100 days 100 galleries; Day 32: Banditto Gallery, Tuscany Italy

Banditto Art is a digital platform for collectible arts, exploring new ways to open the doors to art collecting. Our personal obsession with the discovery of new masterpieces makes the most remarkable and inspiring minds cross our path. By sharing them, we are eager to engage the aspiring collector in this intriguing world and cultivate new connections with collectors, artists, and gallerists.

Carlos Fentanes (CF): I received an invitation from Keri James about the Banditto Residency Prize. Then I tried to do some research and I couldn’t verify anything, nor the owner of the gallery, the place is for rent in Airbnb but there’s no reviews. Everything seems a scam.
And then I found some comments on Facebook.
Who you really are?

Banditto Gallery (BG): Hi! If you don’t feel comfortable just ignore the email. If you unsubscribe at the bottom of the email, you won’t receive any more mails from us.
For us this competition is a nice way to get in touch with new artists. We keep the price very low because we know how hard it can be for artists.
We feel that we offer something really nice and the artists that have been with us seem to agree
If you give me your email I can also remove you from the list

CF: That’s the easy way but that’s not correct.
The question is what is wrong with the way you are promoting your prize? There’s a lot of misinformation on the web about it.
How do we can correct this?

BG: Hey! Good day!
What kind of misinformation?
You can find all the information regarding our competition on our website
If you have any questions
I’m here to help of course
If you search in Google for Banditto Regards Prize, in the first page of results appears the website of the gallery but also a bunch of sites about warning for art scams.
My name is Roy btw

CF: There are no news about other winners

BG: I usually don’t do the Instagram page
It’s weekend so I sometimes check it
Heyyy but there are!

CF: Roy, you’re the owner of the gallery

BG: Sol is doing an exhibition!

CF: I looked for your profile too

BG: We are hanging her work as we speak!
She will join us in September
Last week I think for 10 days
She one last time
Should be on our website also
Did you sent me a friend request?
Only recently started the profile so I’m looking for friends 😉 haha

CF: I don’t know, maybe
There’s no information about you on LinkedIn either.

BG: About me?
I have a page
Didn’t see it?
Don’t use it often but there should be a page

CF: Yes
I saw your page but the information there is confuse

BG: Hahah probably because I never use it
What did you see?
What was strange?
I’m sorry but I’m not really into social media myself.
But tell me what was strange ?

CF: I saw a website called CrunchBase

BG: ?
Don’t know what
O wow
What does it say?

CF: I think it’s about funds and how to invest money

BG: Do you have the link for me?
Haahah how cool is this
I googled my names and crunch base
Haha you find meetink
Was the first company I started
10 years ago
But what is your question?
What is strange about the LinkedIn profile?
Maybe I can improve

CF: On that site there was no information about your art entreprenourship

BG: On LinkedIn?

CF: no, on crunchbase

BG: I never even heard about crunchbase
So I don’t know how my info ended up there
Meetlink was my company though
But was a long time ago
I sold it
Or at least the software we developed
Where are you from?

CF: I live in Canada
but I’m from Mexico

BG: Cool

CF: Mexico-Canadian?

BG: Well I’ve been checking your profile but you are very talented
Yes Mexico first of course
Mexican living in Canada
I’m Dutch but live 6 months a year in Italy
Carlos is you name?

CF: Carlos is my name

BG: Nice to meet you Carlos

CF: Nice to meet you too, now I’m more confident about your gallery, maybe I should apply

BG: Well you can always visit first
But is a long drive hahah
Glad you contacted us directly

CF: It’s the best way to make friends.

BG: Well nice to meet you Carlos
When I think of Mexico I always think of that goalkeeper that could play soccer very well
You know his name?

CF: Campos?

BG: Haha yes!
Liked him a lot

CF: He’s a hero in Mexico

BG: Loved him when I was a little boy

CF: 👍

Here we finished our conversation for today, but I’m sure we’re going to be connected for a while since now.
And with a connection also comes opportunities and that’s what I’m looking for now.
At the end I applied for the residency price.

William Bradley
Frans Smit’s Solo at Galerie Wolfsen in Aalborg, Denmark.
Anna Madia

13 responses to “100 days 100 galleries; Day 32: Banditto Gallery, Tuscany Italy”

  1. Hey Carlos, are you still in contact with the Banditto art, could you eventually verify if they were a scam or not?

    Kind Regards,

  2. My personal recommendation: Do not enter in this contest. If it smells like scam, feels like scam and you wonder it’s a scam, probably it’s a scam.

    Is it a scam? In my opinion No but it’s not a real Art gallery either or an art workshop; actually it’s an AirBNB apartment and the basement is used as “Art Gallery”, this is the link:


    There is a contest, yes, and there is three winners but this is more like winning the lotto, your chances are very low and everything is very opaque. They don’t inform how many people enter the contest, how they choose the winners, nothing.
    And now my estimation is that they send at least 10,000 to 25,000 invitations around the world. Just imagine your chances.
    This is more like a marketing business than an Art Gallery.

    1. Indeed, Carlos. I was looking for information and found nothing that could been said on their favor. Thank you for the effort on sharing

  3. Thanks Carlos for doing research on that contest. Basically, you did a great service for artists who, like myself, weren’t sure about this contest/residency. I was debating doing it but am pretty damn broke. I think I’ll pass.

  4. Muchas gracias Carlos por la información y la recomendación respecto a esta galería, estaba a punto de aplicar, pero como que algo no me terminaba de convencer.

  5. hey guys! is it really a scam? because i received an email also inviting me on this gallery contest. But, when i asked where and what kind of artwork of mine they actually saw they didnt answer me which artwork and kind of social media they saw them.

    1. They actually didn’t see any of your works, it was the algorithm that send you a mail.
      They’re sending around one thousand mails a day. Winning this contest is like winning the lottery, so it’s kinda scam. please don’t enter this prize.

  6. Caroline Walsh-Waring Avatar
    Caroline Walsh-Waring

    Well, all very interesting. I asked other artists in my area if they had heard from these people and no-one had so I felt quite flattered. However, reading the above they are clearly just a little bit wiser than the average scammer. Ah well, I shall be discovered another day! Ha ha.

  7. I wouldn’t say it’s quite a “scam”, but it’s probably not as earth shattering as they make it sound in the emails. It sounds like a guy with a nice home in Tuscany is marketing an “art contest” for a $15 entry fee, collecting a good deal of money considering how many people they probably contact, and they giving one random persona free week in his AirBNB house. It’s probably how he pays his mortgage, haha. Not a bad racket… It’s weird that they contacted me because I make kinetic sculptures, namely motorized ocean wave displays. Kind of tough to judge by a photo set.

  8. I had entered their competition one time and I do keep receiving invites from Keri James which is too bad because it is flattering to be chosen to compete in “ the worlds most famous art competition “ makes you feel silly really but it’s part of an artists experience I suppose but I’m glad I stumbled across your site thanks

  9. Hi, Bonjour
    I have been approached by Roy Ockers from banditto art. In French Bandit means : Bandit
    I was a bit surprised , so after their second email adding a mobile number I started googling and found out it’s a scam and it’s not the first time they get in touch with me.
    So I’ll translate in French in order to be inform French speaking artists : attention ce sont des bandits ne leur répondre pas. Leurs messages sont des scams.
    I have a copy if their emails :
    We have you in our database as an artist. I have had a lot of free time on my hands because of the restrictions here in Italy.. 😦
    I’ve been using this time to update our lists and in the meantime get to know some of the artists personally. Are you still creating art?

    If so, I would love to see what you are working on. Are you on Instagram or do you have a website I can look at?

    I hope you and your family are doing well. Stay safe.

    Greetings from beautiful Tuscany,

    Roy Ockers

    Art collector and Founder @banditto.art


    1. Kaarina Kuusisto-Lukkari Avatar
      Kaarina Kuusisto-Lukkari

      I just resived same email! 🙈

  10. I received the same email.. I paid, without doing any research.. this is a scam.. I lost my 60 bucks as I paid in CAD

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