Are you having trouble booking those coveted gallery shows? This month's article may give you some insight as to why.
Last chance to tell promoters what you want! We're working up a brand new article series that will allow us to share your show-going experiences directly with promoters! We're looking for stories and contributions now, check below to see how you can get involved.
FN Newsletter Editor
Why Galleries Reject Artists
by Sylvia White
Most artists harbor the fantasy that if they could only find one art dealer who loved and believed in their work, their career would be set. They secretly believe that there exists a special person who can catapult them to fame. Many artists spend most of their careers searching for "the perfect gallery." And, like all quests towards perfection, it is never-ending. If they already have a gallery, it's not good enough; if they are looking for their first gallery, they dream about the moment when someone sets eyes on their work and offers them a solo show immediately. The harsh reality is that having a gallery love your work is only one very small part of what goes into the decision to represent an artist. From a gallery's point of view, adding an artist to their stable is much like adding a stock to one's portfolio. There are many complicated factors to take into consideration, and liking the "stock" usually has very little to do with the decision. There is no doubt that while liking the artist's work is certainly the first criterion, there are several other hurdles that must be overcome before a gallery will commit to an artist. Understanding those hurdles will help you to present your work effectively to galleries and detach yourself from the inevitable sense of personal failure that follows when a gallery rejects your artwork.
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 who is considered, but, rather, how the art fits into the existing group. Often galleries are reluctant to take artists who are too similar to an artist they already represent.
All galleries try to create a niche for themselves by representing artists who 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 often make it not worth it.
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