After reading the article “How To Establish Which Galleries To Approach,” you should have a fairly good idea of how to determine which galleries are appropriate for your work. Once you’ve narrowed your target list down to those galleries that you feel relate to your work, and would be a good fit for you both stylistically and as a match for your career level, you are ready to develop an approach. Ideally, if you know another artist that is represented by the gallery, invite them to your studio to see your work. Not surprisingly, artist referrals carry the most weight in a gallery’s decision to acquire a new artist. If you are not fortunate enough to know an artist that the gallery represents, you’re left with the option of calling the gallery cold to request an appointment to meet with the gallery director and discuss your work.
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One of the most difficult aspects of being an artist doesn’t take place behind the studio walls. It is an unpleasant, sometimes degrading aspect of your career: promotion. Nevertheless, as an artist, you need to develop a method to promote your work and still maintain your integrity. To minimize the unpleasantness of this particular responsibility, the method you devise should complement your personality and temperment. The problem begins when you decide it’s time to start approaching galleries.
Almost everyone has experienced loss in one form or another at some point in their lives. After the tragedy on September 11th, most of us don’t have to look very far to find someone who has been touched by loss. For artists, learning how to recognize and cope with loss will help them in understanding the common phenomenon known as post exhibition blues.
It is normal to experience the sense of loss that accompanies grief when we are confronted with the death of a relative, friend or even a pet but, artists need to learn how to recognize the importance of grieving, when confronted with loss of an expectation or fantasy. Regardless of how unrealistic we may acknowledge it to be.
If you’ve ever considered going into print, there’s never been a better time. Recent statistics show the art market retail spending is on the upward march, with increasingly affluent and (hopefully) taste-conscious buyers looking to buy original and limited edition reproduction works.
Until recently however, most “enthusiastic amateurs” will have been put off by the cost of printing. Why should you have to commit yourself to spending the wrong side of ?1000 only to find out your masterpiece doesn’t sell? Well, the answer is you don’t anymore. Read more →
There are many times when an artist is asked to compose an artist statement. Sometimes, it is in response to a specific inquiry by a gallery or collector, sometimes in response to a particular grant proposal or in conjunction with a curatorial statement or exhibition. Other times, artists just feel the need to explain their work. Most of the time, however, artists are not the best suited for this particular task. Regardless of one’s ability to write, writing about your own work poses unique problems that very few artists are equipped to deal with. Consequently, most artists’ statements become overly personal explanations about what art means to you and what you are trying to accomplish in your work things that are better saved for personal journal musings than for a public artist statement. Every artist wants his or her work to be understood and appreciated in the context in which it was made. However, very few artists are able to articulate intelligent insight into how to achieve that level of understanding, nor should they. Part of the joy, from an observer’s point of view comes from the primary experience with the art bringing to his or her own personal and intimate connection. If those things are spelled out for them, before they have an opportunity to develop that connection for themselves, a huge part of the experience of appreciating the art is missing.
On the other hand, writing an artist statement for your own use, can be a very valuable experience. Artists need to know how to intelligently talk about their work, their influences, the sources for their imagery, and answer any questions about their technique. It is every artist’s responsibility to see themselves in an art historical context and understand how they fit into the contemporary art world, regardless of the reasons that drive them to create.
If you have the need for a written artist statement to be made available to the public, I suggest hiring a professional art writer to interview you in your studio, look at your work and your slides, and write a brief essay about your work. Most artists don’t realize that many art reviewers make their living as writers, often making their services available to galleries or museums for catalog essays or miscellaneous writing jobs. If you have followed the writing of a particular art critic in your area, it is not unusual to ask them to write an essay for a fee. Alternately, you can approach a curator who has taken a favorable view of your work, or even a local art history professor. Fees for these services are generally based on a “per word” structure, ranging from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $2500 depending on the stature of the writer.
If hiring a professional is absolutely out of your realm and you must prepare an artist’s statement yourself, here are some general guidelines to follow:
-Don’t get personal. Keep the reasons why you make art to yourself.
-Educate, but don’t preach. Imagine what you would like said if someone was explaining your work.
-Complete this sentence “This series is based on…….”
-Mention important influences, artists as well as writers, that may set a context for your work.
-Discuss the process or technique if it is particularly unusual or an important element in understanding your media.
-Be sure to keep your statement down to one page, maximum. Preferably, 2-3 well written, concise paragraphs should get the job done. It’s best to only give out your artist statement when it is requested, not as part of an unsolicited package. This alleviates the problem of telling someone more than they want to know, allowing for questions and interaction, and offers the opportunity for follow up.
<em>This article was reproduced with the kind permission of Sylvia White and ArtAdvice.com </em>
ArtAdvice.com, founded in 1979 by Sylvia White, in Los Angeles, is one of the few management consulting firms specializing in the career development of visual artists. They advise artists on all matters related to business, exhibitions, and marketing. In 1986 they expanded their consulting services to represent selected artists. In addition to their Los Angeles gallery space, they utilize associates in San Francisco, Chicago and New York to help us familiarize galleries, museums, collectors, critics, and curators with the work of emerging, mid-career, and established artists, their artists have participated in hundreds of exhibitions, nationally and internationally. Sylvia White currently serves on the advisory boards for ArtfulStyle.com, NowCulture.com and Guild.com.
The Internet has become an unavoidable fact of life. Over just the last few years we have seen radical changes in the way this new technology is changing the way we live, think and shop. Although many artists, collectors and galleries continue to have fears and concerns, even their reluctance is slowly beginning to erode as they accept the inevitability of this powerful, wide reaching tool. In regards to the artworld, there are basically three different types of websites :
Visual artists are constantly worrying about what the standard artist/gallery relationship should consist of. Feeling insecure about how to handle these negotiations are natural…artists are not business people and are often ill-equipped as well as inexperienced at handling their own business affairs. Following is a set of guidelines that I recommend artists use when considering establishing a relationship with a gallery. Remember, the ideal gallery does not exist. The best way to use this information is as a standard, by which you can grade the level of commitment of a particular gallery. In that way, you can go into the relationship with an educated and realistic set of expectations.
There are few things in the marketplace priced as irrationally as art. As in other areas of business, pricing is mostly determined by the law of supply and demand. Most artists typically have a big supply and little or no demand. Using this most basic principle, an increase in price is only justified when this balance shifts…either the demand increases, or the supply decreases. Although artists and galleries try to set prices based on the law of supply and demand and what the market will bear, there are always extenuating circumstances that contribute to the final price…where the artist is, in his or her career range, is probably the most important and also the most difficult to quantify. Medium, size, complexity, cost of production and previous sales history, also play important roles in determining the final sales price. But the bottom line could just as easily be determined by how much an artist is attached to a particular piece. Although I never recommend artists pricing works of the same size, same medium and same series differently, based on their attachment to it, it sometimes does occur.
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I was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in June, 15. 1966. In 1990 I finished my studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Belgrade, (printmakers department) in the class of professor Emir Dragulj, and in the same year was admitted for the masters degree studies. In 1993 I finished my masters degree program and I was admitted for assistant at Fine Arts Academy. In 1999 I became an associate professor. I have also received several domestic awards for printmaking, made eight ‘one man show’ exhibitions in Yugoslavia and also one in Germany.