When Gallery Owners Bite
Four years ago I wrote this piece for Blogcritics on the subject of "Vanity Galleries."
And today, some disgruntled gallery owner somewhere, perhaps burned out after the waste of time and money that has been the 2008 art fair season, and maybe in a hotel room somewhere in the South as he/she drives the gallery van full of unsold work back to his gallery in Illinois or some other such state, writes the following in a comment about my post:
What you don't realize is that running a gallery is a BUSINESS, and there are expenses. If you had a full list of patrons and a CONFIRMED sales track, you'd be able to show anywhere in the world free of charge. If you're NOT going to sell paintings, a gallery still needs to pay its operating expenses. Upcoming artist need to gain EXPOSURE before anyone will buy their paintings.I'll let you folks answer this person; please feel free to comment here or at the Blogcritics post. I'm too tired to deal with this asshole.
If you are a NOBODY, no gallery will show your work. Show me a list of patrons who regularly BUY your work, and I'd invest into your career. It costs upwards of $40,000 a month to run a commercial gallery. If a gallery only showed UPCOMING artists with no fees, they would go out of business. My gallery shows one established artist a month, and has a few unknown artists.
If I ONLY made $20,000 from the established artist, I'd be $20,000 in the hole EVERY MONTH. Why should I take that burden to promote your art. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE LOGIC BEHIND THAT!
You are DELUSIONAL if you think that I'm going to go broke promoting you for no financial reward!
You folks need to reevaluate the BUSINESS that you have chosen. When I go to Red Dot or Art Miami, I have to pay upwards of $20,000. EVERYONE has to pay to show work! You need to join the real world. A gallery falling in love with your art and selling out of an UNKNOWN's paintings is a fantasy. It doesn't happen. You need to be FAMOUS before you make money as an artist, or you can paint "hotel paintings" and sell them for $1,000 a piece. The choice is yours...