I won’t tell you where I found them, but they’re shiny and earning interest.
Here’s a recent shot from my studio:
A lot of people will tell you that the contemporary art market is full of greedy, ego-centric, shallow, amoral miscreants.
This might be true, for the most part.
Somehow, however, I have been able to find a number of individuals firmly established in the higher echelons of the contemporary art world that are people of integrity and honorable character.
This comes from both sides – artists and dealers. You may know that I am involved with a couple of critique groups and arts organizations which have exposed me to a number of outstanding artists – both in terms of their work and themselves as individuals. It may be easier to achieve this reputation as an artist, coming from the pre-supposed underprivileged starving status. Unfortunately, we artists can just as easily be slimy, debaucherous leeches ourselves.
I have had less exposure to people working on the gallery and museum (I’d say professional, but I’m trying to include myself in that category also lately) side of the market. The majority of the stories I have heard have not been encouraging.
This evening, however, I was reminded that I do, indeed, know quite a few outstanding people working in this area. I had a studio visit from a friend whom I was able to get to know over the last 7 years or so by doing IT consulting for the gallery she worked for. It was the first time she had been over to see my work, even though she had been familiar with it for quite some time. Over the recent weeks, in talking to her I have had the opportunity to learn more about her conception of the artist-dealer relationship and how she sees her role in it. It was great to hear someone talking about the process of learning the value of developing the relationship with the artist and their career, along with how a responsible gallery takes their role in the art and artist’s development seriously and what that looks like. She does it because she loves it. She loves the work she’s promoting and the cultivation of the artists she works with.
How refreshing. What a pleasure.
For a moment I thought, what an anomaly…what a rare find. A person who actually cares in the art world. Then I realized that I know another woman who works at a prominent gallery that I believe really cares also. Then I remembered another, more recent friend working her way up the ranks with just as much respectability. And then there’s my former roommate, who managed a gallery for several years and the collector friend and the curator friend and the critic friend and the historian friends.
If you look for it, there is real richness to be found in the art world. Do not be fooled or disillusioned that it is only a wasteland.
I’m realizing that as well as making art for myself (and this is a realization to have made) I am forming a team of other people who the work is also for, in a certain sense, because they are the people I want to have involved in the conversation and I want the conversation to be rich.
Eagle ate the otter.