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To overcome several problems created by gallery people, artists here in India are organising their shows in hotels, restaurants & other public places! Sometimes the galleries are demanding a share of 50-60% from the sale prices of art works from upcoming & new artists here. The artists will be left with no money at all after selling their works! How can they survive? Some artists are doing other jobs to live & pursuing art  just as a hobby! Outside a gallery new artists will have little chance to survive in the art world. And some show and Biennial organizers don't accept the works of artists directly. They take only the work of gallery attached artists. But still at the beginning of their careers, these artists are taking a risk. Several new & upcoming artists here share their problems with me.  Some complain that "master painters and other artists" and "cutting edge new age heroes" have been created by galleries-auction houses-media managers only from artists  that agree to their demands. These have created hype over both the categories with controversies, fakes and dollar signs flashing all over the art news. Mastery and market value have nothing to do with creativeness and artistic values now. Either agree to their demands and get a "master stamp" or perish! (By the way I am getting several messages from people who ask me to pay in dollars, Euros and Pounds to put my name in "artist watch list", "masters list" and to promote me and my art vigourously!)

I read several articles by gallery people too supporting their demand of a large share amount from the sales of art works. Galleries say it is a necessary  evil. Artists say they cannot operate in such circumstances. Surely there should be a balance & compromise between these two for the art world to flourish in the right direction! ( It is flourishing  anyway by creating  pseudo masters and minting money from their market!)

What are your problems in dealing with galleries? Are you on your own or gallery-attached?

What do my artist friends here think? Please let me know.

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There are several frauds that are occurring in selling the art works & the seller or sometimes the artist ends up losing a lot when there are middlemen. Here is a case:


The recent English High Court case of Accidia Foundation v Simon C. Dickinson Ltd (see related story) has lifted the lid on arrangements between dealers in private treaty art sales.

How could it be that a seller was led to believe that a Leonardo Da Vinci drawing had been sold for $6m and then, by chance, discovered a year later that the purchaser had paid $7m? Secrecy and a lack of transparency is the key to such abuses and for them to go undetected.

Central to this happening is the anonymity of buyer and seller. It is said to be a common preference of both, but one wonders how often dealers decide to tell the seller that the buyer wishes to remain anonymous and vice versa. After all, buyers need to know as much as possible about the provenance of what they are buying. Possibly the refined and superior world of art dealing, with its clubbish air of gentlemanly dealing, intimidates sellers and discourages question

 

You can read the entire story here:

http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/Sellers-and-buyers-need-to-...

  • sasto

"Surely there should be a balance & compromise between these two for the art world to flourish! "

Dr.KrishnaKumanChalla,

  I absolutely agree. You've got good ideas here.

"To overcome several problems created by gallery people, artists here in India are organising their shows in hotels, restaurants & other public places! Sometimes the galleries are demanding a share of 50-60% from the sale prices of art works from upcoming & new artists here"

Many art leagues and other artist's groups here organize their own shows. Often, libraries, restaurants and Dr.s' offices as well as many other public venues will display our work. It brings in customers for them and benefits us by showings and possible sales. I've done this a few times and have never had them ask for a penny of the sale, because of the business they're drawing in, however I could see arranging a percentage easily.

50-60%....That is frighteningly sad.

"I read several articles by gallery people too supporting their demand of a large share amount from the sales of art works. Galleries say it is a necessary  evil. Artists say they cannot operate in such circumstances."

  That's it. If we can't make a living we have to take other jobs, and most do hoping for some time someday to return to painting.

  Galleries make their living from artists and customers. I feel it's a shame that artist's (Including myself at one time) sometimes feel that the gallery is doing them a favor. I think the sales pitch leans in that direction too often. It's not personal, and it's hard for artists at times to focus on the business aspect. It makes us easy to take advantage of business wise. An arm around our shoulder, being told the things we want to hear, like that our art is good, etc. leads to emotional business deals, and we need a business mind in these things.

  Best wishes with your network of artists, and thanks for a well written post!

tina 

 

Dear Krishna,

 

Good subject to open and there is so much to share with artists if they listen carefully and work on harmony and not for oneself. 

The question is, can an artist survive alone without a gallery?  When was the first gallery come to the foreground? Was there any artist prior to that? Did they sale their artwork? How? Did they become known or famous? How? Who is feeding whom and who is creating the artwork and has the intellectual property and who is the salesperson?

 

Take the example of a fashion designer, can his employees who are selling his cloths, in any store, impose their policy on him and receive 50%-60% ?

 

Artists run their business and have so much expense to cover plus they are the creators of the artwork. Galleries run their business and have their expenses but DO NOT CREATE THE ARTWORK. Why on earth artists should pay %50-%60?  Keeping in mind that many artists can sale without galleries and become known and successful. Whereas galleries can't survive without artwork received from artists. So who needs whom? Why artists are  followers instead of being followed.

 

Galleries can do a great job when they have good contacts, buyers, experience in promoting artists, good knowledge of each style they want to sale or exhibit so they would know how to present it, PROVID INSURANCE. Even after all, their main job is to SALE ARTWORK and not to collect fees and tell artists" Sorry, we can't guarantee the sale" Then they ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB RIGHT, they are not searching enough for the right buyer for different artwork. Artist's job is done well when finished a piece of art, should gallery is incapable of selling, guess what, the fashion designer, we mentioned in the beginning, will fire his employee / salesperson and find another one who is capable of selling his products. 

 

So artists, when you receive an offer from a gallery, do you do your home work? Do you make research as to the history of that gallery, reputation, what kind of client it has, record of the sale, prices of artwork sold, what kind of promotion they make. You can be promised with so much, but do not fool yourself. Make your own home work and do not waste your money. Galleries who have clients for your work will not ask for fee but ONLY percentage. I will not pay the %50 as it is not partnership where they created the artwork with me and spent many years of experience and deduction etc.  If they have equal the number of years experience, then they should be in the position to find clients. If the excuse is that the market is not doing well, then they should not arrange for exhibitions and collect so much fees to cover their expense, rent and live from where artists are starving.

 

Wake up and say enough. Learn how to promote yourself and your art. Take control of your artwork and be responsible. I like what Tina has mentioned. artists are allowing galleries to make them feel as if they are doing you a favor. NO THEY ARE NOT. YOU artists are the ones doing them a big favor, try to understand how it works to see my point.

 

This might sounds harsh but from many bad experiences artists shared with me, I am writing this to you because I care.

 

Take care all of you

 

Mona

 

 

Thank you, Mona for your time and a well thought out and brain - stimulating reply. There weren't any galleries in the olden days. Artists came first. In the beginning these artists created art only for their own pleasure and pain! Only when commercialization of art started, galleries were born and started influencing the art world. ( In the initial stages some French artists rejected all external influences that affected their creativity - including commercialization of art by the vested interests). However, in recent times most of the artists are going with the flow. Galleries attained blue chip status by monopolizing the art market. As you know they never tell you any details about art collectors - not even when you ask them who bought your works!  Individual artists don't get time to go after collecting data about collectors. Galleries also tell you to just concentrate on your work and leave the sales to them! And some shows, fairs, Biennials, festivals etc. don't take work directly from artists. They ask you to  come to them via galleries. It looks like they want to help galleries and commercialization and not individual artists.Small scale artists in the developing countries are struggling a lot. I have seen with my own eyes what type of life they are leading. Some even ask me to help them.  I myself don't know much about the commercial aspects of the art world. How can I help them? It really is a very sad story.

I do art for art's sake and don't give much importance to other things. But not everybody can do that - especially the professional artists. Art Business houses say the supply outstrips the demand. In other words there are many artists  and art works than there are collectors. For eg., here there are some artists who do works for just five US dollars! I was shocked. People are engaging them and are ignoring the others! I feel these artists are doing works for such low prices to survive without galleries. But there is a belief here that only art sold in galleries is good and reliable and people prefer gallery- based artists. Don't know who or what is responsible for this baseless belief! So it is difficult to sell art outside a gallery here!

Some people - including gallery ones - even advised me in the initial stages of my art career to do landscapes as everybody here wants them. I told them I will never get influenced by markets - sales or no sales. And I got a name because I stood out for my unique work and got recognition. I don't like getting influenced  by others in my creative endeavor.

However, I wonder how I can get into Biennials, shows and fairs that don't take individual artists. Can you tell me how that is possible?

 


Mona Youssef said:

Dear Krishna,

 

Good subject to open and there is so much to share with artists if they listen carefully and work on harmony and not for oneself. 

The question is, can an artist survive alone without a gallery?  When was the first gallery come to the foreground? Was there any artist prior to that? Did they sale their artwork? How? Did they become known or famous? How? Who is feeding whom and who is creating the artwork and has the intellectual property and who is the salesperson?

 

Take the example of a fashion designer, can his employees who are selling his cloths, in any store, impose their policy on him and receive 50%-60% ?

 

Artists run their business and have so much expense to cover plus they are the creators of the artwork. Galleries run their business and have their expenses but DO NOT CREATE THE ARTWORK. Why on earth artists should pay %50-%60?  Keeping in mind that many artists can sale without galleries and become known and successful. Whereas galleries can't survive without artwork received from artists. So who needs whom? Why artists are  followers instead of being followed.

 

Galleries can do a great job when they have good contacts, buyers, experience in promoting artists, good knowledge of each style they want to sale or exhibit so they would know how to present it, PROVID INSURANCE. Even after all, their main job is to SALE ARTWORK and not to collect fees and tell artists" Sorry, we can't guarantee the sale" Then they ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB RIGHT, they are not searching enough for the right buyer for different artwork. Artist's job is done well when finished a piece of art, should gallery is incapable of selling, guess what, the fashion designer, we mentioned in the beginning, will fire his employee / salesperson and find another one who is capable of selling his products. 

 

So artists, when you receive an offer from a gallery, do you do your home work? Do you make research as to the history of that gallery, reputation, what kind of client it has, record of the sale, prices of artwork sold, what kind of promotion they make. You can be promised with so much, but do not fool yourself. Make your own home work and do not waste your money. Galleries who have clients for your work will not ask for fee but ONLY percentage. I will not pay the %50 as it is not partnership where they created the artwork with me and spent many years of experience and deduction etc.  If they have equal the number of years experience, then they should be in the position to find clients. If the excuse is that the market is not doing well, then they should not arrange for exhibitions and collect so much fees to cover their expense, rent and live from where artists are starving.

 

Wake up and say enough. Learn how to promote yourself and your art. Take control of your artwork and be responsible. I like what Tina has mentioned. artists are allowing galleries to make them feel as if they are doing you a favor. NO THEY ARE NOT. YOU artists are the ones doing them a big favor, try to understand how it works to see my point.

 

This might sounds harsh but from many bad experiences artists shared with me, I am writing this to you because I care.

 

Take care all of you

 

Mona

 

 

I am on my own..find it very diff. to promot  my paintings...I agree with U about  "gallery people" and here is a link where somewhat simillar thoughts are expressed...

http://www.linkedin.com/news?viewArticle=&articleID=302672453&a...

Dear Krishna, good day to you!

It s been long time since i havent been in touch here, but  its because i have been busy with travelling and having some ART EVENTS OF MY WORK.As this year started, i have been exhibiting in 5 different places one after the other!Here, in my city, but also in Athens, our capital city.I also exhibit some of my art work in Barcelona Spain, and starting promoting it also in China.

Well, i usually have exhibiting my art work in my own, in different multiplaces here, in GREECE, in Public Halls or in some Galleries. Lately I have been a member of a Gallery in Spain, which is exhibiting and promoting my artwork.

This has two different and opposite options:

At first its great, because i dont have to look everywhere..to show my art, everything is more strict and well prepared, promising more success and exposing the art to the people.

On the other hand its really pushing me a lot...because i get anxious for the Gallery which is foung very far from me,SPAIN, AND  this is creating  problems of good communication, delays...Also, it costs a lot of money...and i can never know if my work isREALLY  been liked or sold..but in the end!

Well, these are what bothers me about this issue...ITS LIKE A KNIFE WITH TWO EDGES....

Thank you for all,

I wish you peace and love!

 

Stella

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