Tuesday, March 1, 2011

lopsided art power... galleries should submit, not the artist.

as I make stuff and think of trying to sell stuff and look into galleries... man, what a scam.

the worst part… the galleries make the artist eat their ass to have the privilege of being exploited and sharing the cash... and it's not about talent per se, it's more about playing the game and at that point, why not just get a fuckin' job, in an office or someplace a bossman can make you eat his ass for guaranteed pay?

I used to have a gallery, this was before I had ever stepped foot in a gallery or art museum for that matter. I just never felt comfortable entering… I had left many a nose and finger prints on the outside of the windows of their prestigious locations before I started my anti-gallery. so, I imitated them and sold a bunch of stuff and eventually had curators come to my place trying to romance the folks I was working with, the artists I was pimping… I now felt better about myself, but felt great anger at them, the art establishment… how could they act so elite, yet have to slum to get the real deal?

galleries have become an outlet for rich kids who play the game, who go to art school, who have learned how to craft a piece that will go great with the couch… I only started a gallery to give my underground friends/artists a legitimacy so we could get some press, or what I considered press to be, which was advertising we couldn't afford so we could sell stuff, so we could continue to stay self employed.

once I felt ok entering galleries, I couldn't stop… maybe it was to wallow in my understanding that I knew where the greatest of great art really existed, I now knew better, great art resides on the street, in the basement, in a garage called a studio, in the zipcodes the rich seldom enter. it's rare to see real expression in galleries, it always seems like a visit to an art school or an over ambitious craft show… now museums, that's another story.

it's time for the artist to make the gallery jump thru the hoops, to make them apply, they should prove themselves, not the other way around… I mean, really… they want to exploit the artist… the creators… why shouldn't they be the ones to prove themselves? btw - being able to pay rent on a store front isn't proving yourself, it's paying a bill.

how the fuck did the creative class forget it's power? how did things get so out of control, so lopsided?

I wonder... are there any galleries that are cool, that research, that recruit, that court talent rather than lazily wait for the 'talent' to come to them?

an application process doesn't seem like a way to get the strongest, the best... it seems like a way to break someone down, make them submit and anyone willing to do that might be the weaker part of the creative species.

you know, a gallery just sent me an application to SUBMIT.
I wanted to write them back and let them know the only way I submit is if you're naked.

you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna make a application for any gallery that I might be interested in that might ask me to jump thru hoops… fuck them, they should jump thru the hoops.

remember - creative class trumps ruling class!

10 Comments:

Anonymous Christine Clemmons said...

this is a lot of info to take in. i'll be back. need sleep ;)

March 2, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger V Holeček said...

I can't believe this is the first time I've found this site! Fucking Ace!

March 2, 2011 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger V Holeček said...

Alright...I ran with it ^_^

http://www.schamballah.com/files/application.pdf

I may give it a couple revisions before I add it, because I know there's going to be something I've overlooked the first time out the gate...

March 2, 2011 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

hehehe... awesome!!
I've been working on one, on my facebook page with other artists there... mine's not as nice as yours.

my conclusion is, make enough art and open your own gallery... that's it... an artist shouldn't need a pimp.

March 2, 2011 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger V Holeček said...

I will say that I don't begrudge any gallery that turns down my work on the grounds that the typical gallery, despite idealists' insistence to the contrary, is a business first and foremost...and as such, they have to move product, and in order to move a product they have to stick to what they know they can safely sell.

That being said, I take rejection from a typical gallery as an indicator that I'm doing something right.

March 3, 2011 at 5:34 AM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

oh, I'm with you there... I don't have that issue with my stuff... I jsut don't like a lot of the stuff they do hang, don't like their class of person and don't like how they make the artist jump thru hoops... it's just not right that an artist should have to apply or grovel... it goes beyond a polite exchange and sinks to dominance/submission... and who the fuck are they to act above the artist? the artist, no matter if the art fits or not is above the gallery/shop owner and should be treated as such.

I had 2.5 galleries and if an artist wanted to show me stuff, I'd let them, I'd treat them as a guest... if they wanted to bring a car full of paintings down, fine, slides, fine... I did it when they had time, not when I had time... why, because they we're wiling to trust me with their work and I didn't have to buy it up front, which is what you have to typically do when you have a shop... you have to buy product, so I already felt like a swindler.

March 3, 2011 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger V Holeček said...

I think this is more a product of a prevailing mindset of the public than the galleries, per se.

Studies have shown that while John Q. Public places value on art and artwork, there is actually little to no value placed on the artist themselves by the public at large. Both sides of the coin are aware of this mindset, so artists are already on the defensive to validate their existence. Galleries know this as well, and simply exploit this mindset (and the artists, in the process) to their own advantage.

Having said all that, until one can sway the views of the public regarding not just the arts, but the artists making them, then this scenario will persist, and artists will continue to slit each others' throats (and their own, in many cases) to get the upper-hand in a society that devalues and demoralizes them.

March 3, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

studies, shmudies... I have actual experience with selling art work out of my gallery... and I did rather well. how, because I understood art as not only an investment but a conversation piece and part of that conversation is the artist.

I think the only one missing this is the artist.
the artist lacks a sense of business, they are for the most part, no good at business and that is what's taken advantage of... the lack of a sense of value, self worth because commerce and creation are like oil and water... natural creation is without a need to be sold, it has a need to be looked at, it's a form of communication, so once created it needs to be shown, and whether understood or not, it needs to be communicated about, it begs to be critiqued. and the need to be critiqued and communicated to and back at is where I feel the first wave of manipulation of the artist comes in.

now, my experience is all lowbrow and underground and maybe that crowd naturally accepts the artist as part of the package, part of the deal… maybe those studies you speak of are for the thomas kinkade folks who buy paintings for the couch.

I do agree, the scenario needs to change, evolve and I think if you can create enough, every day, create more and more, if you can build a body of work, why not set up your own gallery featuring your own art, marketing you, the individual artist.

seems to me, that's what plenty of artists who have made it do… so why not try it before you've made it… I mean, what's the overhead? art supplies you're already invested in? time? rent? no need to deal with consignors, or vendors, just you and your ability… I look fwd to this.

I also have a larger plan of action as far as selling art that I will implement once our book and film are released, this november.

March 3, 2011 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

and I'm not talking an overblown sense of value, rather an understanding of the market, of what folks pay and just what your level of talent is… this takes honesty and an understanding of reactions when folks look at your work… yes, an honest self inventory would be a start too… I find most artist have an overblown sense of worth to counter the extreme insecurity they suffer from.

March 3, 2011 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger V Holeček said...

I can certainly drink to that...I've just moved into a new studio space myself that I've been getting situated so that I can host some open studio shows and circumvent the gallery system as much as possible...although I'll admit I've kicked around the idea of sending out invites to some of the local gallery directors just for shits and giggles.

I must say I rather like the cut of your jib, sir!

March 3, 2011 at 6:10 PM  

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over 20 years of refusing the invites of the educated, celebrity and ruling classes, preferring instead the excitement of upper low class, poverty, petty crime and violence.

It's not the wine and cheese I hate, it's the boring, void of anything lives the rich and privileged scurry thru like the walking dead on meth - most of the rich think their cultured simply by consuming - culture can't be bought, it must be lived.

I was truly meant to live on the side of a hill, growing my own tomatoes, basil and garlic in peace with my soul mate and dog.

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