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How to Get Commercial Gallery Representation

How to Get Commercial Gallery Representation

"4 Friends" group show at Shafrazi: Haring, Scharf, Chelsea art gallery crawl 10-25-07, by j-No, Creative Commons

Valerie Atkisson / ArtBistro

The Big Picture: Like many things in life, reaching an important goal involves a lot of hard work. It also takes time, patience and a little luck. It is impossible to achieve an important goal, such as getting gallery representation alone. It takes a network of people and supporters. Whereas a very few artists seem to land in a gallery with no effort right out of graduate school, this is likely not the case for most artists. There is usually a back-story of hard work and connections that have landed her or him there.

Many artists want a commercial gallery to represent their work. Over the last 100 or so years commercial galleries have been the most desired way for artists to sell their work. Last month I wrote an article about the “pros and cons of gallery representation. I would recommend reviewing that article before proceeding with ” ">this article.

Everyone Has a Network

So, you have decided to seek a commercial gallery to represent your work. How do you do that? Some artists believe their art needs to stand alone on its merits and if it is good enough, it will eventually rise to the top. This occasionally happens, but more often than not, artists receive recognition through their network. This is because of human nature. If you were going to hire someone to be your assistant would you call your friends to see if they knew a trustworthy person for the job or only put out a notice online? You might do both, but you might be more inclined to take the recommended candidate, as there is seemingly less risk for you. So it is with commercial galleries. They also rely on their network of collectors, artists, critics to make a decision about whose work that they can sell.

Next: Getting Your Foot in the Door

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