No, this is not a virus.

If you’re just discovering this page, here is a summary of what it discusses:

For years people have questioned the authenticity of the artwork advertised as being created by this child with autism “who speaks through her art”.

Since 2013, there has only been one video out there of her painting. This is a partial clip of the full home video that was submitted to ABC. The original video shows more of her natural and authentic painting process, which appears to be smearing a mass of paint that is muddied in appearance. This is in direct contrast to the colorful and delicate/precise art being displayed on Zazzle that they are branding as being made completely by her “from the first stroke to the last piece of glitter”.

Questions about the video usually get deleted and blocked. People have even been slandered as being pedophiles just for asking. Doctors are also impersonated as an attempt to add credibility through deception (notice the timestamps).

Many people have questioned the work over time. However, if you do so on the Candy Waters Autism Artist Facebook page, you will immediately be blocked/banned/deleted. The comments vanish. When people have questioned the artwork on other platforms, the comments were met with legal threats and fake “cease and desist” letters by the business to intimidate and bully people from voicing their concerns.

If you read through the comments of the very first entry on this blog, you will see evidence of this and firsthand accounts of this harassment. There are many more examples of this out there. The business has gone after dozens of individuals personally for voicing their opinions. They have even posted names and contact information for several artists, including those with autism (and their family members), and publicly slandered them in an effort to silence those speaking out or deter attention from their own public scrutiny.

In another desperate effort to censor people from the information shared on this blog, the Candy Waters Autism Artist page made an announcement that this page was a Virus rather than address any of the questions it raises. To say this blog is a virus is completely FALSE and just another example of them deceiving their own followers. For further reassurance, our URL begins with HTTPS, and is a secure and safe website.

Separate from this, many group owners have commented this blog to share personal accounts of the business spamming their support groups and lying about having certain conditions in order to gain access to the thousands of vulnerable people in these groups. From homeschool groups to specific disease groups, the business has targeted a large range. Here is only a partial list.

Celebrities are often advertised as endorsers of the work, however, many of the photos were taken at book signings and autographing opportunities, such as the 2015 Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago, where a single magazine’s cover art was autographed at multiple celebrity tables. If there is any concern over the validity of these endorsements, you can contact the organizations/representatives directly to inquire.

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Notice

This blog and its authors have no affiliation with content published on any other blogs or websites. The content published here is completely independent and separate from any copycat claims concerning other businesses or artists.

Take Action

If you believe you have witnessed or been the victim of Internet fraud, you can file a report online here.

Before supporting any charitable cause, always do your research. Here are signs of charity fraud and how to report it.

Know your rights.  Consumer rights and consumer protection law provides a way for individuals to fight back against abusive business practices. These laws are designed to hold sellers of goods and services accountable when they seek to profit by taking advantage of a consumer’s lack of information or bargaining power. Some conduct addressed by consumer rights laws is simply unfair, while other conduct can be described as outright fraud. Consumer rights laws exist at the federal and state level. They are enforced by government agencies, offices of attorneys general, and through individual and class action lawsuits filed by victims. If you believe a merchant has violated your consumer rights, you can take the actions mentioned above, and speak with an attorney to send a message to the offender that abusive business practices will not be tolerated.

 

Candy Waters Autism Art Scam? pt 4

I invite you to view the comments on this blog, particularly the earliest entry, however the business owners of “Candy Waters Autism Art” offer comment on the first 3 entries.

You may notice that they do not address any of the concerns raised on this blog nor offer proof of authenticity of their product to consumers.

Instead, it appears, those commenting became personal targets of harassment by the business owners.

The following is a statement I’ve pulled from one of the commenters and her experience:

alina says:
March 5, 2016 at 11:53 am
This is my last comment on the situation as I’ve been alerted that my private information is now being shared by the Waters due to an innocent inquiry and comment on this blog.

My comment has never been about the family on a personal level, but about the business which happens to be named after their autistic child. I have not had any contact with this child or any desire to.

The blog is a collective of opinions. I am easily targeted because of my art business, which is a separate and irrelevant entity to this discussion.

Not only has the Waters family now posted my information in an effort to slander me, but they have spent Mar 2 – 4 researching and calling/emailing my past and current employers, institutions that show my artwork or are some how affiliated with me, as well as family members of mine that have been connected to what ever report they paid for to get unlisted information about me. The Waters have told them I am “stalking/harrassing their child who is a minor with autism” and spreading other falsehoods about me in an effort to deliberately ruin my reputation. I am not stalking anyone. It appears to be the other way around.

This behavior is absolutely uncalled for.
To inquire to a foundation, charity, or reporter about the authenticity of a product they endorse is one thing. To deliberately slander my name based on a personal opinion/belief I have that is in no way a representation of my art or my business, to my business colleagues in an effort to ruin my reputation is not only vengeful and reckless, but grounds for harassment.

The police are handling the situation and any further comment will come from my attorneys should the Waters continue to harrass me both on and offline.

I should also note that I removed the comments where Robert and Sandy Waters listed Alina’s personal address, because not only is that in direct violation of WordPress’s guidelines, but that is also a huge violation of someone’s privacy and against the law.

In all my years of business, I have never seen such reckless malicious actions from business owners in response to customer inquiry. Why resort to such behavior if you are in fact selling authentic products i.e artwork that was actually painted by a child with autism and not someone else?

Candy Waters Autism Art Scam? pt 3

Many news stories covering Candy Water’s art say the sale of the artwork has a charitable component, with half of the proceeds benefiting others with autism through the Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation.

For example, in a recent article that was posted to the Autism Speaks website, it states:

…Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation. Half of all proceeds from the sales of Candy’s prints are going to help others on the autism spectrum fulfill their dreams of becoming artists…

In an effort to find out the accuracy of this statement, we reached out to Kind Tree. According to them:

  1.  Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation does not sell work by Candy Waters. Their whole sales portal shut down last year.
  2. Artists were paid 50% of the sale of their reproductions that they printed and that came through their sales portal.
  3. Annual sales of Candy Waters through KindTree were roughly only $50.00 with 50% of that going to the foundation.
  4. Other sales Candy might have through her mother’s websites do not benefit KindTree.
  5. KindTree also could not comment on whether or not Candy created the art because they did not require proof of disability or a certificate of authenticity for the art.

So it is clear that the Zazzle sales do not benefit this charity and are a separate endeavor.

Besides Zazzle, Candy’s work appears for sale with We Are Lions. We Are Lions is not a charity and according to them:

I have never seen her make artwork personally, no. I cannot speak for what Candy and her family profess to be doing on their zazzle page, but We Are Lions is not a charity nor do we claim to be. We believe that these artists are talented individuals and through the sale of their artwork, handouts are not encouraged or necessary.

That being said, we give our artists and non-profit partners commission rates and royalty fees of 50% of net profits. When someone purchases from wearelions.org, a for-profit company, the consumer is not donating money directly to the organization or charity in which the original piece of artwork sold came from.

It also appears that We Are Lions has since removed Candy’s work from their shop.

This blog is in no way a personal attack on Candy Waters or her family, or on special needs children. The item in question is the authenticity of the artwork being sold online and the validity of the statement that it has a charitable mission for Autism.

When direct inquiries to Sandy regarding Candy’s process and whether a child with Autism created the work being sold were deleted on the Candy Waters Autism Artist Facebook page and other posts administrated by Sandy Waters, the discussion moved elsewhere in an effort to find out if anyone truly has seen this child create these paintings claimed to be made by her, or could provide proof of their authenticity.  Naturally, people and organizations that had published interviews on the artwork were also contacted in an effort to prove their authenticity. To this date, none of the organizations contacted can attest to Candy actually creating the paintings sold on the zazzle shop and the only video published of Candy painting has been suddenly removed from YouTube. The foundations affiliated with the sale of the artwork also do not seem to have a charity component for the sale of the artwork, nor any involvement with the artwork on zazzle, as has been previously advertised.

Candy Waters Art Scam? pt 2

Sandy and Robert Waters, the parents of Candace Waters, have commented the initial post upon the discovery of the page yesterday. You are welcome to view their comments, which have all been accepted, and read through the discourse between them and other parents of Autistic children.

If there is any confusion, the Waters are also posting under an alias in addition to this by the name “Liiz”. These were all submitted from the same person.

The original link shared with the public Youtube video of Candy Waters painting has been removed by her parents after being online since 2013. You can access the video here, as well as clips within this news segment (turn your sound up to hear the background audio).

For those that did not get to see the full video first hand, I will offer a synopsis of it here:

Candy Waters is 14 years old in the video. It is apparent that she is a child with autism. She is non-verbal and the severity of her autism shows that her coordination is also impaired. She is able to grasp a paintbrush somewhat unnaturally in a fist and swirls around paint on the surface before her very organically. Her father, Robert Waters, the man behind the camera in this video, is heard saying “Spread that paint”and coaching Candy to go back to painting when she loses focus and looks off elsewhere. This happens several times in the course of the video. The resulting painting is highly abstract, with a sort of muddy appearance due to spreading and mixing large amounts of paint together. There doesn’t appear to be any thought behind the markings on the surface but rather Candy is engaged by the act of painting itself; the tactility of the paint and pushing it around. The resulting image that is produced does not appear to have a premeditated composition. That is, it looks nothing like the artwork so heavily marketed on zazzle. On zazzle you see brightly colored paintings of suns, flowers, hearts, balloons and other representational imagery. The markings are precise, focused, and clean. The negative space and stark white of the paper are very important aspects of these paintings. Unlike the painting in the video, not all of the surface is covered in paint. The strokes themselves are delicate, varied. You can see the shape of the brush is important in these paintings. Sometimes the brush is used to “stamp” a pattern. In other times you see varying weights of the lines made. There is a definite and advanced understanding of color theory, “one-stroke” techniques, and composition. The abilities demonstrated in these paintings sold on zazzle do not match the abilities of Candy as shown in the YouTube video recorded by her parents. It is my opinion that her parents are the ones creating the zazzle paintings and not Candy Waters.

 

 

Candy Waters Autism Art Scam?

I think it is great that art is being used as an outlet for this child. What I find confusing is the independent sale of this artwork and heavy marketing online by her parents. If you research Candy Waters, you will see her parents promoting their zazzle shop that sells reproductions of her art in infinite forms, from greeting cards to clothing.

They have completely commercialized their daughter’s condition by creating a business with the artwork they claim as hers but show no evidence that she has actually painted it. They also claim that 50% of the sales of their zazzle products are donated to charity. Does the sale of this artwork actually benefit charity?

Beyond this, there is no visual evidence or proof that Candy has created the work that is so heavily branded as hers. If you watched the Youtube video of Candy painting, you will see her technique and resulting image differ completely from the style and precision in what is being sold on the zazzle shop. The two are night and day.

Consumers supporting the work of an autistic artist have a right to know the authenticity of the product they are buying. There is no evidence that they were done by an autistic artist. If you look at the following photo, labeled as Candy putting finishing touches on a painting, you will see that the painting is completely dry and the brush has no trace of paint on it at all.

Furthermore, when anyone directly inquires to the family about the process of Candy’s work, including parents of Autistic children, information that would be extremely helpful to them or therapists working with them, the comments get deleted, user gets banned, and the subject is completely avoided. Why do this unless you have a fraudulent operation you are trying to hide?

In an interview with a Licensed Art Therapist, her assessment of Candy’s work was as follows:

“I’ve worked with individuals with autism for the last five years, there are different levels of functioning. As autism is a Developmental Disorder, and often diagnosis is scale related, lower function to high function and the highest being Asperger’s. Candy seems to be lower functioning, and unable to produce the brush stroke seen in two of the paintings that I just looked at.
My individuals who cannot manipulate a paint brush, resemble Candy in the same manner and create abstract art, masses of color similar to what Candy does. My higher functioning individuals are able to manipulate the brush(es), and have completed portraits, still life’s and other compositions. I would also question it, as her father seems to do a lot of promoting in the video, telling her to spread that paint more. She is easily distracted, and her attention span is brief. Candy would not be able to do something like the birds without handover hand assistance, or someone doing it for her.”