Group annotations on this page
Too Similar: A gallery looks at the group of artists they represent, much like an artist looks at a painting. It is not so much the individual artist that is considered, but, rather, how that art fits into the existing group. Often galleries are reluctant to take artists that are too similar to an artist they already represent.
Too Different: All galleries try to create a niche for themselves by representing artists that are stylistically similar and would appeal to their core group of collectors. If your work is outside the arbitrary parameters they have established, you are out of luck.
Too Far Away: Unless you have already established a reputation elsewhere, galleries are reluctant to work with artists outside their regional area. Issues surrounding shipping costs and the inconvenience of getting and returning work in an expedient manner make it often not worth it.
Too Fragile/Difficult to Store: Regardless of how big a gallery is, there is never enough storage space. Galleries shy away from work that is 3 dimensional, easily breakable, heavy or hard to handle.
Too Expensive: Most artists undervalue their work. But, occasionally I will come across an artist with a totally unrealistic sense of how to price their work. Prices are established by the law of supply of demand (Read Pricing Your Art). If a gallery feels they can not price your work fairly and still make a 50% commission, they will not be willing to take a chance on you.
Too Cheap: Artists who only do works on paper, photographers, etc often can not generate enough income from sales to make an exhibition worth it to a gallery. If you have 20 pieces in a show, and each piece sells for $500, and your show completely sells out…your gallery has only made $5000… barely enough to cover the costs of the postage, announcement and opening reception.
Too Difficult: Entering into a relationship with a gallery is in many ways similar to entering into a marriage. It's a relationship that needs to be able to endure candid dialog about the things that are often the most difficult to discuss with anyone…your artwork and money. Both the artist and the gallery need to have a level of trust and comfort that will guarantee honest communication. If a gallery perceives you as being a difficult person to work with, they tend to veer away.
Too Inexperienced: Many artists start approaching galleries too soon, before their work has fully matured. Most critics and curators say it takes an artist several years after college for their work to fully develop stylistically. Galleries want to make sure that once they commit to you, your work will not make radical and/or unpredictable changes. Even if a gallery LOVES your work, they may want to watch your development over a period of years to confirm their initial opinion. Artists must also have enough work of a similar sensibility to mount an exhibition.
Too Experienced: The gallery fear of failure is strong, particularly in this economic climate. Careful to be sensitive to a price point that is right for their audience, galleries may not be financially able to risk representing artists who are farther along in their career, therefore demanding higher prices, than emerging younger artists. Artists with a long sales history of gradually appreciating prices may find themselves priced out of the current market.
mitrm_da on 2007-03-31Something that every artist should keep in his/her mind.