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talking shop

the relationship between a gallery and an artist is not something you often hear about, which is unfortunate really, because i think a lot of artists would benefit from knowing about this delicate balance of ownership, trust, loyalty and legality. for the artist, it's a fine line between feeling protected and being controlled. for the gallerist, it's largely about business and stature....their success hinges on finding artists who possess the most salability, charisma, etc. but they also have to be concerned about maintaining a high level of visibility and positive standing within the art community.

my time with crussell fine arts came to an abrupt and bitter end last night. but in my mind it was over long ago. they managed to sell a few of my pieces, which was nice, but i felt torn as to whether i should stay or go. i was going through the motions, not fully satisfied, fulfilling my 6 month contract (which ran its course in december) and was fully prepared to move on. it's unfortunate that an ugly confrontation brought the subject of my leaving to the fore, but sometimes the band-aid must be ripped off in order to truly make that change.

i feel fortunate that CFA believed in me, but right now the liberation of being beholden to no one is a much sweeter reward. i think many artists are so starving for recognition that they accept less than they deserve or cower to the gallery machine in order to get their supposed 'big break,' that somehow being associated with a gallery will put them in the big leagues and catapult them to instant stardom.

well, being 'represented' isn't necessarily a panacea. a lot of factors come into play when gallerists and artists decide to dance with each other. personalities, egos and temperaments must gel, and even THAT doesn't guarantee success. it's like any other relationship, there's a courtship, a marriage of sorts, and sadly, sometimes divorce.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
waggner
Jan. 25th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Their loss, not yours
Shame when things end in an ugly way. After seeing the scene in the OC you definately made the right choice, no question whatsoever.
Good for you.
artworkslive
Jan. 25th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Their loss, not yours
thanks glenn, your words really cheered me up. i know i made the right decision....
rpeate
Jan. 26th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
Last year Robin and I decided the whole thing isn't worth it in general, without my ever having had a show. I posted about it, now that I think about it. And that was before Liz graciously suggested I submit my work to her gallery here. Incidentally, she unfriended me and didn't return a comment about it. If she disdains me, c'est la Vie. Hpefully Chuck and you still like me. :)
artworkslive
Jan. 26th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
and how could we possibly NOT like you??!!!! you're a dear...

it seems the art world provides many stories like yours, it's amazing to me how hard it is to find the right fit. it won't stop me from trying though, i'm pretty optimistic.......or delusional, i'm not sure which?!!


rpeate
Jan. 26th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
Strangely, some persons manage not to like me. :) I'm one of those "you either love him or you hate him" kind of persons . . .

You're great. Keep plugging and living your dream. It's cliche, but it's about the journey. Van Gogh was never happy, but oh, look at the art.
owenc
Jan. 26th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)


Eek!

You know what. There are one hell of a lot of galleries! A number of friends, as well as C., have found that when represented locally they don't sell well (you know the local art scenes are so incestuous). But when they got in galleries on the other side of the country they sold quite well. Some sort of cache with being new and from out of town. I dunno.

I do know that it's no great loss. You're great, and the work just keeps on gettin better and better. You go :-)
artworkslive
Jan. 26th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
thanks ot....
you know, i think you're definitely on to something. i sold a helluva lot of work when i showed up in portland about a year ago-for whatever reason. i enjoyed being the newbie out of towner (and so did my checking account!)

like rpeate said though, it's all about the journey....i'm excited about this new direction and know that everything happens for a reason. i'm ready to see what life throws at me next!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 26th, 2008 05:46 am (UTC)
So sorry that things ended in a sour note. There has to be a lot of dynamics with that kind of relationship. I am sure a lot of it has to do with artist feelings as well.

I am sure all will turn out for the better in the long run.
artworkslive
Jan. 26th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
thanks deano!
aviator
Jan. 26th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
ooops, I forgot to log in on the last post..... Grrrrrr
coagula
Jan. 26th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
They were still talking about the "ugly" confrontation today
They re-enacted it at the booth for me a number of times and said your forwarded email was the best by an artist "in art history" ... and then they sold another Baby Smith!
artworkslive
Jan. 26th, 2008 10:24 am (UTC)
Re: They were still talking about the "ugly" confrontation today
well, i'm glad we can all have a sense of humor after all that draaaaaaaama!!! can't wait to get the re-enactment....

and holy cow, you guys sold ANOTHER?!! eeE.

(Anonymous)
Jan. 26th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
representin'
oh girl, i'm so sorry things came to an ugly end. that just stinks. things can end & should end without it getting nasty. please write & give me the gist of what happened. That's a shame, dolly, I'm sorry nastiness occurred.
Much lovin',
Your crankky galpal in StLMO
artworkslive
Jan. 26th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
Re: representin'
thanks my cranky one...

i'll give you the full scoop and nothin' but the scoop! i'm sad it ended the way it did, but also relieved, yah?

-b

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )