Regulating the Art Business and Other Unpleasantries: Open Thread
It's hard to argue against that, really. It was probably time to regulate the art world ages ago. I, for one, am happy that hasn't happened, though, because I know regulation won't be any fun for me. But in response to Pedro's comment I wrote, thinking regulation can take many forms and affect many parts of any business:
It may be time for [regulation], but let’s be up front about what that means. First of all, each artist wanting to exhibit their work may need to hire a lawyer or manager to work out their contracts with galleries and museums. If you go the lawyer route, you can expect, in NYC to pay at least $350/hour. Unless you go with free services, but you may need to get in a long line then. If you go the manager route, it may cost you an extra 10-15% of what you sell. There may be other models, but none are free or hassle free.I'd like to elaborate on that a bit here. First of all, I realized after posting that comment that I jumped the gun in assuming I understood what type of regulation Pedro was talking about. He later suggested again that regulation was needed on the thread here about the Voice's decision:
How will this impact the struggling artists wanting to build up enough sales to quit their day jobs? Hard to say at this point (clearly it doesn’t stop ambitious young actors or musicians), but it will almost certainly ensure that galleries, who will have to hire their own lawyers, take fewer chances on artists for whom sales are not a sure thing.
The arts need to be regulated, its about time...
My response to this instance was less presumptuous:
I'm curious what form of regulation you're recommending, how it would address this particular issue, and what you see as the potential impact of such regulation in how artists work with galleries and/or museums?
I ask because my sense is that a little regulation always leads to a lot more regulation (it breeds bureaucracy). This may be appropriate (if frustrating) in many businesses, especially those where the public's health or well-being is at risk (Bambino walked past the Trump building where a worker was killed last weeks mere minutes before it happened, making me currently very much in favor of certain types of regulation), but it can come with a creativity-stifling price. That doesn't strike me as possibly even remotely good for visual art. As I noted above, I suspect, at the very least, that more regulation will necessitate less risk taking in galleries. (What risk taking? you ask...well, multiply that sentiment if you regulate things too much.)
Pedro hasn't responded yet, but I'm still curious and want to open up this thread to discuss what kinds of regulations might be appropriate for the visual art industry, with specifics about what abuse or potential abuse they would be designed to curtail and what impacts that might have on either what gets exhibited where or the creative process in general.
Again, I'm fine with the way things are, so don't ask me.
Labels: arts regulation