Sunday, June 01, 2008

Summer Blogging Hours Tuesdays and Thursdays

As I noted in a post a while back, I have a major deadline (I'm almost ready to announce what that is) at the end of the summer that will necessitate me posting less than I generally have. Because I find it annoying when I go to a blog and find the same lead post I saw last time, I'll announce now that my goal will be to post on Tuesday and Thursday mornings until September, when, I hope, regular posting will resume.

In an effort to make the summer postings as engaging as I can, therefore, I'm going to set Tuesday's aside to address questions I'll solicit here. In other words, if there's something you'd like discuss or questions for a dealer you'd like addressed, leave them in this this thread and I'll use Tuesday postings to offer the best answers I can or open up a thread on the topic.

Please note in advance that if I don't address a question you suggest, it may be I don't have anything I think interesting or helpful to say about it (which is really my subtle way of saying I'll still reserve the right to post on the topics I feel I'll be best at blogging about, regardless of how rigorously someone may lobby for a topic I'm not going to blog about).

With that caveat, though...what's on your mind?

Labels:

40 Comments:

Blogger Ryan said...

"Because I find it annoying when I go to a blog and find the same lead post I saw last time"

Time to get a feed reader.

6/01/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger redchair said...

Hi Edward,
My name is Vikki North and I'm a working California artist. I'd like to invite you to come check out my blog and gallery site. Lots of other artist and some patrons respond. They're an inspiration for many of my works. Come visit.
Vikki
http://redchair-vikkisblog.blogspot.com/

and http://www.theredchairgallery.com/

6/01/2008 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, I'd be grateful if you'd address the issue of collectors/buyers RETURNING work of artists. Is this done, how, why, what various situations have arisen from this (if any).
Thank you,
for now anon.

6/01/2008 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

When do you think it's too soon to sell pieces on the secondary market? A number of pieces I have bought seem to have increased by a lot in terms of market value. I have never bought a piece with the intention of selling it, and certainly don't want to do anything that could potentially harm an artist's career, but collections and tastes do evolve. I've been thinking about this since it was announced that Howard Rachofsky will be selling his Koons in London for the next round of contemporary auctions. I had a chance to visit his home in Dallas a couple of years ago and say what you will about Koons - his piece 'floating' on the private lake outside the Richard Meier designed home was absolutely stunning. Rachofsky's collection and my collection are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but I think $20 million to Howard is relatively the same as $20k to me so it's sparked some interesting discussions locally.

6/02/2008 08:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ed:

Would love it if you would address how to cultivate a serious art career if you are suck in the boonies and only make it into NY a few times a year, but are seriously producing, showing, getting reviewed regionally.
Thanks.

6/02/2008 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are going to set Tuesday's what aside? Tuesday's child? Tuesday's news? I believe this is a classic case of a superfluous apostrophe changing the meaning of a sentence. But we still love you.

Grammar Queen

6/02/2008 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ed,
I'm an unrepresented artist working in a Chelsea gallery 40 hours a week and doing my studio thing nights and weekends. There are so many of us artworkers/artists, I wonder what the dealers think about us. Is it generally frowned upon when aspiring artists are known to work gallery day jobs?

anonymous registrartist

6/02/2008 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

You are going to set Tuesday's what aside?

"Tuesday's Aside"

Great title for the Tuesday posts. Thanks for the suggestion.

Yes, yes, yes, GQ, I introduced a superfluous apostrophe, but does it still count as "changing the meaning of a sentence" if what you're really doing is rendering it nonsensical? I guess it does. But I'm not sure. Oh well. Say la vee. (just in case you thought nothing could make you cringe as much as a superfluous apostrophe)

address the issue of collectors/buyers RETURNING work of artists

Could you clarify the context a bit? There are quite a few possible scenarios that could mean.

When do you think it's too soon to sell pieces on the secondary market?

Will address. Thanks for the suggestion.

Would love it if you would address how to cultivate a serious art career if you are suck in the boonies and only make it into NY a few times a year

Assuming you mean if you are "stuck" in the boonies...yes, again thanks for the suggestion.

There are so many of us artworkers/artists, I wonder what the dealers think about us. Is it generally frowned upon when aspiring artists are known to work gallery day jobs?

Another great suggestion, thanks. Keep 'em coming, please.

6/02/2008 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be interested in a discussion apropos Carol Diehl's recent comment about having artist friends and hashing things through with them being the point of being an artist; selling being secondary. As a nonwealthy artist and art educator who still chooses not to sell her fabulous work and will only show in nonprofits and small (or large, if the opportunity presented itself)museums, I wonder if I simply am a weird anachronism at this point.
The business side of the artworld doesn't attract me but exhibiting seems vital--not a high handed moral judgement of anyone else, by any means, though!

6/02/2008 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric said...

Anon:
>>>The business side of the >>artworld doesn't attract me but >>>exhibiting seems vital--not a >>>high handed moral judgement of >>>anyone else, by any means, >>>though!


You are not alone.

If the pressure is to exhibit they are other systems than commercial galleries where you can show up (with bare money involved). But of course it will depend on what you do.

You may not need the money but still make a kind of art that is "commercial" (a nice painting), so then you won't have much other opportunities than galleries. But you can always give your art to museum.

Exhibiting is vital, that's totally understandable, but exhibiting cost money (renting, publicity, etc), so if you are not going to let gallerists get their cut in return, my advice is try to rent a space and exhibit on your own.

Or, as I said, go through the circle of non-profit centers (they are plenty). or make performance-ephemeral art that you document, or give to museums. If you are THAT good, chances are a gallerist will come to you anyway and try sollicitate. You'll just have to say No.

They are some rare cases of artists who mostly kept all their works, but many of them are discoved after their death, when the art finally becomes "available".

Or maybe the gallerist will think even your secondary works is worth selling and will accept your reluctance to sell the better pieces? They're not all up the curtains about money, you know.


A good question to ask, wrether an artist needs the money or not, is what place is the best to be seen when you're a total starter that no one has ever seen. Does it always have to be at school? I am presuming that gallerist need to see the work in person and won't look at a dvd résumé.


Cheers,

Cedric Caspesyan


PS: question to artist: how much is an assistant paid, grosso modo?
You pay them by contract or by the hour?

6/02/2008 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedric:

I have worked off and on as a part-time artist's assistant for the past 3 years and the starting wage has always been $15/hour, with a raise to $18 after six months or so.

I do know a few artists who have paid their assistants a salaried wage (including health benefits) through the artist's gallery but I think this is less typical.

Hope this helps...
Assistant Anon

6/02/2008 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

have you discussed the galleries nearby that have closed recently, and what that may imply about the market? i know things are going swimmingly over at the auction houses, but at street level, i'm not sure everything is so swell.

6/02/2008 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Barbara W. said...

hello,
I'm a Canadian artist (not young, but just starting out, or restarting, after having had a family) interested in gaining exposure in the U.S. and would like to know if you think that exhibiting at 'starter' NY galleries - for example one that describes itself as the "united nations" of the NY gallery world, or a gallery that showcases women artists, or 'rental' galleries etc. - would ultimately help or hinder my c.v.
Barbara W.
p.s. thank you for a generous and informative blog.

6/02/2008 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Edward,
Here's what's on my mind: for the last decade, I've been working in a particular (craft) medium. I've built myself a tidy wee reputation: some direct sales from the studio, plenty of group exhibitions, a few good reviews and (fewer) solo shows in small-potatoes venues; no gallery representation, though there has been some back-and-forthing with a few. Over the last two years, I've grown bored with the medium and am ready to make a change, if only for want of some stimulation and to preserve my sense of integrity---I can't keep doing something I don't absolutely love anymore.

I know the direction I'm (already) moving in, which is quite different. My questions are:

1.)What to do about my portfolio in regards to galleries? Am I starting from zero again, or can I continue to show the old work, or a mix of old and new, as a way of proving that I'm a hard-working lass? How is this switch going to be perceived? Do I need to convince people all over again that I'm a serious artist?

2.)What about the rep. I've already built? I can go to national-level conferences and people know who I am. That's gratifying, much more so than sales. Is it dumb to give that up?

3.)Anyone else out there in blogland in a similar quandry?

I've been reading your blog for quite a while and respect your professional opinion a lot, so don't hold back.

6/02/2008 11:15:00 PM  
Anonymous n said...

Have any must-read art world periodicals?

and an opinion - Art Forum: a must read?, fascinating?, or feels-like-a-chore-snoozefest?

6/02/2008 11:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Thanks for the reply, Assist-Anom.
A thread about artist assistant stories would probably be crispy.


Other anon, I don't understand your struggle. Why don't you just say in your statements that you hate your old stuff? I think the acknowledgment of that can be helpful to your career as there is always a link, something that goes from one point to the other, and if you don't think that's pertinent your viewers might reveal how it is for you.

Or are you Kinkade wishing to make minimalist conceptual?

Nevertheless, only bring your old stuff in context of a survey, or if it must be there to reflect upon whatever you do now. Mixed shows are generally annoying.


Cedward (your replacement host for the summer, mouhaha)

6/03/2008 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger kalm james said...

Ed,
With the up coming election season I’d be interested in your thoughts regarding politics/political correctness in the art world, and the practice of “black-balling” artists, critics and dealers regardless of their work, on the basis of their perceived political affiliations. Tyler Green has mentioned this, but for a community which stresses its tolerance, this seems to be a glaring example of hypocrisy at the very highest levels.

6/03/2008 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

i seem to remember problems in the past with this but, i think on off days a "guest blogger" could be interesting. or maybe you could have guests "curate" text and images culled from the web, in a similar spirit to "Artists Using YouTube" at the Kitchen.

6/03/2008 04:09:00 PM  
OpenID ericgelber said...

Please share with us a sweepingly general, negative/pessimistic observation about the art world and a positive/optimistic one. Please make these statements as prejudiced and judgmental as you can.

6/03/2008 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger crionna said...

have a major deadline (I'm almost ready to announce what that is) at the end of the summer

Senator Obama is going to wait that long to name you his running mate? ;)

6/04/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Wow, I just saw the great video documentary with interview of the recent Yinka Shonibare show at James Cohan Gallery. I don't know if this is just a one-off or if they plan to make this a tradition, but it's simply the best way EVER a gallerist have represented their artist on the web, yet, I find.

Kuddos to James Cohan for that, and other gallerists should follow this example.

Of course I'll be looking forward to the Shonibare retro in Brooklyn.


Gosh I sound like someone paid me,
but I just needed to shout it out.


Cedric Caspesyan

6/04/2008 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspe said...

Ok, my bad.

It seems the video was directed and produced for Artnet TV by Nicole Davis.


I had no idea about this artnet TV. But then I sort of evitate Artnet since Kuspit and Finch always seem to hate the things I like and call me stupid for liking them.


Cheers,

Cedric C

6/05/2008 03:20:00 AM  
Anonymous n said...

Ed,

Not to go back to the highly debated post on censorship at the San Francisco Art Institute, it seems Philadelphia's Art Institute is going through its own censorship issues [as highlighted by Libby and Roberta's Artblog]: http://fallonandrosof.blogspot.com/2008/06/shoot-out-over-censorship-at-art.html#links

Any thoughts? Or is this one not as newsworthy since it seems somewhat cut and dry - and less controversial [gun violence as opposed to animal issues]?

Just thought it was interesting. I immediately thought of this blog when I saw it.


nic

6/05/2008 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed,
Hi, to explain my earlier post/question:

I am wondering if it is common for a collector to reconsider a purchase of work and ask to return it. The de-accessioning column addresses this in a larger sense, but I'm thinking of smaller stuff--for example, at a benefit auction or in a private sale. Does this happen, what do galleries do, and how do they avoid it.
For now anon

6/06/2008 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

Ed,

I noticed you moved your last few openings to Friday, which makes me want to ask, why the hell are there always so many openings on Thursdays?

In my memory I recall back in the day Tuesday was the big opening day, I guess because it is the first day a gallery is open in the week.

a few years back it seemed openings were spread out more evenly, but that kind of lead to a fatigue of trying to go to something everyday.

Then Thursdays seem to have a gazillion + one openings and other days practically none.

So now you move to Fridays, what gives? are you starting a new trend? following one that is starting? do you think the day of the week an opening is held makes a difference, I mean do collectors prefer to go out on a certain day, and would this help with sales? what % of sales occur at openings? % are pre-opening? % that occur through the run of the show?

I guess taking all that, what goes into the consideration of the day to hold the opening? Does it impact sales?

P.S (Bambino, looking forward to SEE and Be SEEN, keep your eyes and ears open, and your finger on the shutter.)

6/06/2008 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed,

I've been lurking on your blog for about a year, and always enjoy reading your posts. As a collector, I find your perspectives and opinions to very insightful and interesting.

I'm usually content with just reading the postings, but I'm currently in an interesting situation in which I would value your thoughts.

I recently acquired a work at one of the more well known art fairs (I'm going to be a little vague to avoid embarassing or angering those involved!). I loved the work, but was not sure how it would be received at home, so I paid a small deposit with the understanding that there'd be no problem if I decided not to take the drawing. After living with the work for about a month, and growing increasing fond of it, I verbally and in writing (albeit email) comitted to the piece and requested to be billed the balance. I received an electronic invoice and hard copy invoice, which I promptly paid in full.

The day I mailed my check I received a curious email from the gallery. Essentially, the message was that a museum, in another country, decided that it wants the work that I purchased and one other piece. Although the associate that I worked with claims to have advised the gallery's principals that the work had been sold to me, the principals told him that "museum acquisitions are paramount for artists careers, and the [museum]committee won't meet for awhile, so it's either we get the museum the piece or cancel the museum acquisition."

So, I'm being pressured to cancel the sale and return the work to the gallery, with the success of the artist's career dependent upon my cooperation. I might consider accepting another work in exchange for the one I have, but I would have to love it just as much--if not more. Short of this, I'm inclined to keep the piece. (It's worth noting that discussed my acquisition with one of the gallery's principals at the time I took it home, and there was no mention of the sale being conditional or subject to cancellation.)

After all that rambling, I'm just wondering if you think there's any obligation on my part to return the work--or is the gallery out of line in asking this? Would the museum refuse to take one of the two pieces it selected if it can't have them both? I'm not a big-time collector, but I have nice collection and have worked with scores of galleries in the US and abroad and have never had this happen. Thanks for letting me rant!

6/09/2008 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Hey anon,

The gallery is right that museum is better but if you place it in a museum yourself that'd be a great compromise I find. Why keep a good work for your own at home?

If you can do what is best for the artist, then the gallerist don't have to tell you what that is. It's all up to you.


If you do resell it, look that this transaction is honest and it's not going in the pocket of another collector that's favotized. That's how much I don't trust gallerists, unfortunately.


(a thread on horror stories, anyone?)


Cedric Caspesyan

6/09/2008 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric said...

I meant favorized...

Or favorited?

Cedric

6/09/2008 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Carol Diehl said...

Hi Ed,

Since it involves gallery business, here’s a subject that may be more appropriate to your blog than mine, namely exhibition announcements. I’ve begun to hear from galleries (Von Lintel and Team recently) that they will be “saving paper” by replacing the traditional post card exhibition announcement with email. As a critic, I get tons of emails from galleries, many I've not heard of nor been to, and never open any of them. To me, they're not much better than spam. I do, however, look at each and every card I get in the mail—-cards with images, that is. And I often save them for months or even years.

Then as an artist, I’m concerned that once a gallery establishes this as a policy, will it then become an expense that gets passed on to us? And will there be a reliable database available if we do want to send cards?

This is how I go about choosing which galleries I visit: I make a stack of all the announcement cards that look interesting, go through the ads in Art in America and Artforum, then print out the ArtCal list of galleries by neighborhood and address and highlight what I find. I also do research from the ArtCal list as well.

Another thing I appreciate is when galleries include thumbnail images of each piece next to the entry in the checklist. Like announcement cards, they serve as a reference I’m likely to keep for a long time.

As a gallery owner, what are your thoughts?

Thanks!

Carol

6/16/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous ollie said...

Hi Ed,
Are there protocols you could suggest with regard to inviting a gallerist or curator to my studio for a studio visit. Is it inappropriate for me to do the asking?
As a somewhat known artist smack in the middle of “emerging” and mid-career I have always found this incredibly awkward even when I am reasonably certain that the invitee is familiar with my work. However, I am now beginning to think I have nothing to lose.
You must be asked to do studio visits all the time. Does this bother you and does your response depend upon your knowledge and possible interest in the artist’s work or do you consider it the equivalent of a cold call or someone sending you slides, only more presumptuous.

6/23/2008 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

Hi, Ed-

Did you see the NEA report on Artists in the Workforce? It seems as if the government spent a lot of money to tell us what we already know: that artists live primarily in urban areas, that artists earn less than those with similar education levels, etc.

Here's the link: http://www.arts.gov/news/news08/ArtistsinWorkforce.html

I posted a rant on my blog ( http://joannemattera.blogspot.com/2008/06/and-now-rant.html )and got a few like-minded responses, but I'd be interested in what your thoughts are--and those of your many readers.

Thanks,
Joanne

7/02/2008 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Carlo said...

Good Job! :)

7/04/2008 06:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Winkleman-

First, thank you for being an amazing resource for artists. It is greatly appreciated. I am a professional working artist finding myself between a rock and a hard place at the moment. My scenario/questions……

Over the last several years I have been working with a young contemporary art gallery that I have a lot of respect for. Over time, she revealed how she frowned upon the other galleries with which I had built relationships. She felt the shows would reflect directly on her reputation and the reputation of her gallery. Eventually, she encouraged/instructed me to end all relationships with these other galleries. The dealer promised to be my sole representative and vigorously promote my work to “bigger” named galleries and museums. Thus allowing her name not to be soiled by the artist she shows.

Long story short this never came to fruition and pushing my work into more “luxurious” markets was more trouble than it was worth to her. Now, I feel abandoned all together. I need to start cultivating relationships with other galleries but still feel this weight to ask permission from the dealer before moving forward because she is the only gallery I have at the moment. She generally wants me to succeed and have a great career. But, once I take on a show with other galleries not in the proper circle, she starts to feel insecure and lets me know I have made horrible decisions and that I shouldn’t have taken on the show in the first place. I approach each situation with extreme patience because I feel she is learning everyday, as am I.

Is it common for dealers to determine for their artists where they show & who they show with? I feel her ego is more of a priority than my career at this point. If this situation is growing pains for a young professional artist….I’m happy to tread these waters as best I know how and be patient. Deep down, I want this relationship to work for me and her….but, feeling very frustrated at the moment.

Any feedback you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
a working artist……

7/07/2008 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

do galleries that work with emerging artists and develop new talent also work to develop new collectors and find new markets for contemporary art or do they wind up competing for the same coveted collectors and collections along with more established artists and galleries?

7/09/2008 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are wonderful, Ed. Thank you again.

The profiles or backgrounds of gallerists seem as varied as their numbers. So many artists seem to be involved with galleries, but without any sense of what is "normal" in such a relationship. (That is why this blog is so valuable). What about a list of warning signs that you should consider leaving a gallery?


I am rurally located. My gallery takes me to art fairs, giving me visibility, but one of the owners is an artist and she shows her own work and the work of her daughter amongst the rest of us. I know this is cheesy, but how bad is it? Is it worth giving up exposure to avoid association with such a gallery?

7/09/2008 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

do you think visual art has such a limited audience as a medium because in most of our culture- visual media are used to advertise to consumers to get them to go shopping or manipulate them into buying something by suggesting values that appeal to popular taste? does it prevent people from buying art or experiencing art because of their suspicion of its message? what is contemporary art's message?

7/16/2008 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous nic said...

Well...it's "official": http://www.observer.com/2008/style/having-lost-i-project-runway-i-bravo-picks-sjps-reality-show

is it blog-worthy? I mean, it's easy to pan. Any "reality" show is. BUT it's enormous exposure. Some shows that have gone on to become "legitimate" exposure generators include Project Runway, Top Chef [both on Bravo], and [while sometimes being a dog&pony show] Last Comic Standing. People with legitimate talent and backgrounds are actually now applying to these shows. Will the arts-version have a chance? Should it? What would be worse - good art on tv that general audiences don't "get" - or - being a wild hit while showcasing things the "real" artworld wouldn't be caught dead with?



-n

7/27/2008 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Hi Ed,

Say an emerging artist comes by some money (donation, sale of work, inheritance, Apple shares, ...). In your opinion, what are smart ways to use this to further an art career?

Like many emerging artists, since finishing my MFA a year ago I've been struggling to get my work presented (it didn't help that I moved cities). On the flip side, I've managed to save up a five figure pot. I've had a bewildering range of opinions about how to leverage this to help my career, including:

1) Rent an exhibition space - I've heard that dealers frown on "vanity exhibitions". Is this true? If not, any recommended venues?

2) Rent a storefront in the LES for several months, install a group show there.

3) Make a single large/expensive work - someone with a presentation space will be more likely to want to show it, and when shown it will make more of a splash.

4) Hole up in the studio for six months, make new work, its all about the work.

5) Make a book and send copies to a wide range of dealers and institutions.

6) Keep it in savings for when you really need it!

I don't have training in business, and I'm feeling a bit stuck. Any insights from an expert like yourself would be fab.

Jon

7/28/2008 06:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ed,

Do you think it is appropriate to contact curators who have organized group exhibitions with content specifically and directly related to one's own subject matter? For example, "Dear ___, I was excited to learn of your recent exhibition at ____ exploring the subject of ____. As my work also relates closely to this content, I thought you would be interested in learning about it..."

Basically, Ed, I'm wondering how to get my work more into the conversation with regard to a specific topic in art over the last few years. Upon learning of these exhibitions I've thought of contacting the curators directly, but am apprehensive about coming off as too direct.

Thanks for any advice!

8/03/2008 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ed and Community,

Please help me with your insight on a situation.
Since working with a gallery over the last 2 years, I am finding that communication is not meeting my needs or expectations. I'm not one to call frequently or take up someone's time needlessly. But when I do call my dealer, it often takes over a month to get a call returned. This is the case even when the agenda is to discuss details for a solo show. I've tried email instead of the telephone, and these also go unanswered.

Is this the norm in the industry? Do dealers typically blow off their artists in such fashion? And if its not the norm, how can I hit the 'restart' button? Or am I best off switching to another gallery?

Sincerely,
perplexed artist

9/21/2008 01:32:00 PM  

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