March 04, 2009

On View... Answers

(FaceBook readers: This is easier to read on my blog, check the comments also.

Thanks to those who took the time to answer these questions... I'd love for more of you to chime in with thoughts. Here are my responses to my previous post/query about viewing gallery art:

1. What draws you closer, what repels you?
First, I see the whole, if it grabs me, I'm drawn in... the work must offer as much interest up close as I was promised from a distance. Work that makes me move quickly on is either gratuitously repulsive in content or I've seen it before and before and before...

2. Are you especially attracted to work similar to your own?
Curiosity pulls me in... unless I can see from afar that the artist has taken shortcuts.

3. Or work you would like to call your own? I.e. techniques you might want to incorporate into your own work.
Always attracted to work I'd love to call my own. I leave nose prints trying to figure out how that was done!

4. Do you begin to classify what you see as various 'schools' or followers of successful artists of note?
To me, this is the most boring aspect of looking at a lot of art. A few years ago I was running the galleries with several other artists and pointed out a certain 'look' that we were seeing repeatedly. They hadn't noticed but began to agree with me. I pointedly asked a gallery person what it was called and got a bit of attitude. Like, she was supposed to educate me in contemporary art history or something? I won't describe it because I see more and more of it and it's obviously today's look... I should get with it. Still don't know what to call it.

5. Do you compare to your own work: Is it as good? Better? "They call THAT art and I can't get a show?"
Frequently... there's an awful lot of stuff out there at usually good galleries that is really, really bad art. I don't care what you say!

6. Would decorators or collectors be more interested in your work? (Collectors being loosely defined as people who personally buy for their pleasure, not necessarily as investment.)
It's probably half and half. Wish I could say most of my work is sold to private collectors who just really like it. However, I think my galleries more often than not, deal with decorators who have no qualms about hanging a vertical painting sideways if that's what the space needs. As long as the check is good, bless you, decorators!

7. What turns you off after visiting numerous galleries in a row? What type of work are you really tired of seeing?
Redundancy... same ole landscape, same ole still life, same ole fillintheblank. Also artists who's work has not changed in any way since they figured out what sells. Really fine technique in poorly composed paintings. Whatever that new thing is that everyone wants to emulate.

8. When you finish a gallery run, how do you feel? Charged, drained, hopeful, defeated... or just, so what?
Charged, for sure! Best tonic out there is to see what's out there. To come home with new thoughts, not to copy but to interpret.

9. Can a gallery person identify you as an artist? Or can you pull of the potential buyer riff and actually have a conversation about the art?
Leaving nose prints is a dead give-away! Real buyers look from afar and ask questions about the artist and other work they have done. Artists usually stroll around the room about 10" from the work and ask questions about mediums. I consider myself a collector as well as an artist so I want to be treated as a potential customer (I didn't say that my price range limits me to small raku pottery.) I enjoy hearing what the gallery person has to say about the artist in question... if they recognize me as an artist, they're gone.

10. Is it important to you if the artist of work you like has a "formal" art degree(s)?
Since I don't have formal type of education, I'm sensitive to documents that require me to state such... but I've come to recognize that my work can compete on most levels regarless. The method of study isn't as important as what was learned and how is it used.

11. Do you think art should ever be discounted or reduced in price? In this economy only?
Have been in conversation with several galleries about this, not surprisingly... so have honed my thoughts: The price on the wall stays the same... the discount is offered in conversation with the customer. Special sales are fine... but ALWAYS, the wall price stays the same. This is a temporary recession and we don't want to have to start over building our value again. Previous buyers will understand the circumstances, but not a drop in value.


Anonymous said...

I read the responses of some of your blog followers. One common theme seemed to be "quality of work". Could you offer suggestions to those of us without formal educations as to how to ensure our work will last. I use the best paint I can afford but, I would hate to be overlooked because someone didn't feel my work would age well. Thanks.

Karen Jacobs said...

The quality of a work generally refers to the capabilities of the artist, not necessarily how the work was constructed. I'll try to give a better answer in a blog post, thanks for asking.