Friday, May 20, 2005

Get it off your chest: open thread

What do you dislike most about galleries? Be honest.

Unless you've actually been to my gallery, I won't take it personally. Even if you have...I'm curious in an anthropological sort of way.

46 Comments:

Anonymous Rocco said...

Yes I am totally serious...I love to hate..Kidding. I am always joking..sorta. nice blog by the way.

5/20/2005 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

thanks rocco

I enjoy your joking, but I understand why a few others take it seriously. You remind me of an ex of mine in that way, actually. He had been a British Marine...were you in the military too?

for anyone else reading this, rocco's responding to this post on Oliver's site.

5/20/2005 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my honest feeling: I wish galleries would allow you to use their bathrooms. Sometimes looking at bad art gives you painful pipes and you need to go. Why is it not ok? Do you think we will snort coke and pee all over?

5/20/2005 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Sometimes looking at bad art gives you painful pipes and you need to go. Why is it not ok? Do you think we will snort coke and pee all over?

I let anyone who asks use our bathroom, but I understand galleries that don't. The supplies that get used up aren't free, and I've seen a number of people make a beeline for the bathroom and then back out again and never even glance at the art. To them I say, "This ain't Starbucks, freak."

5/20/2005 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is true. But you could have a small donation box for bathroom supplies in the bathroom. That would help offset your out of pocket expenses.

I hate when people go into galleries and don't even look at the art. These people should be wounded.

5/20/2005 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous bad outfitted one said...

So unfriendly. So rude. Also the attractive desk girls who glare with contempt at girls without cute outfits. (how do they look so good making $8-10 an hour?) And what's up with galleries paying their workers so poorly? Very dispiriting.

5/20/2005 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

well, why do you go to a gallery in a bad outfit?

And what's up with galleries paying their workers so poorly? Very dispiriting.

But I thought you disliked gallery workers...So unfriendly. So rude....why should they be paid more if they're rude and unfriendly.

5/20/2005 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous bad outfitted one said...

living wages are a human right.

I should dress better, its true.

5/20/2005 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

living wages are a human right.

I agree...I'm just kidding.

5/20/2005 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Cute Girl said...

Bad Outfitted One, you should read Lucky magazine. Lots of helpful tips for cute outfits. It is important to go to galleries dressed well. Consider it part of your armor, you will feel more powerful to glare right back at the insidious desk girls. Some of them are not so bad, by the way. Glaring is a human right too.

5/20/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Artist Type said...

Although I am insecure and skittish, I do not mind the galleries so much. I feel I belong there. It's the other artists I have a problem with. They are so negative and shifty. I like to wear large dark glasses and a hat so I can avoid people.

5/20/2005 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

It's the other artists I have a problem with. They are so negative and shifty.

It depends on their success I find. More successful artists are generally more positive and friendly. Human nature, I guess.

I like to wear large dark glasses and a hat so I can avoid people.

I know you!

just kidding ;-p

5/20/2005 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Marginally Successful Artist said...

That is not true, about the success level determining friendliness. I resent that perception. I find it depends on your nature - whether you wear your frustration and negativity on the outside or keep it in and prefer to have fun.

5/20/2005 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above. Sometimes more successful artists are pompous and lack attention spans for others. I will not name names.

5/20/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous curious said...

What is the proper etiquette when you walk into a gallery and know instinctively that you hate the work up that month? Do you have to pretend to be interested? is it seriously insulting if you walk out? Dealers know that people like different things right? Maybe I can't look at figurative work on a particular day. Maybe kinetic work is too loud and I have a headache. That is possible.

5/20/2005 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous jasper said...

there are many shifty successful one. I happen to be one. I am filled with rage and suffering. Why should I smile when there is only nothingness. Jasper.

5/20/2005 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Artist Type said...

You cannot pin your happiness on success, Jasper a case in point, a cautionary tale. Why so glum?

Curious brings up a good point. Surely dealers must expect that some people know they do not like a given show and must leave at once. Especially when there is a continuous sound loop involved. Even dealers must want to turn around and leave their own galleris from time to time, in certain cases.

5/20/2005 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes dealers are mean. Do they do it on purpose?

5/20/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous crionna said...

Having to wade through folks at the opening only there for the people and the free wine/cheese in order to get a decent look at the artwork.

I know why they're invited, but they still get in the way.

On that note, any recent Leslie Brack work available online e?

5/20/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not been to an opening that offered cheese in a decade.

5/20/2005 01:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Macallan said...

What do you dislike most about galleries? Be honest.

You mean besides all the art world types?

5/20/2005 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

i've been at some gallery openings who offered cheese :)
but prefer to have good open bar with real bartender who is in charge of drinks.

5/20/2005 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I second bambino's last comment...real bartenders!

Marginally Successful Artist,

you wrote: That is not true, about the success level determining friendliness. I resent that perception.

I was responding specifically to the charge that: "It's the other artists I have a problem with. They are so negative

Successful artists can be royal pricks, but few of them are negative in the way I took that to mean..."Jasper" here duly noted as the exception, although I suspect that "Jasper" is not a person per se, but a reference to this rather bitchy review by Charlie Finch.

On that note, any recent Leslie Brack work available online e?

Soon, she just finished a few gems...I'll update the site asap.

You mean besides all the art world types?

specifics, please! ;-p

Sometimes dealers are mean. Do they do it on purpose?

depends on who you are...if you're an artist who drags each new piece you finish into the gallery for instant appraisal, even thought the gallery has never suggested they want to work with you (and yes, this happens), then being mean is definitely on purpose.

On the other hand, a few dealers are just evil people. I've dealt with this myself and still have not found a good way to combat it. Essentially, in their gallery, they are king/queen, and there's not much recourse to bad behavior other than to not return.

5/20/2005 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous la artist said...

Galleries are different in different cities. In LA, the ones which wish they were in NY tend to be snobby; the ones happy to be here tend to be indifferent until the viewer asks an intelligent question, and then you can't get them to stop talking.

Anytime anyone comes to one of my openings in LA, I am grateful. I know how much time was spent in bumper to bumper traffic.

5/20/2005 02:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EW you are a nice person and a good dealer. I truly like you.

5/20/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

LA artist is definitely right about different locations/ambitions equalling different attitudes. One of the greatest things about Williamsburg galleries is that you can actually talk with the dealers generally. There's no "velvet rope" (or as is increasingly the case in Chelsea, colder metal chains). Of course, Williamsburg galleries are not as busy as Chelsea galleries, so there's a reason for that.

EW you are a nice person and a good dealer. I truly like you.

That's incredibly sweet of you "anonymous." I'd return the compliment, if I actually knew who you were...the "anonymous" option on this blog service is frustrating. It took me a while to realize that by choosing the "Other" option, you can use a name without having to register with blogger.

By the way, as lovely as it is to receive your compliment, "EW" is an unfortunate abbreviation of my name...but less unfortunate than the similar abbreviation of my gallery's name, I guesss, so, I'll just shut up now.

5/20/2005 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Macallan said...

specifics, please! ;-p

You mean besides the gays?

5/20/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Macallan said...

;-)

*Totally* kidding BTW, on both comments. I figured you'd know, but I realized others might not.

5/20/2005 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger mountain man said...

OK I will tell you who I am, but you may not reciprocate my love. I am MM, king of nothingness, and a scram of a man. Hi!

5/20/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

you know mac, that's my biggest surprise in the art world...there are no where near as many gays as I had imagined. In Williamsburg, for example, of the galleries who are members of the WGA, I think are are only 3 gay people out of nearly 40 dealers.

Collectors, on the other hand, there's a disproportionate number of gay collectors to the general population...all that disposal income, I guess.

5/20/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

OK I will tell you who I am, but you may not reciprocate my love. I am MM, king of nothingness, and a scram of a man. Hi!

Well, for those who don't know, the intials are generally associated with the dealer Matthew Marks, but as he would never write "EW you are a nice person and a good dealer. I truly like you," I'm still confused.

5/20/2005 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger mountain man said...

I am sorry to confuse you, EW. I am Mountain Man. We have met many times before. Maybe you will visit my blog someday.

5/20/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Your blog!!!

Finally. Do you know how many variations of artisticthoughts I googled, never ending up there. That's what I get for only discussing blogging with you over cocktails.

I'm adding you to my blogroll, MM.

Nice to see you here!

5/20/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger mountain man said...

Thanks EW! I am happy to commune with you this way. Less drunk than usual, but still, tons of fun. Your blog is great. I am looking forward to the next Bambino post.

Kisses,

MM

5/20/2005 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

speaking of Bambino's next post, the people at this party last night held at least a dozen Emmy awards and an Oscar (perhaps, can't remember) among them...not to mention the scandalous state of a few of them. Whether he can tell that tale without revealing names (and ensuring we're never invited there again) will require some careful parsing, but what a party!

5/20/2005 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous BearReason said...

I'm new to your blog.. Love IT! And thanks to Oliver for pointing it out!

Gallery Dislikes...
1. Galleries that don't have any information about, the artist or work, available at the front desk.

2. Vapid Rude Interns sitting at the front desks who can't answer even the most basic questions, Like: Who's the artist, Where is the Artist from, Are the art works shown available for sale, prices, editions, and sizes? Or even, who do I call to find out about the works, if books are avialable, why are all the gallery lights off (not kidding..it's happened)?
It's unbelievable sometimes!!

3. But my biggest dislike.. Gallery Owners/Managers who say all the works in the current show are sold out, when in actuality they were not even close to being sold! Please explain this one... Why do some of the "Blue Chip Galleries" do this?

5/20/2005 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Hi BearReason...thanks for stopping in.

Gallery Owners/Managers who say all the works in the current show are sold out, when in actuality they were not even close to being sold! Please explain this one... Why do some of the "Blue Chip Galleries" do this?

There's a few ideas behing such strategies. One is to build a perception that the artist is hot, and get folks talking. Another is quite frankly because a particular artist needs their work to get into certain collections. That's very important actually, and if you're not buying for one of those collections, the gallery doesn't want to see to you.

I wish I had the luxury actually.

5/20/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

behind such strategies even.

preview is my friend.

5/20/2005 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

sell to you

good grief.

5/20/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger ham paw said...

I like your blog EW. Your initals are not so bad. Be proud!

5/20/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous BearReason said...

So ED, What You're saying is that someday.. you wish and aspire to be able to snub the "small collector" in favor of someone "Important"!! Grrrr!!

Sounds like discrimination to me.

Wow.. Now That's a sad statement about the Gallery Industry!

5/20/2005 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Not at all what I'm saying Bear Reason.

It's not about "small" versus "big" collectors. I love my "small" collectors. I love the dialog I have with them.

It's about making sure that some of the work ends up in museums. My artists need that.

5/20/2005 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon said...

What I hate most about galleries? When the art doesn't have any information about it on display. Then you have to go over and talk to the gallerist, risking the meanness referenced above. Or--and when it's a group show this is particularly annoying--you have to borrow one of the very few price lists available at the counter and walk around with it. I'm not going to buy anything; I just like to know who did what. A print-out and a tack would fix this problem just fine.

The prose style and conceptual inaninity of most artists' statements are problems for another day...

5/21/2005 08:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

about the bathroom issue. was in chelsea once and my guest needed to go, i asked politely if he could use their restroom, they blankly stared at me and said no with a lame excuse which i questioned them about. then they proceeded to treat me like i was going to cause a scene, actually was seriously thinking about it, and the owner ushered me and my guest out the door. needless to say when i opened a gallery i don't encourage guest to use the bathroom, but i'm always polite and more than happy to direct them to it if they ask.

6/17/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

where is your gallery, anonymous?

6/17/2005 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's around, not very prominent, but probably unethical for me to self promote, or blab about all the craziness i've seen lately while running the gallery. as far as the cryptic prose in artist statement, artist like other people tend to be insecure in one way or another, and feel the need to inflate or intellectualize too much about their work. It's a catch 22 cause gallerys, dealers, and buyers also want that level of protentiousness as a safety net for their cause/investment/whatever. I've read many inane statements as well as written them myself, however once in awhile I come across some interesting prose, which makes it all worthwhile...i think.

6/17/2005 03:15:00 PM  

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