Reply by closetguy

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744 posts in 3917 days

#1 posted 07-29-2010 09:11 PM

Much of the gallery scene operates at a different mindset than many of us woodworkers, or craftsmen. I’m just a simple country boy. The only inanimate object in my house is me in the Lazy Boy watching the finals of the British Open. I go to gallery receptions occasionally because I have a couple of non-woodworking friends who create this kind of art. I don’t, and never will, “get it”.

High-end galleries, as opposed to handcrafted consignment galleries, have to really want your work in order to do business with them. They have a discriminating customer base that is really into useless items that they can proudly display in their home or office. It’s not as much about whether the gallery can make a commission off your work, but more about their customers knowing or thinking that they have unique high-end works of art. Sales will come because of the gallery’s reputation. From what I have seen, it appears to be a very clique’ish environment. Everyone knows each other and getting into the inner circle requires not only very nice work, but also a lot of socializing and politics.

A good friend of mine does sculptures and does very well at it financially. She has her stuff in galleries and also has the occasional featured artist gallery reception to show new works. We also do some of the same art shows. Every time I see her at her booth, she asks me what I think about certain items. My response is always the same, “It’s a little too cutting edge for me”. One day she asked me what I meant by that and I told her that I think they are ugly as hell and the only use I could see for one of her sculptures is for target practice with a .30-60. She will respond with “So, do want to buy a target?” She does six figures a year, so far be it me to question her artistic expressions. It took her years to get to this point, but the perseverance finally paid off.

The gallery receptions are interesting. Here are the pretty people, dressed up nice, walking around with a glass of wine looking at the most gawd awfull stuff I have ever seen. They are discussing all the nuances of each piece and genuinely sounding like they know what they are looking at. I’m standing out there in blue jeans, a pack of cigarettes rolled up in my t-shirt sleeve yelling at the bartender “What do you mean you ain’t got no beer?”

The ones who do this type of work generally do well at it if they have a gallery pushing their work. If you have good pieces, time, and a knack for politics, there is money to be made. Unfortunately, this is not my type of gig. It’s the oil and water syndrome.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

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