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VISUAL ARTS

GALLERY CONFUSION & INCOMPETENCE

Arthur Benjamins

RED STRIPE - 1.jpg

“THE RED STRIPE II” - (Above painting)

When reading through galleries' manner of submitting work or via gallery owners themselves who discuss the aforementioned, the majority of them speak of 'consistency', but after that they remain vague to the extreme.

There are various ways of translating what that means.


  • For any gallery to exist, there must be a healthy and continuous through-put of work of which it is the gallery’s' sole responsibility to make that as profitable as possible over the longest possible time. There are legions of artists – famous or otherwise – who would or could not fulfill those exact - but uncomplex requirements for a wide range of reasons.

There are galleries who have ceased working with artists because of the lack of commercial common sense.

When approaching galleries, it must be made very clear to them that you are totally aware of the commercial 'guidelines' to foster a very profitable arrangement in every sense of the word.

You may even have to underscore that by stating the fact that every piece of art which is sold through their gallery, you can and will replace it with an equally sellable piece.

You cannot state it simpler than that.


  • The other form of 'consistency' has a more limiting connotation but which may latch onto you like a limpet mine.

    Some 'art gurus' categorically state that you should approach galleries with just ONE style or genre of your work. Many artists only have one, so they won't have THAT specific problem. The idea is that the gallery will not be confused by the quantity of styles you may present them.

If all artists knew exactly what galleries would be looking for, the world would be a far easier place. Instead, all galleries insist that the artists do their 'legwork' first, before descending on them. The steady fact is that galleries do not always have one certain style or genre they represent. They may not exhibit various at one given time, but certainly have a varying portfolio.


I would not have the slightest idea myself what would interest a gallery in relation to the work it would want to exhibit. Offering the work that may seem the correct choice to me, may, in fact, be nowhere near what the gallery has in mind.

Therefore, I would wish to offer them as much opportunity to choose as I could offer.

Alas, it seems that the vast % of galleries don't possess any of that foresightedness that could generate vastly successful relationships.

Some time ago I was asked why I had such a wide portfolio of work to which I replied that because race driver Mario Andretti embraced and excelled driving midgets, sprint cars, World Sports Cars, NASCAR, Formula-1. Indy cars, and probably a few more – he became the all-round, successful and totally respected legendary racer that he is now.