the obligation between gallery and artist

I find it inconceivable, with all the galleries that have sprung up in Chelsea, that the gallery owners aren’t more open to meeting with artists. In fact, in many of the galleries, the common response is, “We’re not looking for artists at this time.” Well excuse me, I’m confused. I thought the galleries main reason for staying in business is to sell art. I know too many accomplished artists, who after many hard years of perfecting their craft and sacrificing their personal lives, are still unrepresented by a gallery. Something feels odd about this. Art galleries sell art, artists make art, there should be a better communication between the two…some kind of dialogue, at least.

In the early days of my painting career, the OK Harris Gallery and Nancy Hoffman Gallery, both at the time in Soho, were two of the most accessible places for artists to approach. Nancy Hoffman had days she would look at portfolios and Ivan Karp was always available to artists off the street. While he was frank and to the point, his passion for the artist and their work was always apparent. I valued the time he gave me every time he said, “No thanks.” I grew from the experience. Perhaps this is what they call “paying your dues".

It saddens me to see so many wonderful artists working in the shadow of the art world without representation. I realize there are degrees of vision and talent and not every artist who walks through the doors of a gallery has the same esthetics as that gallery, but communication can give an artist the kind of hope that might make the difference in their future work.

So it seems to me, without the artist there would be no need for the gallery. I would just like a better dialogue between the two…I’m just saying.