Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Finding a gallery—the mantra of the artist

Represented by three galleries in major markets, I still periodically find myself asking, “How can I find a fourth?” It’s the worm that eats at the artist’s brain. Feeding the worm can consume one, whether emerging or established.

Recently, favorable commentary about my work appeared on a blog. Traffic on my website increased dramatically and remains much higher than before the notice. The page most looked at is the gallery listing. This astonishes me, not because my work merits attention, but because it demonstrates the hunger of artists trying to place their work. (The possibility that viewers are contacting galleries about my work has, alas, been disproved.)

After visiting the southwest, a friend told me Sante Fe has tons of galleries and buyers, and my work is “perfect” for that market. I know the former to be the case. The latter may or may not be true, but—from the point of view of finding a gallery in Sante Fe—only a small factor.

It’s a truism that the artist trying to place her work should know the kind of art the prospective gallery shows. Visit the gallery, and so on and so on and so on. Make sure your art fits. Okay, but commercial galleries are businesses that sell products to customers, and a gallery’s business practices, which might be most important in determining acceptance or rejection, are opaque to the artist.

The business side of the art gallery is appropriately on the distant emotional horizon of the artist, who devotes energy to developing and maturing a body of work. What has the market to do with that? Nothing, until it comes time to place one’s work in a commercial gallery.

A “perfect” aesthetic fit between your work and the gallery? A first step, the only one you can control.

Here’s how my work came to be initially reviewed by the galleries that represent me. A friend introduced me to the gallery owner, an artist represented by the gallery recommended my work to the gallery director, and the gallery owner saw my work in one of her clients homes. I have never placed my work through a submission to a gallery.

Will I again send images and a resume to a gallery I find interesting? Probably. In the meanwhile, I work.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Photo (15)

Ladri di biciclette (Cinematic Reveries)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Photo (14)

Oklahoma Farm Outbuilding