Sunday, June 27, 2004

Bad things artists do to galleries...

This just happened to a Washington, DC gallery:

A person who has a very good professional career is also an artist and approached a local gallery asking to be considered for a show. The gallery owner liked the work and offered the artist a show.

That gallery then sent the artist a contract.

Nearly a year later, a few days before the opening - once all the invitations and publicity have been done - the artist sends the gallery an email stating that the artist thinks that the gallery's 50% commission is outrageous and unethical (the standard commission by DC area commercial fine arts venues is 50% by the way - a few non profits are 40% and by the way, some NYC galleries are as high as 70%).

The gallery is also somewhat at fault here, as they should been in better commmunication with the artist and ensured that the contract was well understood and signed and agreed upon before the last minute.

The day of the opening night, the artist shows up with the work, including several pieces that are not for sale. The gallery informs the artist that in order to pay the rent, the gallery must sell work. A verbal fight follows, and finally an agreement of sorts is agreed upon - but never actually written down. On opening night, some work is sold.

The next day the artist shows up complaining that her work has been sold.

The exasperated gallery owner cuts the artist a check for the 50% commission and asks that the artist remove all their work from the gallery and never approach them again.

The artist takes the check and leaves - probably thinking evil thoughts about the gallery. The gallery is now faced with an empty gallery.

A true story...


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