March 02, 2009

On View...


in progress


The following is a list of questions that have been sitting on the back burner for years... some are sophomoric but I bet most have crossed a lot of other minds out there. Recently followed J.T. Kirkland on Facebook as he ran a bunch of NYC galleries and museums and these thoughts began to surface again... so answer if you like, or add/define some of your own.

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As productive artists (not as teachers, not technically as students, not as professional critics) how do you evaluate the commercial gallery art you view? Suppose you're spending a day or two running the galleries in a big city art district:

1. What draws you closer, what repels you?

2. Are you especially attracted to work similar to your own?

3. Or work you would like to call your own? I.e. techniques you might want to incorporate into your own work.

4. Do you begin to classify what you see as various 'schools' or followers of successful artists of note?

5. Do you compare to your own work: Is it as good? Better? "They call THAT art and I can't get a show?"

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.)

7. What turns you off after visiting numerous galleries in a row? What type of work are you really tired of seeing?

8. When you finish a gallery run, how do you feel? Charged, drained, hopeful, defeated... or just, so what?

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?

10. Is it important to you if the artist of work you like has a "formal" art degree(s)?

11. Do you think art should ever be discounted or reduced in price? In this economy only?

Your thoughts?

5 comments:

Bill Gusky said...

1. What draws you closer,

>>> Unusual, the (apparently) 'not done before, the visually impactive

what repels you?

>>> uber dry conceptual stuff, art with an obvious political or social agenda (whether or not I agree with it), flagrant attention grabbers such as shocking imagery and overt, empty eros

2. Are you especially attracted to work similar to your own?

>>>>> I'm more attracted to work that I would like to be my own.

3. Or work you would like to call your own? I.e. techniques you might want to incorporate into your own work.

>>>> see above

4. Do you begin to classify what you see as various 'schools' or followers of successful artists of note?

>>>> It's pretty hard not to do this. I find myself doing it more and more.

5. Do you compare to your own work: Is it as good? Better? "They call THAT art and I can't get a show?"

>>>> Constantly

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.)

>>>> I could see both being interested.

7. What turns you off after visiting numerous galleries in a row? What type of work are you really tired of seeing?

>>>>> I wonder how much more end-game abstraction I can take, but then I'm usually surprised by something new. I don't need any more issues-related art. I'm not interested in the artist's terrible childhood or need to be loudly exhibitionist.

8. When you finish a gallery run, how do you feel? Charged, drained, hopeful, defeated... or just, so what?

>>>> Usually a mix. Depends on the time of year I think.

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?

I never fake buyer. Seems cruel and anyway I bet they can sniff it out pretty fast. Galleries so attendant to front-door business aren't usually as interesting to me as the ones that snub people like me, but I'm sure there are exceptions.

10. Is it important to you if the artist of work you like has a "formal" art degree(s)?

>>>> No.

11. Do you think art should ever be discounted or reduced in price? In this economy only?

>>>>>> If it serves my aims, I'd say yes. I'd discount on the spot to clinch a sale, if it isn't too deep a drop. And I'd probably not discount beneath what I'd already estimated as my bottom-dollar number.

Walker said...

1. draws: something unusual, unexpected. repels: lack of composition, especially collage with words torn out of magazines
2. no, I'm tired of my own work
3. yes, absolutely
4. yes, can't help it
5. yes, can't help it
6. both, although I am mostly in the commercial design field
7. abstract work without composition, hue or value changes. Boring. Also BAD digital work is showing up alot now.
8. mostly "so what". It's rare that I can find any inspiration in gallery work these days. But when I do, I love it!
9. Yes. I could fake it, but why bother?
10. not at all
11. I discount my work for quantity. I raise my prices if I have to work with someone who is a pain in the ass. It's a personal decision. If you need to make money, reduce the price and sell the work. New work can garner higher prices.

cathsheard said...

1. What draws you closer, what repels you? Closer – unusual but not gimmicky surfaces and layers. Beautiful colours. Repels – gimmicks, ugliness, cute images.

2. Are you especially attracted to work similar to your own? Sometimes, esp in terms of colour choice.

3. Or work you would like to call your own? Can be, yes.

4. Do you begin to classify what you see as various 'schools' or followers of successful artists of note? To some degree, but try to see each work for itself.

5. Do you compare to your own work: Is it as good? Better? "They call THAT art and I can't get a show?" Yes, especially if the craftsmanship is poor.

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.) Not something I tend to think about.

7. What turns you off after visiting numerous galleries in a row? What type of work are you really tired of seeing? Gallery staff who are rude. Work that is cheaply made, poorly crafted and unlikely to last well.

8. When you finish a gallery run, how do you feel? Charged, drained, hopeful, defeated... or just, so what? Charged and drained, in need of some quiet, but eager too.

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? Yes I expect so, don’t try.

10. Is it important to you if the artist of work you like has a "formal" art degree(s)? No, but it is important to me that their work will last, if it is meant to so they should have studied for themselves things like ‘no acrylic over oils’.

11. Do you think art should ever be discounted or reduced in price? In this economy only? I think a sale is fine, dropping prices is very dodgy, and it’s probably better to supplement your income and hold your prices if you possibly can.

Karen Jacobs said...

Thanks for you responses... I've added mine in the next post.

brendamarks said...

1. What draws you closer, what repels you?
landscapes, textures, interesting color shifts draw me in. chaos repels.

2. Are you especially attracted to work similar to your own?
I'd be more interested in work I'd like to call my own.

3. Or work you would like to call your own? I.e. techniques you might want to incorporate into your own work.
(see above)

4. Do you begin to classify what you see as various 'schools' or followers of successful artists of note?
Definitely. I like discerning patterns in what I see.

5. Do you compare to your own work: Is it as good? Better? "They call THAT art and I can't get a show?"
Not usually.

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.)
Collectors, so far.

7. What turns you off after visiting numerous galleries in a row? What type of work are you really tired of seeing?
poorly executed "functional" art

8. When you finish a gallery run, how do you feel? Charged, drained, hopeful, defeated... or just, so what?
Usually charged. I love seeing new work.

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?
Yep. I'm a dead mark, walking around too close to the work.

10. Is it important to you if the artist of work you like has a "formal" art degree(s)?
No

11. Do you think art should ever be discounted or reduced in price? In this economy only?
I think there are ways to reduce prices that are honorable and won't cause investors angst.