The Artist/Gallery Relationship

Newspapers are dead but there is still a need for news. Likewise in art the era of the traditional artist gallery relationship seems to be evolving.

I think artists and galleries still need one another but I am not sure what the new paradigm is going to be. The fact remains that artist don’t like selling their artwork so we still need someone to sell and we still need to show people that we are represented and that dealers believe in us, and we still need to spread the reach of our work. It seems like galleries once were expected to promote artists’ careers, but so many galleries now take their 50% for the wall space alone.  Whether or not this is acceptable to the artist depends largely on where the artist is  in their career.

My husband and I were recently in Toronto where we stayed up late to attend Nuit Blanch – an all night outdoor installation fair. The execution of the event left a lot to be desired but the buzz on the street and the participation was incredible.  I saw many of the Pacific Standard Time exhibits in Los Angeles last year, and we have forged through the overstimulation of Art Basel and it’s related shows. My favorite part of Burning Man was the art installations, which are paid for in advance by donations and created each year for the fair. Though these are not “sales events” per se, they are all group happenings focused around art and creativity.

What will be the new directions for  buying and selling art? In what venue are you comfortable acquiring art? Have you purchased art from a fair, or online, or from an agent or are you more comfortable purchasing from a gallery? How does the place from which you purchase the work affect how you perceive the work?

I would love to hear your thoughts.