When I lived in NYC, I think it was Tuesdays that one could walk in and present a plitfooro for review. One Tuesday I was rejected from 11 galleries. It was easier to cope with the rejection after a few martinis. I still send stuff out and rejections far outweigh the acceptances. I don’t take it personally anymore, I accept that it is a business. Sometimes my work may fit in with the gallery but they may also have 1 or 2 other artists working in a similar style and don’t really need another. For me it’s like entering juried shows, it’s all a crap shoot.You’ve got the skill now it may just be a matter of timing. Hang in there Tracy, your work is good and you will find the right market. Better to have a gallery that really believes in you because they will work harder for you.
I’m just wondering why you feel you ‘need’ raellgy representation in the first place when this new age of showing and selling your art via the internet is already having a huge impact on artists lives around the world.I’m so excited about collecting art from Europe, America and everywhere else! I have to say, I think I’m over the whole raellgy thing.I was recently in a well known raellgy seriously considering buying a painting, when I realised I couldn’t stand the whole raellgy process. It was like dealing with a used car dealer! I could almost feel my Visa card crying out to buy direct from the artist – across the web!!! Needless to say I walked out thinking I should find out if the artist had a website…Here’s the thing, you only need a handful of devoted fans to ‘make a living’ and trust me, they’re out there…
Aw, come on! You’re really going to make me wait til toomrrow to hear the outcome of the story?Seriously though, I think that this is one of the most annoying aspects of being an artist – the “etiquette” of approaching galleries, because it differs from gallery to gallery and you never know what will get the attention of a specific place.I know they have a gazillion artists approach them every week, and I know that 95% of those artists are probably hobbyists that wouldn’t sell, but it still irks me that galleries clam up when you tell them you’re an artist. My husband and I like to buy art, and visit a lot of galleries for the purpose of just looking, and nothing annoys me more than a gallerist who looks like a deer in the headlights when I say I’m an artist (especially considering I’m not even in there to get representation). I won’t buy art from a dealer who won’t treat me just as well as anyone else who walks into the gallery, and I wouldn’t want them to sell my art either!Okay, sorry – rant over… =)
So glad you asked the question about rueeprnsented artists and gallery attitude to aspiring exhibitors. I was a little dismayed to read that there are young British artists out there who will give up if they haven’t made it by 25. I guess that is the eternal hubris of the young! I’ve been an artist in myriad forms and disciplines since I was a child; my galleries’ have been equally diverse in form and function. But, if I’m honest, I am still so hypercritical of my own offspring that I find it monumentally difficult to be persistent when it comes to approaching galleries. Does it flavour the curator’s taste? Do I have the right pedigree? Will I be hurried out the door by a fractious assistant? Is anyone actually listening if I call the gallery? How do I show my work if it needs a fork lift to get it through the door? I think this is an endemic problem with many artists young and old. Some of us actually find it hard to leap up and down and wave our arms in the air to get noticed. A bottle of Scotch and a few lewd remarks might work for Martin Creed, but for most of us it would be Light’s off’ and there’s the door!
Nov29 Like many an artist in the last 500 years, I awlays worked a day job. I have outsold Van Gogh already by many times but he only ever sold one piece (and people argue about that). It’s not about money, but the work. It will never be about the money because we HAVE to do the work. Poor Walt Whitman worked as a clerk at the Department of the Interior until the Secretary found out he was that racy poet and got him fired. He spent most of his early life doing back-breaking work as a typesetter. I do not beat myself up for not being famous, or rich, or anything else. I love my life, and love everything about art regardless of what anyone thinks. It is a deeply fulfilling life, and one I wouldn’t trade for anything. But I wish it were a friendlier world for artists. I used to join artists groups and stopped because they were awlays fighting about something, or jealous of another’s success. I think like the late great John Perrault: better bad artists than good bombs. Remember, you hard art makers out there: you will do more and better work if you can eat well, and buy good supplies!
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