Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Why I charge artists to promote them

Just to clarify one thing: I get asked a lot to represent artists and I'm happy to do so if 1) The artist has a substantial body of work to their name, not just a handful of paintings, I like their work and think it will sell 2) they are willing to pay for me to promote them and their work. Of course, I can hear the very loud gasp of derision but before you do so, please look me up on google and see the many things that I do. I frequently work 13 hours a day straight. In order to get an artist a sale, a tremendous amount of time and effort has to go into promotion on social media, endless networking and frankly, badgering the press to feature photos and stories. You may have noticed as well that setting up exhibitions and the one day gallery costs a lot of money, sourcing sponsorship and the like. I do appreciate that paying to be promoted goes against the grain of wanting to be acknowledged on the basis of merit alone. Of course! I agree. But consider this- there are a lot of artists vying for the attention of buyers and a bit like finding a needle in a haystack unless that artist has preferably slept with someone famous and can get plastered all over the press, they are facing an uphill struggle. Furthermore artists need a track record and gravitas- a list of public and private collectors to their name, residencies, group and solo exhibitions and a a CV that proves that they have put in the years required to be taken seriously and have honed their craft. What I can do and have done is get an artist a good dose of visibility for their work. And the buyers will come. And while I'm doing all that, the artist gets to paint. A famous agent to the stars used to charge a huge monthly retainer. If anyone ever asked him for a discount or begged and pleaded poverty, that agent simply refused. How was he after all, meant to do the best job for his clients if they didn't want to pay him in the first place? So unless you're planning on sleeping with a footballer and selling your story to the press.....

 Photo copyright SvD.

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