How the artists find the gallery
As an art manager, I receive constantly nominations from authors who want to present and sell their work. Unfortunately, few of them know the unwritten rules that lead to this goal. The way to reach the audience can be very individual to the different authors, but the most representative way to reach real connoisseurs is always through an art gallery.
Galleries most often work with a certain range of authors and the responsibility of which names will be displayed weighs on the galley’s shoulders. His task is to shape the overall artistic concept of the gallery and thereby impose certain values. These values should not be related to the galley’s personal bias, but should be a reflection of an in-depth analysis of artistic processes.
Art criticism in Bulgaria is hard to write, and in fact this genre is largely doomed to failure. I have often wanted to express my critical insight into certain processes, or even on certain authors, but so little is criticism that there are too many “geniuses” of discarding. The other problem of this genre is in the negative image the critic builds up in, and in a small country like Bulgaria, it is very easy to offend someone. Therefore, I believe there is a better way of presenting and validating values.
The gallery is a critic without criticism. He stands firm behind his position and builds a complete picture of the artistic life. There is room for new authors in this painting, but they must clearly follow the past line maintained by the gallery artist. Normally, he closely follows all the processes and is interested in new artists to work with. Apart from the selection of artists, the gallery creates its critical vision and the selection of the paintings themselves. He has the final say whether a work will be included in the author’s presentation.
How do the artists find the galley?
It is usually the opposite – it is the galley who discovers the author and invites him. This often places the young artist in a vicious circle. How can his works reach an audience and how can his work be seen by a gallery artist? This step requires a lot of tact and sometimes long-term planning. So I will outline some of the most common mistakes that artists allow in their desire to work with a gallery artist and will allow some advice to those of you who want to take along this path:
First of all, there must be conceptual similarities between the work of the galley and the author’s creativity. This is the easiest step, but most often neglected by the artist. It is enough to pay attention to what authors work the gallery and compare it with. Here comes a difficult question, the answer of which is not always easy to accept. Do your works have the same height? If the answer is no, then you will surely find another gallery that presents authors close to you.
Many authors start with great ambitions early on. They meet the galley and at the first meeting they want to present a solo exhibition. Most galleries have a long-term program, and the most common excuse that such an artist will hear is that there are no free dates for the next one or two years. The right approach requires more patience and willingness of the author to take part in any general exposition.
In order for the galleryist to get a complete picture of the author and to see how much his creativity fits in the line followed by him, he must see more work. Many artists present 2-3 paintings to the galleys and look forward to admiration and instant purchases. This is not impossible, but it is very unlikely. To impress a man whose eyes have tens of thousands of works of art, these 2-3 works must be built in an extremely complete style, as is the case with some well-established artists at the height of their work. So the best option is to show more (but selected) pictures. Meet the galley, leave a postcard with your site where you have a full portfolio and invite him to the studio to see the live pictures.
Every artist is also an experimentalist. However, it is not a good eye for distant artists. One thing is to have a blue and a pink period and it is another thing to work in different styles at the same time. This suggests the creator’s wandering, not his broad horizons. Choose only close-to-style and storied works and present them as a project you are currently working on.
I often receive letters like this: “I present to you the artist (name). If you are interested in his art, I would be glad to cooperate! (name) – art manager ” . I understand the desire of many artists to attach importance. The ego is an important companion of any real creator. However, a letter like this only tells how the author or so-called “art manager” knows the art market. The artists do not have an impresario. With rare exceptions, they also do not have a butler, a gardener or even an assistant. The artists are lonely birds in their art, and Mathis has bought his own dyes for the rest of his life. But the artist has a galley. Here I am not saying that it is bad for someone else to introduce you to the galley. It would even be a close-knit artist to introduce you. But in no case do you entrust your person to someone else’s hands.
Some artists have unreasonably high prices. The price of a work is not determined solely on the basis of its own qualities, but as a complex process in which purely market aspects are also involved. Trust the galley – this is his job and he would also have an interest in selling expensive, but that is not always possible.
Finally, I will look again at a market peculiarity. We live in a global world where information is easily accessible. It is inappropriate for an author to offer the same work at different prices in Bulgaria and for example in the United States. This is a very risky move that ultimately is dishonest to those who have to be most valued by the author – his buyers. I have had cases in which I refuse to work with an author, because his American galle player should not understand that he sells 10 times cheaper in Bulgaria. This is ridiculous. Of course, there are exceptions. If the author lives, works and sells mainly in one country and goes to another country to make his exhibition, then it would be a good gesture to comply with the local low standard. Or if it comes from a low-standard country and makes an exhibition in a country where the costs of the event are very high, the price increase is justified.