Friday, July 15, 2011

A Dealer Speaks


Ed Winkleman has a blog. He also has no shortage of opinions, like me, but he is often brutally frank. This is part of his post from today:
But it led me to climb up on my soapbox at one point and preach a bit more about something that really began sink into my consciousness during [a class.] In a nutshell, it's the idea that the art world (galleries, museums, collectors, etc.) doesn't exist because artists are nice people. It doesn't exist as some charity for the sensitive or perceptive types who'd much prefer to spend their time making things than getting a job like everyone else. It's not your surrogate parents. It doesn't care how famous you want to be. It doesn't care how much you really, really put your heart and soul into that painting or video or performance.

The art world exists to find, support, and ultimately preserve the objects or ideas worth preserving. It's not about you or what you want. It's about the most amazing artwork being created in our time. Either bring that to the plate or stay in the dugout.

Too frequently in such discussions (not so much last night, but in general), I get the sense that 1) artists feel getting a gallery will be the key to all their career dreams (it ain't so); and 2) because they feel that, they spend way too much time considering what it is they think a dealer wants. How should I craft my artist statement? What types of shows should I include in my CV?

Who cares?!?!?!

You want to know what we really want (...and I know it's a tall order...the tallest, actually...but...)? We want you to shut us up.

We want you to show us something so jaw-droppingly amazing, we're left speechless.

Do that, and the art world will do anything for you. We'll be your charity. We'll be your surrogate parents. Just keep feeding us that jaw-dropping art crack.

Or get back in your studio until you can.

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