Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pet Peeve Wednesday (and a Mnemonic Contest)

Dear Artists,

I adore you all, each in your own way. You know I do. But in the interest of offering some sincere career advice and lowering my blood pressure, might I suggest two things?

First, when emailing or snail-mailing a cold submission to a gallery (in the interest of having them represent your work)...do NOT begin your letter with "Dear Sir/Madame." Do not begin it with "Dear Gallery Director." Do not begin it with "To Whom it May Concern."

You're not applying for an entry level position within an international corporation. You're asking another human being to consider being your agent. That will be a personal as well as professional relationship. Make it clear you understand that (because the recipient of your inquiry surely does). Find the name of the person you should address your appeal to and use it. "Dear Mr. Winkleman" or "Dear Ed" (if you've met).

None of this is to say we're accepting submissions at our gallery at the moment. We're actually still not. But that has barely slowed down the number of submissions we receive, and while I have not found any new artists to work with through them, it does make me sad to see how, from the opening line, the artists looking for a gallery are handicapping themselves...lessening their chances that the inquiry will work. Their generic approach is an immediate negative in the minds of the person reading their appeal.

My second bit of advice deals with a personal pet peeve when sending images to a gallery you are working with (or in a submission, actually). None of our artists are guilty of this...no sir...no way...so sirree bob. But other people's artists are, or so I've heard. Still, as if your life depended on it, remember each and every time you send an image to a gallery to include the following information unless you're 110% certain the gallery has it already:
Full title
Year
Medium
Size (in inches and centimeters if you have galleries in different countries or your gallery is taking your work to a different country)
Edition (if applicable) and number of APs (do NOT forget the APs)
Price if not already known
Make it a reflex to do this. Make it a discipline. Make it a religion!!!

Especially when you're just beginning to work with a gallery. And extra especially if you're in a group exhibition in a gallery that doesn't represent you.

Why are you droning on about this, Ed? you ask... Because experienced collectors and art consultants and arts writers expect this information in each communication (and they should). Therefore, not having that information readily available can lead to lost sales or lost press opportunities. And because speed is of the essence many times, only sending part of this information with an image can lead to back and forth emails, and that tick-tock-tick-tock you hear is a potential step up in your career fading away.

I dream of the day when an artist version of Photoshop won't permit you to save a jpeg until you've attached the basic meta data listed above. If it were invisibly embedded (but accessible) in the image somehow, that would solve all this. Until that time, perhaps a mnemonic will help. I'm pretty bad at mnemonic's so I'll ask for your help. What's a pithy (and memorable) sentence that will jog the memory with each and every jpeg you send? Remember, we're talking
Title
Year
Medium
Size
Edition (if applicable) and Number of APs
Price
T.Y.M.S.E.A.P. or "Tell Your Mother She's Expected At Passover"

That doesn't even make any sense. See, I suck at mnemonics. So I turn to you...come up with a memorable sentence. Point out any others you like in the thread. I'll make a wholly objective decision about the best one and praise its author's genius throughout the blogosphere.

Labels:

64 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trash
Your
Mind
Snort
Enamel
Paint

for starters,
Cathy

4/21/2010 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger jami said...

Thanks Ed, I was just mustering up energy to write some of those letters!
T.Y.M.S.E.A.P. pronounced |tīm|-|sēp| in other words don’t waste my time.
or T.Y.M.S.E.A.P. = Title Your Material So Ed Ain’t Peeved.

4/21/2010 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Gam said...

TMY EA PS

Too Many Young Energetic Artists Promote Stoopidity


No offense intended towards ageism.

4/21/2010 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MY PETS

Make Your Package Entirely Tempt Success


Will there be an awards ceremony? I love them.
Cathy

4/21/2010 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

Dear Ed,

I've met you a few times, but never sent any submissions to you, or in fact to any other gallery, ever. The whole scene seems so intimidating to me that I don't even dare.
I really sense (we all do) your sincerity when you say you adore us, and we interpret it as your way of saying you love us, and we do love you back, because you always listen and are open to hear what we say, we feel you care. I'm sure many other dealers and gallery owners are very nice people as well. However, even though I know you don't mean it that way, the whole thing gives an impression of such a humiliating process, even the use of the word 'submission', although common, in this connotation really feels like it has a double meaning.
Personally, it makes me feel like this is a 'System' I'm not sure I want to be a part of... With all the monetary association connected with this field, is it any wonder many artists are disgusted and repelled by the idea of becoming a part of that system? Not that there is anything wrong with money per-se, but it is so often associated with corruption, theft and social injustice.
But alas, we are human, and we need to make a living, so we compromise, and maybe in a passive-aggressive method of letting our anger out, we submit our letters to you in a non-personal way, forgetting 'minor' details. Yes, it is against our own interests, but so is any passive aggressive behavior, isn't it? Your artists love you, but at the same time they are angry, even though you care so much for them. The problem is you are part of the system, you represent the system. Perhaps the Hollywood star forgot their days as a table-waiter, now completely embracing the millions of dollars the system is making for them, but even they may still object to 'other' systems, such as political systems etc, and may point to it in their public fights for good causes, like supporting help to Africa, fight Aids, world peace etc, etc...
However, as we know, that Hollywood star I mentioned is the rare oddity, most artists are still in the trenches.

Artists, inherently, (perhaps not all of them, but many) want to change the system, whatever is the current one, they want to bring change. They don't have a method of doing it, except for love and persistence, using the thing they are doing, no matter what the present circumstances are. I've watched the incredible Marx brothers movie 'A Night At The Opera' again this week. It reminded me of this fight for doing what we love - we may have to ignore a lot of distractions on our way, we may have to close our eyes and jump, give up on our breakfast and break all the scenery, take every risk possible. We may fail but we must not stop believing, and whatever happens, never lose our sense of humor ;-)

ALL THAT SAID, I re-read what I wrote and realized there's another point to consider, which may not be a good excuse, but is a reality to accept and live with: many artists are right-brain oriented, they may have had some learning difficulties or even learning disabilities back in school, even though they may be visual or artistic geniuses. Their letters, or inventories may be a bit sloppy, without any intention, and occasionally they may forget some important 'minor' details. So, that's another point to remember, and maybe a reason to be more forgiving.

However btw, I actually really liked your mnemonic, "Tell Your Mother She's Expected At Passover" lol... when I finally get to the point where I dare to submit, I will try to remember it :)

4/21/2010 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous nemastoma said...

TYMESAP

An artist is like a cook who mixes ingredients to create a new dish. But the dish will need to pass muster with the top chef, the gallery owner. You especially like adding the flavor of ThYME SAP in your dish.

4/21/2010 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we supposed to include the retail price or artist's price before markup?

4/21/2010 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...

This
Year
My
Status
Exploded
Proportionately

4/21/2010 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...

Kudos to Iris. Very well put!
@nemastoma: I disagree with the top chef correlation, more like the restaurateur.

I read it elsewhere (on the How's My Dealing Blog I think) where someone compared a cold approach to a gallery dealer as sticking their tongue in a stranger's ear.
They don't know you, or realize what a genius you are, and walking up or even emailing is unlikely to get a favorable response or a sincere consideration.
That said Iris is right it is very intimidating, and there are few to none other options if you're outside the 'system'. Commercialism aside, just to have your art considered seriously by critics, curators, and art lovers (validation which at some point nearly all of us want) the gallery system is apparently the only way.

4/21/2010 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Larry said...

Themistocles, you might send Edward a photoshopped-image-with-title-year-medium-size-edition-APs-and-price.

How could anyone forget that?

4/21/2010 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I hear your discomfort Iris, but I think you're really talking about two different things. In fact, I think most of #class and a great deal of this blog over the years has consistently conflated two parts of being an artist. Let me try to pull them apart.

First, of course, is the impulse to make the work.

Nothing in what I'm saying suggests anyone should be "submissive" in creating their work. Do so grandly, fabulously, heroically, fearlessly. Create and create and create.

Second is the desire for that work to be recognized.

Here, you as the artist are asking other people to do something. To pay attention, to consider your point of view, to possibly pay for your output. In short, to consider being generous toward you with the limited time, money or other resources they have.

Most societies operate on the notion that in asking people to be generous toward you, it's helpful to be generous toward them first.

The idea that just because your objectives in the first section are above reproach means you should be given a pass in the societal expectations of the second part is wrong IMO.

Actors audition for years before they get their first paying role. Writers submit manuscripts that come back rejected again and again. Dancers, musicians, filmmakers, etc. etc. all these fields have similarly "humiliating" processes.

Rather than insisting no such humiliating process should exist, I think more artists should view the process as a badge of honor. Many writers do. Writers typically save all their rejection slips and refer back to them, with a smile, when they're collecting their Pulitzer Prize or having a similar moment of success.

As for actors, even if you've got an Academy Award on your shelf, you often still have competition for the next role and must audition for it. You must convince the director you're right for the role. You must "submit" your interest.

Why is this the case for creative types? (I'd argue it's the case for any job worth having in life, but...) Because there are a million people behind the person being showered with generous consideration and limited resources who would happily take them for their own in a heart beat. It's also because the stakes are high. It costs a small fortune to make a movie. It costs less, but still a tidy sum, to promote an unknown visual artist.

So never let the submission process impact how you make work or feel about making work, but when considering the gallery system (which is only 1 in a wide range of options for visual artists to gain recognition), do keep in mind that you're essentially asking them to invest in you. A bit of generosity on your part in doing so is only smart, given the numbers of people right behind you who see it as simply part of the process.

At this point many a visual artist will become upset and say "but isn't it about the art?" To which I'll say, of course it is...but there are still a large number of artists as equally as talented making work as equally as compelling, and so why should a dealer not choose to work with the ones he/she gets along with the best?

But that's not what I want from a gallery, they'll say next. I want a gallery that truly believes in me...that's why they're working with me.

The problem with this notion as it meets the cold submission process (and with artists asking for allowances in not having to look up the dealer's name or submit their work in a professional manner) is that it's ridiculous to assume you'll find the gallery that truly believes in you through such a random approach. The odds are too stacked against you. You don't know who you're submitting your work to, you don't even care who it is you're submitting your work to, but you're hoping they'll truly believe in you? Come on.

4/21/2010 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Note to Bernard...I accidentally rejected, rather than approved, your last comment. My apologies. Please send again.

4/21/2010 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I always send a letter with my submission addressed to the actual person running the gallery. If they respond at all, which is rare, it's usually with a form note addressed to "dear artist".

Actually, that's what I used to do. I finally ran out of stamps. Nowadays I never bother with this exercise in futility. If I show work to someone at a gallery, it's because I've met them somewhere else. Usually I meet them through my mother at Passover.

4/21/2010 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...

Hah! Some bit of unconscious passive/aggressive button pushing there? Good thing I copied it:

And...(just to add)
Edward, please do keep in mind that these poor unknown struggling artists are likely holding down one or more jobs and while some of them may love to schmooze at openings and/or stop by the gallery to get to know the owner they may instead be slaving away under their muse so that when they finally do build up enough chutzpa to approach a gallery the artist can seem like a bull in a china-shop or a stranger sticking their tongue out and running toward you.

4/21/2010 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ed, I've read elsewhere that virtually no NY galleries take on artists via submissions. If anything, they tend to view the artists who submit as an annoyance. Doesn't it make more sense for artists to just keep doing their thing and try to get into group shows and make some money selling work themselves via the internet- if it happens that a gallerist takes an interest in your work great. The time and money spent on submissions, do you honestly think it's worth it?

4/21/2010 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

If they respond at all, which is rare, it's usually with a form note addressed to "dear artist".

Ahhh...yes. The "fairness" issue. Don't get me wrong. I totally admire dealers who take the time to address each submission individually. I tried in the beginning days of our gallery, but found I was useless at it. My problem, honestly, in responding to each submission, was both I felt the need to offer a constructive critique (a time consuming process and something very difficult to do from slides or jpgs sometimes) and I felt an insincerity creep into my hurried responses and it really bugged me. I now blog my best advice, in part, as a way to atone for that.

The thing about expecting the same courtesy from a gallery for your cold submission as I'm highly recommending you consider if you're going to do cold submissions (something I'm on record as saying is nowhere near as effective as getting to know the dealer through networking...or through mothers at Passover :-)) is that the gallery is not asking you to invest in them at that point. They're not asking you for anything at all. And it's not (necessarily) a cold heartedness toward your situation that leads them to respond to you generically, as it is the incapacity to take the time to sincerely express empathy with dozens of artists each day, hundreds each month, and thousands each year.

4/21/2010 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Hah! Some bit of unconscious passive/aggressive button pushing there?

You really do expect the worst out of dealers, don't you Bernard? I hope you meet some of the hard working ones I know and that changes your mind.

Hey Ed, I've read elsewhere that virtually no NY galleries take on artists via submissions.

It's true. I think at most 2 of the artist we work with came through submissions and none have in the past 4 years.

4/21/2010 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

EW, I never expect fairness except in baseball and elections.

Okay, maybe in baseball.

4/21/2010 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

You're obviously not a Cleveland Indian's fan, as I am, David. :-)

4/21/2010 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need to go back and do a search for Ed's previous advice to artists. This one was good.

4/21/2010 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger HMNA said...

I love this clip from Basquiat where Benny explains to Jean-Michel what he thinks it takes to get recognize or "become famous"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nMv3CUHIpE

4/21/2010 02:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ed,
I often address you as Ed when I post to your blog, even though I've never met you in person. I hope that doesn't make you peeved.

Dear Iris,
I agree the commercial gallery scene can seem quite intimidating, but perhaps there are ways to ease yourself in. I worked at a gallery for many years, which can have the effect of making an artist want to run completely the other direction, but in my case, it was a good experience that makes applying to or working with galleries seem much less intimidating. Plus, now I have friends that have galleries, and they believe in me and my work. Of course, I had to quit the gallery to be able to really make art. Another idea is start out at other types of spaces that may be less intimidating, artist run, non-profit, etc.

And one last note on this post: In my entirely unrelated other day job, I recently went to a convention seminar that consisted of a panel of dealers (not art dealers) telling small manufactures like the one I work for what they did and did not like about working with them. It was really enlightening and I feel much of what they said pertains to working with art dealers as well. Such as: The dealer needs to know more about your work than what a potential customer can find on the internet. If they can't price it easily, they won't sell it. The dealer is the face of your product, and if they don't have the right or complete information about the product, they and the product will look stupid to the customer. oh, and lastly, they need good instructions on how to put it together-- and it better go together quickly and easily. Some dealers had a very specific checklist of characteristics that made a company easy or not easy to work with (and quality of their product), which they used to determine which manufacturer of a similar product they would sign contract with.
And yes, as with any industry, it is the artist's job to facilitate these transactions. It's not hard, just requires good communication.

4/21/2010 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous nemastoma said...

Bernard, many top chefs are restaurateurs, i.e. the legendary Paul Bocuse, or even Emeril Lagasse.

4/21/2010 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...

You win this round nemastoma!
But not all gallerists are artists.

4/21/2010 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous nemastoma said...

And many of the great gallerists either started out as artists or want to be as close to the "soul" of an artist or the creative process as is possible. But keep in mind that any restaurateur will immediately reject the flavor of your soul food dish if it isn’t first sprinkled with some ThYME SAP.

4/21/2010 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger undercover painter said...

Hi Ed. I'm always returning to your site for all my 'artist wisdom' needs but I can't help wishing we had a blog similar to this in Australia. Would you consider your advice to be universal? I guess that it is.

4/21/2010 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Stefano Pasquini said...

Ed,
how do you see artists who - in order to widen their networking possibilities (and out of passion of course) - curate shows, write about art, open up new spaces and generally help other artist furthering their career?

4/21/2010 05:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Ward said...

If there's ever time to address this, a thousand thanks!

A moment of background: I've long made big ugly sloppy nonobjective paintings and have dealt directly with potential patrons, but in 2010-11 I hope to switch to the gallery world ---so I'm looking. Okay, background over.

The item to address: is one just doomed forever if an aspect of the TYMSEAP info is not "easy" to comprehend at a glance?

My own case: I think that SIZE will sink me. My creations are on 12-by-79-inch panels composed and wired to hang at any angle. Okay, so right there, it's confusing: one panel can be vertical (12x79) or can be horizontal (79x12) or can be angled (maybe 38x65). AND also I always work in groups: two to 12 panels in one group ---and I don't mind if one, two, five, or whatever are shown (ya know cuz the SIZE wasn't baffling enough already). So one item might be a tiny as 12x79 or could be as huge as say 96x550.

Even just reading the above, I'm confused myself. Here's a diagram:
diagram

The OmniDirectional painting concept is novel, and that'll be a strength ---some day. (Just got a 13" wallsapce, it'll fit ---want to fill fifty feet, fine hang them in a long line.) It would be so flexible, but it is all MOOT if I'm pre-doomed because in the half-second it takes to judge artistpapers, SIZE will just take too long to mentally-process.

"Dimensions variable" is a handy term, but should one give a min/max size range? Is it acceptable to use the phrase with paintings ---versus strictly installation-based works?

I realize that's a long comment to wade through so if there's no time to reply, 's okay.

Cheers.

4/21/2010 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Charles Kessler said...

This
You
Must
Swear:
Every
Approach
Prepare

4/21/2010 08:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Whom I May Concern,

Excellent post.

See you at Passover,

Mom

4/22/2010 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

During dinner, you may hear someone say. . .

Tonight
Your
Mother
Seems
Especially
Anxious,
Peter

4/22/2010 08:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Larry said...

Guess I didn't win, huh?

4/22/2010 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

leaving the context open until tomorrow. :-)

4/22/2010 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

The
Yurt
Maker
Sets
Every
Pole

4/22/2010 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

LMAU, thank you guys, I'm so enjoying reading those responses! Who said artists are only a bunch of weird, rude, self-absorbed, unaware, loners? we can be funny too!

Something is obviously not working, one needs to look at the bigger picture, through the history of art, and changes in society in general through the 21st century.

What happens now reminds me of the dynamics of the Salon and Academie of the late 19 century in Paris. There are many differences of course, but some of the similarities are the requirement for an artist to exhibit in the Salon in order to gain success and recognition in the artworld of the time, and the selectivity and aloofness of the jury's requirements (today the NY gallery system and curators). Among the main differences are the requirements: in the past there was a prerequisite for a very certain style, while today the emphasis is not on a certain, specific style but on... what? It's not very clear, which is part of the issue... having good connections in the right circles, combined with an over-verbalization talent? I'm not sure, because as Ed mentioned, it's not really about the art anymore - there are hundreds if not thousands of other artists that can do the same thing as you, as well as you can. For you to get picked by a gallery there should be some otherworldly unknown quality to you or to your work. Oh, and btw, don't bother submitting in writing, because we will not consider you anyway.

So... did I mention opening a 'Salon Des Refuses'? The problem is we don't have Napoleon the 3rd to request it from, but we can start with the internet. I suggest starting a blog called 'Salon Des Refuses dot org' or 'Salon of the refused' or something like that, or we can give it a more contemporary name like 'gallery of the refused' or 'gallery of the ignored', we can vote over how to call it. (I know what you're thinking in your right-brain minds now: 'oh no, that's too much work! voting? deciding? naming? let me just go back to my blobs of color/paint/plastic/wood/whatever-material-you-use-for-your-artwork and create some more art...' - but please stay with me a bit longer, and consider, this is just an idea which can be changed and molded like that clay you love to work with...). Anyway, in that blog we can democratically all have administrator rights, we can all post, schedule our posts in a Google group we share, and a calendar. Each of us will be able to post whatever they want as long as it relates to art, and in the comments section we can further discuss suggested topics. We can show our art in the posts, write our statements or manifestos, tell about our work and process, link to our website etc. Once (if) there are a lot of artists participating, we can share posts, we can have 2-3 artists preparing a post together, or even have several posts in a day. Once this is set up, we are each responsible to promote the blog to everyone we know. We encourage audience commentary (blog comments) in our group manifesto. Maybe, if this blog attracts enough interest, at some point in the future, this can lead to a physical space to be donated to us where we can show as a group in NYC or elsewhere.
I volunteer to participate in organizing.

I know there already exist many online galleries, blogs and websites of artists showing their ware, this may be just another one which is ignored by the gallery system and gains no recognition by the public. However, I see here a bunch of really smart, funny and talented people, sitting at Winkleman's blog/cafe, talking about being ignored, I think if we all get together to express those sentiments we will have more power than each of us whining by themselves. I suggest we conduct this and instead of making occasional squeaking noises in the gallery blogosphere, we'll work on an orchestrated effort and maybe create a symphony, whadayasay?

And thanks again to Ed for allowing this platform of communication!

4/22/2010 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How's this for dealing with artists? I work for a non-profit exhibition space. We put on a group exhibition that included 24 artists. The gallery was contacted by a television station who wanted to do a segment on the show and interview some of the artists. We sent out this information to the exhibiting artists, giving them all of the particulars. The day of the interview filming, ONE artist out of the entire group showed up. That artist wound up being the face of the show, the rest missed an opportunity.

This however was not surprising to me, because I have known artists to never show up to an opening that includes their work, cannot provide digital images of their work, cannot or refuse to write an artist statement and those that believe that they should be exempt from deadlines because of all of the very special reasons they have.

If all I had to deal with was how an artist wrote a salutation on a query letter (how about the single line letter, "look at my site"?) I could be a happy person.

4/22/2010 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Iris, bright idea, promote yourself and others as overlooked and ignored. That would definitely make me want to take you seriously. This kind of approach (it appears to me) just makes other artists look bad. I think artists should take the blame for being 'ignored'. If they were professional from the beginning, the impatience associated with submissions may not be in place. If an artist bothered to look at a gallery roster before submitting, it would be a start. But submitting your 1970's photo-realism paintings to a gallery exhibiting minimal and post minimal artwork is ridiculous. Do your research, learn, watch and find out information. Make sure you have the goods before submitting. Because if you actually have a dealer come all the way out to your Brooklyn studio, and you do not have the goods, that dealer probably will not be back. Suddenly your Chelsea dreams have detonated like an Icelandic volcano. I know from experience. Came out ok in the end though.

4/22/2010 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 11:06, I am astonished, not just at the artists' turning their backs on the opportunity to be interviewed by the press, but at the utter unprofessionalism of their conduct -- to the nonprofit, to you, to their fellow artists, to the show.

Acting professionally is essential to being taken seriously -- in any profession. There is simply no excuse for not doing things like showing up when you're supposed to or using the proper salutation.

Laura

4/22/2010 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Tricia said...

To your muse send every artistic persuasion

4/22/2010 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Iris said...

Anonymous 11:39, I realize this kind of approach will not contribute to being taken seriously by the present system. If continuing the historic comparison, among the work rejected by the Academie in Paris was Mane's 'Luncheon on the Grass'. Later, an organization called 'Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs' ("Cooperative and Anonymous Association of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers")came about as a result of the early initiative, for the purpose of artists exhibiting as a group independent from the Salon. Artists who joined had to renounce participation in the Salon. They included, among others: Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Cézanne, Morisot, and Edgar Degas. They were mocked, and did not get any respect initially, but later imprinted a change in the artworld which lasts to this day.

Referring to your suggestion of preparing and studying the type of art a gallery is showing before submitting, if you read Ed's response from 2:12 PM yesterday, you will see this extra work has little merit to it. It's maybe not totally impossible, but it's very rare for galleries to take the submissions seriously anyway. I figure another requirement of galleries is for the artist to have 'reputation' elsewhere, before approaching a Chelsea gallery. I understand and accept that as well. I also understand what Ed is saying about limited space at the top, and the top is Chelsea. However, dismissing all artists as being unprofessional, claiming that is the only cause of being ignored - I don't think that is correct either (and I don't think Ed was claiming that in regard to ALL artists).

In any case, I don't see what is so wrong with artists wanting to show and get attention whichever way possible, even without galleries. The fact that this is promoting a lack of respect shows a problem in the system itself, not the artists, imo.

4/22/2010 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

This Year Might Sold Every Art Pieces


These Yokes Might Sold Every Art Pieces

These Yearnings, These Yadyadas, etc, not sure about the Y word...

Cedric C

4/22/2010 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Oops, it probably should be:

This Year Might Sell Every Art Pieces


My english is really that bad,

Cedric C

4/22/2010 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous kim matthews said...

Metadata: OMG. Thanks for mentioning this. I work with Photoshop almost daily and I have NO IDEA how to include metadata. I usually just do it the old-fashioned way: with an image list. I'm going to hustle over to a Photoshop tips site and find out how to label my files.

I think it's a shame that you have to be so explicit about common-sense things like the importance of politeness, brevity, and clarity, but I guess common sense isn't so common anymore. Another great post. Thank you for being so gracious and generous with your time.

4/22/2010 04:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4/22/2010 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Ward said...

careful!

That
Young
Monster
Still
Eats
All
People!


.

4/22/2010 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous John Haber said...

Those put off by Ed's post, Iris especially, have a valid point. But try to think of it not as a put-down but as career advice, how to do submissions better. That won't eliminate the struggle between artists wanting representation and dealers taking shortcuts, but it's a start, and thankfully there are dealers out there at risk as much as artists.

Ed, AP = artist's price? Sorry, but I'm feeling ignorant.

4/22/2010 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Aitch said...

Ed--
Title: Mnemonics
Year: 2010
Medium: Blogger
Size: 2 submissions x 6 words
Edition: #1
Price: TBD

Taking
Your
Medicine
Sure
Eliminates
Problems

The
Yogi's
Mantra
Sounds
Eerily
Plaintive

And you surely are one of the most impressively patient and devotedly helpful artists' friends out there. In my opinion, if people won't chop wood and carry water, then they shouldn't expect enlightenment.

4/23/2010 01:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The work will get to be seen if it needs to be seen...that's a fact. Artists and dealers be damned, nothing gets in the way of important work. It may take the death of an artist to prove this point, but good work will find an audience and perhaps a place in history.

ED, I'm sure that if you see great enough work from even a cold submission that excludes the all important TYMSEAP, you will consider showing it. I don't disagree that the information is important, but I think above all the work is the fundamental concern, not the mechanics of the submission.

I'm an artist myself, so I say all this to make a point...THE WORK NEEDS TO BE STRONGER! Art is one competitive MOFO, so you need to bring your bigboy pants. Your art, my art, his art, her art; it all needs to be stronger, because someone else is making better art than you right now. Ultimately if your art is rejected for any reason, it is safe to assume that it needs work and i can be stronger.

New American Paintings didn't reject me because my submission was unprofessional, but they did reject me because I didn't communicate the intent of my art. in the end, the artist only speaks when the work speaks. no matter what you say about your work, it only matters if the work speaks for itself.

Anon until the day I arrive

4/23/2010 02:32:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

John, AP = artist proof. Artists have various reason for holding back X number of proofs from any edition. How many they have though can impact the perceived value of the works in the edition, so it's important to communicate it to interested parties.

4/23/2010 08:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Brian Dupont said...

I would like to follow up on the price question. When I have submitted things (not to you) I have always included all of the above information excepting the price. Are you looking for the "MSRP" or just the artist's cut?

I have a rough idea of what I would sell the painting for, but it does vary and I will negotiate on both price and payment plans if it means selling the painting for a still reasonable amount (setting aside sticky definitions of "reasonable").

I see one of the points of working with a dealer as being able to work with a professional who has much more experience with the marketplace; including the overall cost would feels much more likely to make me look foolish as said dealer probably has a much better idea of the myriad factors that would effect the price work and what it could or should sell for.

4/23/2010 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Retail price. Understanding that the gallery will take a commission (usually 50%). So the price you need to receive times 2.

Needing to include the price is something that usually comes into play more in group exhibitions than representation situations. In representation situations you'll most likley have a lengthy discussion with your dealer about pricing.

4/23/2010 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

how do you see artists who - in order to widen their networking possibilities (and out of passion of course) - curate shows, write about art, open up new spaces and generally help other artist furthering their career?

I see them as genius. Getting involved is the most important part of having a career. Until you're "in the game" all the advice in the world is merely speculative. In every field, your real opportunities explode the moment you throw your hat into the ring. Participating via curating, writing, etc. makes you a part of the system...that is often step one to reaching your goals. Ask William Powhida or Jennifer Dalton, both described during #class how many more opportunities opened up to them as artists because they had started writing criticism.

4/23/2010 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

I feel that I should apologize if I offended anybody, especially Ed, it seems that what I said had provoked some negative responses or was interpreted in a negative way, I didn't mean it that way. John, I was not put by Ed's post because I know where he's coming from, I know he means well, and I'm sorry if what I wrote was interpreted negatively. I meant a lot of what I wrote in a tongue and cheek manner, although I don't mean I was just kidding in everything, it was partly a serious criticism, but as I said, I watched the Marx brothers movie this week and I was influenced by the insane humor a bit I guess. In that movie (night at the opera) the story is about a young, talented opera singer to whom the New York Opera doesn't give the time of day because he has no previous reputation. The Marx brothers proceed to help him by ruining the opening season show at the Opera, in a very crude, slapstick manner, jumping off scenery ropes, disturbing the orchestra etc... driving the lead singer off the stage and having him replaced by their protege. Of course this is not a very practical way to get into the Met, or to any prestigious position for that matter!...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCgaZnnHB1I

4/23/2010 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

no offense taken on my part, Iris. :-)

4/23/2010 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

Great! Thanks for letting me know, Ed!

4/23/2010 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous kim matthews said...

This is veering on to a side road a bit but I have a future topic request, since artist-curated exhibitions were mentioned earlier.

I have what I think is a very compelling idea for an exhibition and am in the process of soliciting artists to participate. The artist list I have in mind ranges from the unknown to the world famous. So far I have tentative commitments from two artists and one host but I doubt I'll get the participation I want without an extremely well developed proposal and a prestigious enough venue.

Is it crazy to consider such a thing possible considering that I have no "brand equity"?

4/23/2010 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about making sure you are good at your craft before worrying about representation? I think the majority jump the gun. I have to wonder how many people have what it takes to be professional artists. And, of course, not everybody wants the same thing.

4/23/2010 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Georges said...

Properly labled jpegs, polite email salutations seem all so important to artists on the low end of the of the food chain. It's not only the art world where those who have some power and sales follow their own set of rules.

4/23/2010 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...

@Iris,
Had I checked back on this post earlier I could've responded much sooner, but somewhere further up you suggested getting a group together. Well I'm interested. My take is screw all these saps who are afraid to use titles like "Salon de Refuse`" Personally, I like the word "rejects" and feel any title like those should be a badge of honor. There is already a group called "unknown" and then there is the Bruce High Quality Foundation which is a good example of a group of artists that got their start by doing pranks. I've been thinking of starting a group myself, just too lazy beside the community garden efforts, the artmaking, grantwriting, FBing, blogcommenting, and of course there's the dayjob. BUT, all that said you take the reigns and I'll help where I can.

But PLEASE don't apologize for anything. Say your peace, develop a thick skin, and keep making your art!

4/25/2010 01:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...

"How about making sure you are good at your craft before worrying about representation?"
-and similar sentiments from other anon's

Wake up and stop drinking the Kool-aid!

You can follow the "procedures" to the letter, mind your P's and Q's, have knock-out work and STILL not get anywhere. You are victimizing yourselves by thinking that somehow the "system" is fair.

AND to the the anon- "New American Paintings didn't reject me because my submission was unprofessional, but they did reject me because I didn't communicate the intent of my art. in the end, the artist only speaks when the work speaks. no matter what you say about your work, it only matters if the work speaks for itself.

Anon until the day I arrive"

You can stop flagellating yourself now. We all (those who try) get turned down for those crappy shows. It is the luck of the draw. Juror probably blinked when your awesome work came up.

4/25/2010 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

Thank you Bernard, great to have you on board... I will process the idea further, see what I come up with!

4/26/2010 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry_Ward said...

@me above / problem of describing SIZE briefly

Should I take it as a "yes" (that there's been no response to that comment) ?


fret fret fret

4/29/2010 06:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...

@Terry,
Days (or is it weeks) late and dollars short. Here's my 2 cents (although you likely want to get a reply from Mr. Ed himself, so my 2 cents is more like half-a-penny or less, but I digress...)

You could show each direction as a new piece itself. Or make minor changes to the work as you shift and document each position (which might somehow seem dishonest to some, but you're the artist, and consider that Rauschenberg himself has done things like make 2 of the same painting for two collectors that wanted it, but I digress again...)

I can relate, because some of my sculpture I can see positioned in different ways (it's more about form in space, than any particular direction). However, I usually show it in one position with multiple views (in the round) but rarely flip or otherwise physically shift the work itself. There are exceptions though, like in my webpage for a sculpture where I display a piece and include upside down indoor installation views with the button links on the page also upside down (for the goofiness of it).
-Best

5/01/2010 09:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...

@Terry again,
Picasso's another example of an artist who had no issue in revisiting, altering, or completely painting over an other earlier work.

Or.. show each as a piece in itself but call each "(version 1) (version 2), etc."

5/02/2010 10:09:00 AM  

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