmer doing the front crawl.”

Then at a show, Ed saw the work of a South Florida painter.

Ed Fisher: “We really admired his composition, his technique, his use of color.”

Ed met with the painter and described how they wanted to turn this into this.

Ed Fisher: “We were all excited about the piece. We agreed on the price.”

The artist took the canvas, and Ed waited.

Ed Fisher: “He repeatedly was going to send pictures of the progress of the work. Those never arrived. At one point, he even talked about arranging a delivery time, and that never happened, and that’s the last communication we’ve had.”

Months have now passed…

Ed Fisher: “At this point in time, it just seems like he has disappeared.”

Ed is ready to face reality, and his expectations are sinking that he will get a completed painting of a swimmer.

Ed Fisher: “If he felt for some reason he was not able to do this or chose not to, we can accept that, but we would like what was our property returned in its original condition.”

Well, Howard, does the artist have to finish the painting? Or can he just return the old painting?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News Legal Expert: “The legal term is called, ‘Specific Performance,’ and it means you cannot make an artist finish the painting. They don’t get paid, of course, and if he doesn’t do the work, he has to return the old painting as it was. The third possibility: if he has turned the canvas white to prepare for the final painting or partially finished it, then he has to pay Ed the value of the old painting.”

This one took a while. We went by the artist’s gated home three times. He would never come out or return calls.

Then I got in touch with a friend of his and told him why we were looking for the artist.

That day, the painter called us and said he had been very busy, but he would call Ed immediately.

He did, and three days later, he brought this to Ed.

Ed Fisher: “It would appear to me it was hastily finished, and by his own admission, was not 100% completed, but we are very happy to have it back in our possession.”

Back in his possession after a call to Help Me Howard.

Ed Fisher: “Beyond glad. Beyond glad. It never would have come back without your help. I am just convinced of that.”

Interestingly, the painter said he doesn’t want to charge Ed because of how long it took to do the artwork.

Ed said he wants to pay him something and they will talk about it.

In my unprofessional eye, the art looks pretty good.

Feel like you have painted yourself into a corner? Ready to draw a line in the sand? Canvas the room and contact us. Face it, we know the art of problem solving. You can just color us persistent.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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