Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion

John Haber, who writes one of the web's very best sources for solid art criticism at John Haber's Art Reviews, interviewed me recently about some of the topics in my book (How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery), and it's out now in this month's Artillery magazine. It includes a photo I most definitely need to rethink (or just keep on hand should I ever need a mug shot), but it was a really fun interview, forcing me to dig a bit deeper about a few of my central assertions throughout the book. Here's a snippet:
[JH]: One thing comes up over and over, from the very first chapters through the details of raising money. I mean, the importance of a profile, a statement of what makes this gallery unique. Why is it so important?

[EW]: It's not that important to the casual visitor, I'm sure. It's more important in helping guide a business owner through the tricky decisions that present themselves daily. Should I advertise in a photography magazine or a more general fine art magazine? It depends on the type of photography I'm talking about. If it's highly conceptual, then the photography magazine audience might not be a good investment. Even if it brings in a group to see that one show, unless I have other work that interests them, I'll probably have overspent for that ad. Knowing your program should guide which fairs you apply to, how you design your Web site, et cetera.
John notes that a fuller version of the interview will also post later on his own site, within a post that reviews the book itself. Here's a snippet of John's response to my efforts:
The book makes a practical statement just by its organization. After a brief, lively, and personal history of the profession, it gets very much down to business. Chapters give extensive space to the details of capitalization and cash flow, location and logistics. Aspiring dealers may dream most of discovering the next hot artist. And two late chapters do discuss where to find and keep both artists and collectors. First, however, there is work to do.

The work starts with some things that one might overlook entirely. Early chapters insist on defining your program, your markets, and your business plan. The last of those, laid out with especial care, will run longer than my own best business proposals. (Confession: in my other life, I am a publishing professional.) Who knew that one could plan for so much money going down the toilet? With luck, at least some of it will resume a steadier and more hygienic flow.

One may find the book—and the business of a gallery—daunting in another way as well. Chapters run methodically through the options, including the many different art fairs and publicity channels. They even quote hard numbers, although these, too, may date in no time. Winkleman does not, however, even try to make the tough decisions for others. There are too many galleries. There is also, he implies, no secret to success.
A big blog Thank You to John for both, the review and the interview.

Labels: how to start and run a commercial art gallery


Anonymous Cedric Casp said...

John Haber's blog was always one of the best. One of the early art blog I followed. Someone could as well interview him (I would love to know what were his 5 biggest art moment in the past 5 years, for example).


11/18/2009 04:45:00 PM  
Anonymous nemastoma said...

I fully agree with Cedric!

11/19/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous John H said...

Thanks so much, guys. Ed, sorry I'm still late on this. First I got distracted by everyone's venting on the New Museum; I figured I'd better rush some of my own while it still seems part of a controversy. Next I have to post what I wrote about Baby IKKI, since it's closing in November. And thanks so much for sitting for an interview; that way you do all the work! (I haven't seen the photo yet.)

11/19/2009 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous John H said...

P.S. Cedric. Fun question. I'll have to think about that one, but one would have to be no one moment, but just the whole LES.

11/19/2009 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

The attention is well deserved. Congrats, Ed.

11/19/2009 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

John H, if you catch this, one good article would be about the
whole 2000 decade. It's a pertinent question I think, the 10 most marking exhibits or artworks this decade.

Keep up the great work!


11/19/2009 07:30:00 PM  
Anonymous William Duncan said...

A really great read.Thanks John and Ed.

11/21/2009 03:06:00 PM  

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