Why are art dealers so suspicious and distrust brokers?

Art dealers may exhibit suspicion and distrust towards brokers for a variety of reasons. It’s important to note that not all art dealers hold these views, and individual experiences and perspectives can vary. However, here are some possible reasons for such skepticism.

Velvet Buzzsaw
  1. Authenticity concerns: Art dealers are often cautious about the authenticity of artworks, as there have been instances of fraudulent or forged pieces in the art market. Brokers, who act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers, may not have the same level of expertise and scrutiny in verifying the authenticity of artworks. This can lead art dealers to be suspicious of brokers’ claims about the origin and provenance of artworks.
  2. Reputation and relationships: Art dealers build their reputation and client relationships over time. They invest significant effort in establishing trust with collectors, artists, and other dealers. Brokers, who typically focus on facilitating transactions rather than long-term relationships, may be viewed with suspicion if they are perceived as being primarily interested in their own financial gain rather than the best interests of the art community.
  3. Lack of transparency: Art dealers often value transparency in art transactions, including information about previous owners, exhibition history, condition reports, and pricing. Some brokers may be less forthcoming with such details, which can raise concerns among art dealers. Lack of transparency can create doubts about the legitimacy and integrity of a transaction, further fueling suspicion.
  4. Competing interests: Art dealers are committed to representing the interests of their clients, including securing the best possible deal for both the buyer and the seller. Brokers, on the other hand, may have a different set of priorities, such as maximizing their own commission or closing a deal quickly. This misalignment of interests can lead to suspicion, as art dealers may question whether brokers are acting in the best interest of their clients.
  5. Control and expertise: Art dealers often have a deep understanding of the art market, including trends, pricing, and the specific demands of their clientele. They may view brokers as intermediaries who lack the same level of expertise or who may not fully comprehend the nuances of the artworks they are brokering. This knowledge asymmetry can contribute to a sense of suspicion and distrust.

It’s important to remember that these are general observations, and not all art dealers hold the same views or exhibit the same level of skepticism towards brokers. Trust and successful collaborations can still exist between dealers and brokers when there is clear communication, shared objectives, and a demonstrated commitment to ethical practices.

Refuge in the Art Market

The Art market is considered a “refuge value” and a safe investment alternative, particularly during times of economic crisis. With low profitability offered by traditional savings formulas, investing in art has attracted more people as it provides better returns. According to experts, sales and prices of art fall to a lesser extent than other assets during a recession, and the art market is consolidating, recovering the figures from 2008.


The trend has been observed in the online sales sector, where the turnover tripled in 2020. Online sales have become popular, allowing buyers to purchase and sell art without the need to see the works in person. Art prices are not subject to as much volatility and uncertainty as other investments, and they tend to increase in value by at least 5% at the time of acquisition. However, seeking advice is recommended to ensure both investment insurance and profitability.

The sector of galleries has suffered due to the pandemic, and the auctions have been moved online, where they sell to everyone. Countries like the US, France, and the UK generate a lot of movement in the art market. Consuelo Durán, a specialist in the field, says that despite the myth of the art market moving due to the antiquity of works, there are current artists more valued than those from the 19th century. Taste and preferences have been changing, and collectors now have different preferences.

Auctions are the best trend thermometer to observe the changing preferences of collectors. Durán says that some painters stop having interest, and the School of Paris that was being sold at exorbitant prices is no longer in demand. The client is either older or no longer there, and young people who come to the world of art see other more current things in galleries, museums, or other media.

In conclusion, investing in art during times of crisis could be a wise decision as it provides better returns than traditional savings formulas. The art market has been consolidating and recovering from the previous recession, with online sales becoming more popular. Taste and preferences have been changing, and collectors now have different preferences, observed through auctions. Seeking advice is recommended to ensure investment insurance and profitability.

Roberto Fabelo Biography

“Fabelo’s technical mastery is self-evident—he is the master of every medium he touches—and so is his morbidity.”

Donald Kuspit

(Kuspit is one of America’s most distinguished art critics.)

Painter, cartoonist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor, he was born in Guáimaro, Cuba, on January 28, 1950. His childhood was spent in his hometown, where he constantly drew on different papers found anywhere.

The passion for drawing –or “graphomania”, as he calls it– originated at that time, and what began as a playful action gradually turned into a vice when he understood that any support was good to let his imagination flow. , conceiving strokes with pencil, charcoal, ink or any other medium. As the researcher, curator and art critic Llilian Llanes once said: “it seems that he came into the world with a pencil in his hand”.


After his primary studies, Fabelo traveled to Havana in search of academic training at the National School of Art (ENA) between 1967 and 1972, to which he would continue at the Higher Institute of Art (ISA), also in Havana, where he graduated in 1981 after another five years of study. In this educational center of higher studies he worked as a professor for several years. Although the artist has taught at the three levels of education.

He belonged to the first generation of graduates of the ENA in the 1970s (on one occasion described as the “generation of certain hope”) and to that of the ISA in the 1980s, moments in which he gained notable visibility on the artistic scene. Since then he has developed a fruitful professional career that covers practically all manifestations of the visual arts.

Fabelo Roberto

He has given conferences and has served as a jury in various visual arts competitions in Cuba and the world. He is a member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and the International Association of Plastic Artists (AIAP). In 1996 he was selected UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of Plastic Arts in Paris, France; and since 2002 his Self-portrait is part of the permanent collection of the Galleria Degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy, home to one of the oldest and most famous art collections in the world.

Fabelo has been awarded the National Prize for Plastic Arts, 2004, as well as the Distinction for National Culture, both granted by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Cuba. Likewise, Fabelo has been recognized with the Abel Santamaría Medal, the Alejo Carpentier Medal and the Juan Marinello Order, imposed by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba.

He has also received the Commemorative Plaque for the 480th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Villa de San Cristóbal de La Habana and the Plaque of the City of the Community of Andalusia, Spain. In 2007, the rectory of the Superior Institute of Art of Havana granted him the special category of consulting professor. He also holds the Diploma of Artistic Merit from the Higher Institute of Art in Havana.

Among the more than twenty awards received throughout his career are the Acquisition Award III Triennial of Contemporary Art in New Delhi, India, 1978; the Drawing Prize at Intergraphik, Berlin, Germany; the Prize at the IX Drawing Exhibition, Rijeka, Yugoslavia; and the International Drawing Prize at the First Havana Biennial, all of these in 1984. The latter was obtained with Vital Fragments, about which Llilian Llanes has commented: “(…) it would surprise all of us who at that time had the privilege of see. Someday this piece will be recognized for its value within the History of Cuban Art. Because until then no other artist had transgressed in such a way a flat work in the national artistic sphere.” In 1993 Fabelo received the First Prize at the XI International Drawing Biennial in Cleveland, Great Britain; and in 1996 the First Prize in the I Ibero-American Watercolor Biennial, Viña del Mar, Chile.

Fabelo’s artwork often features bizarre and dreamlike imagery, combining elements of reality and fantasy. His works are characterized by meticulous attention to detail, vibrant colors, and intricate compositions. He often depicts fantastical creatures, anthropomorphic animals, and human figures in his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Fabelo’s work is known for its rich symbolism and allegorical narratives, which often explore themes of identity, human condition, and the relationship between humans and nature.

Fabelo has exhibited his artwork in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Cuba and internationally, including in countries such as the United States, Spain, Italy, Mexico, and Canada. His artwork can be found in various public and private collections around the world, and he has received numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to the arts. Fabelo is also recognized for his work as an illustrator and has illustrated several books, including editions of classical literature.

In his latest exhibit, Roberto Fabelo showcases his skillful technique to create captivating art pieces that urge the audience to awaken from the man-made nightmares. Fabelo’s life-sized rhinoceros sculptures, each weighing approximately 350 pounds, intricately crafted to highlight our reliance on water and the hazards of neglecting this vital resource and the life it sustains. These animals require water to survive, and on average, a rhino can drink up to 72 liters per day. Sadly, poaching and habitat destruction have pushed this remarkable species to the brink of extinction. Today, only 30,000 rhinos remain in the wild, down from over 500,000 in the early 1900s. Fabelo adorns one of his rhinoceros sculptures with a vivid bow as a symbol of their significance as a precious gift from nature that we must treasure and protect.

The Conde Duque Cultural Center hosts in its exhibition halls (Hall 1) from February 15 to July 30 an exhibition that puts works by the Cuban artist Roberto Fabelo in dialogue with Goya’s engravings from the series “Los caprichos y los desastres de la Guerra” (The vagaries and disasters of war).

It combines the artistic worlds of Goya and Fabelo, multifaceted creators who share a great imagination.

In addition to his artistic endeavors, Fabelo has been involved in art education in Cuba and has served as a professor and mentor to young artists. He has also been an advocate for the preservation of Cuban cultural heritage and has been involved in conservation efforts to protect Cuba’s natural environment.

Roberto Fabelo’s artwork has earned him a reputation as one of Cuba’s most influential and accomplished contemporary artists, and his work continues to captivate audiences with its imaginative and thought-provoking imagery.

We have best direct connections to the artist and some of his artworks for sale. Ask us about it.

Go to Roberto Fabelo to see some examples of his works. Also go to Fabelo Auction Results so see the exponential increase of value.