Its never gratifying to say 'I told you so'. But M&F forecast this situation way back last year when we wrote a feature article on Daniel Lahoda from LA Freewalls and now LA LA Gallery. The article was entitled 'This is Daniel Lahoda'. At the time, we wrote that we wondered why artists would continue to work with Lahoda after claims of misdeeds had followed him throughout his career. Well, now it seems that the artists have come to a realization that it is bad business to associate with Daniel Lahoda, and Saber just wrote a detailed essay trying to distance himself from Lahoda.
We realize sometimes some people will not always like what this blog has to write, but M&F is out to celebrate the streets and not screw anyone. A lot of people who have never met the purveyors of this blog are convinced that the people who run M&F must be complete assholes, and even some people who know us might still agree. But it is not such an insult for getting called an asshole for standing up for something that you believe is right, and trying to protect and defend a certain community, which is what M&F has always tried to do. If the right person calls you a bad thing it can become a compliment. M&F is okay for being called assholes for doing what we think is right. M&F has always tried to stand up for the community and we are proud of our record. There is no shame in our game. But there are different kinds of assholes, and the types of assholes who scam members of the community, who snitch on the community, those who try to manipulate art for false financial gain, or artists who are abusing the streets for whatever reason--these are the worst kind of assholes.
There has been a stark difference between the way M&F and LA Freewalls are run and treat the street art community. LA Freewalls has brought some great at to the walls of the city, and we do love the art. However, anyone who has dealt with Daniel or LA Freewalls knows how aggressive Daniel is in marketing his involvement. Daniel makes it feel like the sponsorship is more important than the art. Sure, M&F isn't lining up walls but we neither do we have a vested interest to force M&F into the focal point for the discussion of Los Angeles street art. M&F's goal is to give back to the community, and showcase LA's in the best way possible. M&F doesn't even tag photos to keep the focus on the art, and maintain the community nature of street art. We feel that it is more important to get the content out there than it is to try to take credit for what is happening.
M&F will also mention that at one point during the past year we got contacted by a street artist who said that they were getting screwed by Lahoda, claiming Daniel had taken money that was owed to the artist but never paid to them. The artist said that the police were getting involved. This artist asked us to make a post about it, but we declined until the investigation by the police was complete. M&F never heard back from this artist, so we are not sure how the case turned out. But whispers of investigations seem to follow Daniel, and the ExpressoBeans user who posted Saber's essay suggested in a follow up comment that the police are currently involved with Lahoda.
On the other hand, as far as M&F, we have been doing this tirelessly for years and our goal has never been to climb over anyone's back to get to the top. Our goal is to further the street art movement by serving as the voice and the conscience of the LA's streets.
Yes, LA Freewalls has brought some awesome art to LA. But as far as having a lasting impact and reaching more people, M&F's web traffic and world wide reach absolutely blows LA Freewalls away. At the time of this post, based on Alexa's Traffic Rankings M&F is ranked in the top five street art blogs in the world. LA Freewalls is not even in the top 300. So as far as influence, it is clear that even if M&F is not lining up walls, we let the artists handle the street art for themselves. M&F is not providing walls, M&F is the site that speaks for the walls of Los Angeles.
Check out Saber's full thoughts on Daniel Lahoda below:
I want to apologize to the online art print community for not taking their earlier warning on this piece of shit. I stopped all business with Lahoda after my "Pepper's World" print was black listed on the forums for working with him. After I believed he stopped dealing prints and or art I was generally ok with taking the walls as long as there was no business transactions. When LALA gallery opened I buffed my "Pepper's World" mural to make it clear I wanted nothing to do with this clown or his gallery. Unfortunately, it was too little too late as other artists assumed he must be clean again and started to use him as a resource for walls and business. Now, through his half ass gallery LALA he is now selling unauthorized Retna's, English, Shepard, Phish, Saber, Parla, Becca, Futura, Banksy, Dface, Robert Indiana's, etc... and is starting to produce new editions, most recent was Insa and some sort of Robert Indiana's. Please do not buy my older prints or ANYTHING from this crook.
This is why it is not good to work with Lahoda:
Any artist that works with Lahoda/Jetsetgraffiti/LALAgallery/Freewalls also gets called out or black listed on these major Streetart/Print/Graffiti forums. These particular forums drive the print art sales as well as the secondary markets. I personally had a print blacklisted temporarily on all these sites for working with Lahoda "Pepper World" in 2010. I did not sell any of the edition from the release. The people on the forums said they love my work, but they will stop the momentum of the online sales because of my association with JetSetGraffiti/Lahoda. Any artist that works with Lahoda also gets red flagged by the LAPD art fraud detective. This detective has been relentless in poking his nose in our business due to our loose association with Lahoda, and any artist or organization that works with him gets investigated for perpetuating his art fraud.
After the stress of my final print and being contacted by numerous collectors of his ill will I decided never to do business with him again. It was my mistake to allow us to take his walls and billboards as now he has gained reputation off the artists back as well as gained the confidence of major institutions like MOCA and major billboard companies. I told him numerously to stop selling me and my friends work on his site and through twitter/instagram. He has no care for the value or market price of the work and has caused complications with galleries and collectors. He has also stolen two large sculptures from Dface that he holds in his "secret warehouse" as well as Banksy's, and Shepard Fairy's, etc....
From what I understand Daniel Lahoda has been banned from Banksy forum, Obey, Expressobeans, Melrose and Fairfax, Vandal Log, art.net etc ,etc,...for fraud, being an instigator/agitator, and selling unauthorized artwork. Lahoda has sold work to collectors and never sent the product to them, many many times. I have been contacted by collectors that purchased my work who had never received the artwork.
Lahoda can be very charismatic and can come across as someone who wants to help the "Street Art" community. Do not be fooled by his words as the facts prove otherwise. He is only in this for his personal gain. We are the artists and we are the content providers, not the other way around. Its time to cut people like him off.
I am sure we will be seeing some defending responses from Lahoda fans, I would suggest making note of those user names as he has been known to be a busy troll on these forums.
These sites have a tremendous impact on online sales as well as the artists reputation and have the power to affect your pocket book.
Feel free to dig around and judge for yourself on his long standing reputation with the art community. These links are from just from a quick search. Those who speak highly of him haven't done the research or haven't dealt with the impending problems that are immanent.
More and more information on Lahoda's crooked ways continue to flood these forums on a constant basis for years. Many of the positive pro Lahoda comments were him using different user names. Regardless, if any allegations are true, just working with his brand creates negative discussion soiling any momentum of art/print sales as well as creates a dark cloud over the artist.
Litigious Lahoda writes letter to Obey forum:
Discussion on shady activity with Jose Parla prints:
Expresso Beans, Look who's back in the art business:
Shady Shepard print discussion:
Discussion on stolen Shepard Fairey test prints:
Art cop makes public statement on Banksy forum:
"Lahoda stole my money what do I do?" Banksy Forum
Compiled thread of complaints and activity on Banksy Forum:
Lahoda gets D- on Better Business Bureau:
Responses on Banksy forum about Lahoda LAPD art fraud allegation:
Blog on Lahoda and links to his activity:
Art Cop post on BMW parts site:
Unauthorized sale of Retna pieces. New Image Gallery response:
Here is Judge Judy bitch slapping him:
***Originally published on the Expresso Beans Forums***