Studio Visits and Beyond; Making an Artist/Dealer Relationship Work

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Courtesy of Art Business.

 

You can taste it -- the prospect of a serious solo show. You've slogged away in the studio, been bulking the resume, participated in several well-received group shows, had a couple of modest but respectable solos, played the schmooze, and proved you're for real. You know you're good, you got the buzz, you got the recommendation, you got the referral, and now you got the appointment. Yes, this is the big one-- Max Pomposta, owner of Three Star Triple-A Fine Arts International Inc. Ltd., is coming to see you at your studio.

 

You've nuanced the room, primped the seating area, dusted and tactfully positioned the art with the good stuff up front, the ones everybody's taking about-- he'll see those first. You even bought a nice bottle of wine, just in case, and put it on the counter near the sink, visible but not too obvious.

 

You're ready as ever, right? Well, possibly. Max may love your art and it may be perfect for his gallery, but deportment seals the deal. You can never underestimate the value of the dealer/artist interaction and, assuming you survive that, your impending working relationship. Being honest and real is paramount, of course; you can't machinate yourself into a show. However, you can avoid certain indiscretions that will instantly kill a deal.

 

The truth is that Max doesn't always take on artists whose art he likes, nor do any other dealers. In fact, the overwhelming majority of dealers see more gallery-worthy art than they can ever hope to show. This means they have to draw the line somewhere, and where they draw it often depends on background noise, incidentals that may or may not be happening in addition to the art.. . . view more

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