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Old 02-25-2018, 04:12 PM
briansommers briansommers is offline
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would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

I might have a chance of having my own brick and mortar studio and gallery.

I've read all my life that if you want to get into a gallery you have to paint series and have a unified body of work. I do believe that.

but now that I might have a chance of having my own gallery would you still do that or would would you paint whatever style you want?

I'm leaning toward the latter.

What would you do?

I personally hate sticking to a long lasted style, etc. I've done series but maybe 5 in a series then I'll move on. But now, I've got no one to impress. Only the people coming in.
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Old 02-25-2018, 04:48 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

I don't have my own gallery...and I often paint in series!

Why? Because I have lots of ideas and stories I want to tell which spin off one another.

Paint whatever you want...in the way you want! It's what painting is about.

If you paint many different subjects, in many different approaches, however, don't be surprised if a lot of folks think you haven't yet found your niche and approach to making paintings.

Good luck on your gallery.

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Old 02-25-2018, 07:13 PM
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Katie Black Katie Black is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

I think I would do both.

Art collectors often know what they want and a unified body of work would be something that they would look for I think.

If you have your own place then you don't have to answer to anyone and can do pretty much what you like, and so as I said why not do both.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:59 PM
theBongolian theBongolian is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by briansommers
I personally hate sticking to a long lasted style, etc. I've done series but maybe 5 in a series then I'll move on. But now, I've got no one to impress. Only the people coming in.
Why do you want to have a gallery? Is it going to be a museum or a business?
Quote:
I've read all my life that if you want to get into a gallery you have to paint series and have a unified body of work. I do believe that.
Why do they require that? Just to make life hard for the artist? Or because that's proved necessary to run a successful gallery, to continue to make sales?
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:05 PM
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artbymdp artbymdp is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

The whole point of having your own gallery is to do what you want. Having said that, your added responsibility to maintain your gallery expenses and turn a profit may have an impact on how you do it. It sounds like you are in a good place. Best wishes.
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:58 AM
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

The whole Idea of series/unified body of work as you call it, is so the gallery will know how to market your work. If you look at the artistic work of any "famous" artist, you will find that they work in a similar style, but not in a similar subject. Van Gough, for example, painted scenes of orchards and mountains but also did self-portraits, and paintings of his chair. Jeff Koons made sculptures of balloon dogs, and also silk screens of Popeye. Western artist Fredrich Remington's sculptures of horses and outlaws are well known, but he also made well-known paintings. Some artists paint and sculpt. Others paint and draw, or do etchings. Often artists have several skills and sell all their work, but are known for one skill more than another.

This rule evolved only in the past 20 years or so because of money making galleries. It is not a rule that existed ever before in art. This is what happens when half-trained people write books. A mistake by another writer is copied and the mistake becomes intensified over the years, and then it become set in stone. As an artist, you should be known for your style, and not your medium or your subject. You can do with that information what you will. I'll tell you as an oldster around here, that when I was growing up, this "rule" did not exist. I was fortunate to have studied in New Mexico, in the Santa Fe school, and knew several big name artists, and studied with someone famous, and I only came in conflict with this rule in around 2013. I felt it was restricting, and later left the gallery (on bad terms) because I refused to abide by this silly rule.

I do not know what it means to "have your own gallery." If you do you will understand that there is a lot of work that goes into it, and I wish you all the luck and fortune in the world. Amazing news!
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Old 02-26-2018, 09:01 AM
theBongolian theBongolian is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

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Originally Posted by Use Her Name
The whole Idea of series/unified body of work as you call it, is so the gallery will know how to market your work. If you look at the artistic work of any "famous" artist, you will find that they work in a similar style, but not in a similar subject.
Yes. Famous well-known artists can paint any subject any style any medium -- as long as they sign their name to it.

Little known, unknown artists not so much. Typically artists get known - for their landscapes, or portraits, or seascapes - etc. And style is often easier to establish, easier to recognize if you stick to one subject. You might become adept at recognizing a Jimmy Brushmeister seascape - able to pick it out among all the other seascapes - but what about his pet portraits, classic nudes, and Nascar paintings? Is his style so consistent, so unique, so familiar you'd recognize it across all genres? All mediums?

Also even when Famous Artists show their work they still show it grouped by subject matter. David Hockney Portraits. David Hockney L.A. views. etc. In other words, even though they may paint a variety of subjects their work is presented in the gallery as a series/unified body.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:24 AM
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

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Originally Posted by theBongolian
Also even when Famous Artists show their work they still show it grouped by subject matter. David Hockney Portraits. David Hockney L.A. views. etc. In other words, even though they may paint a variety of subjects their work is presented in the gallery as a series/unified body.

Wouldn't you say that was a curatorial decision? An artist who has been working for 20 years, might do one or two per year of the subject, but when all are pulled together, it looks like that is all he/she does.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:49 PM
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

I am tired of second guessing the market. It guarantees nothing and you run the risk of finding your raw desire to create art has dwindled. I don't know about the rest of you but I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to make a living from my artwork.You know what that means, I can do whatever I want to do because I answer to nobody but myself.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:13 PM
briansommers briansommers is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

my dad is funding the project.

He wants to carry wooden signs from a company in Ohio. It wouldn't be 100% my art but a lot of it. I would be the one "running it."

The wooden signs would be there for people who don't want abstract art
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:41 PM
theBongolian theBongolian is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

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Originally Posted by Use Her Name
Wouldn't you say that was a curatorial decision? An artist who has been working for 20 years, might do one or two per year of the subject, but when all are pulled together, it looks like that is all he/she does.
Yes, and the artist is onboard with it... Only if the artist has been in the public eye for 20 years, then the public is aware of his other work as well. The curator/gallery is not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes - they are presenting work in a cogent, logical, understandable way. It promotes clarity and connoisseurship -- and sales.

The point that is missing - this is not about what you can or cannot paint, it's about what and how galleries present work of artists. Once you have a series/unified body of work - and they have confidence you can continue to produce that work - if they like it, they're interested. You can still make your pet portraits, classic nudes, and Nascar paintings but they won't be interested in showing those.

The catch is for most artists , producing a volume of consistent high quality professional caliber work around a single subject, takes most, all, and maybe then some, of their time and energy.
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ARTbyMBP..I am tired of second guessing the market. It guarantees nothing and you run the risk of finding your raw desire to create art has dwindled. I don't know about the rest of you but I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to make a living from my artwork.You know what that means, I can do whatever I want to do because I answer to nobody but myself.
That is an excellent point. There is an eight-minute video by David Kessler, that I highly, highly recommend. He is admittedly an acquired taste, but he absolutely nails why galleries and professional artist operate the way they do. And the choice an artist has to make. It turned me around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TDwyKMAP3g
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:57 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

When I was first trying to break into some of the more respected galleries that was what I heard over and over - A Cohesive Body of Work. Most higher end galleries I have dealt with since then and still today want an artist who's work is predictable. They don't want to confuse their customers with an artist who does wild abstracts one day and highly refined representational stuff the next day.

I am currently in three Co-op galleries that will accept pretty much anything I bring them which is very liberating. All but one of the non co-op galleries I deal with only want paintings that are executed in a similar manner to the previous work that sold there. I have no problem with any of that as I enjoy doing a cohesive style range as well as venturing into new stuff. What I do is split my work among different galleries. One might have just encaustics, another one copper plate etchings of mine, another one oils only, or watercolors only. That way the gallery people are happy and I am happy!

If you are in a large population area and can afford your own gallery, you can make a LOT more money than you would having just a few pieces in a several galleries - if your work is already selling or is likely to sell well. You basically double your profit margins. In smaller towns, most artist owned galleries I have seen that only display their own work sit devoid of customers most of the time and they will usually go out of business in less than two years.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:26 PM
briansommers briansommers is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

Thanks so much for that video. I'm sold!

I have to suck it up and work on a lifetime series.

What I have been trying to focus on is:
square shape canveses
if I don't have a square canvas, I paint the square within the canvas and grey the rest of the area out.

use a primary palette

sharp edges on shapes

developing my own shapes

I never heard of David Kessler; wonderful words he speaks.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:58 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theBongolian
That is a good video. What he says boils down everything I've picked up from professional artists here and there about producing stuff that sells--to be consistent. I really like too that he emphasizes focusing on one medium and one genre, that we really learn a medium and type of painting in depth. I felt like I found that medium with acrylic but then had to give that up. I still hadn't quite found my type of painting yet. I am back to watercolors but doing them opaquely this time, and my subject seems to be going more and more towards landscape.

He mentions how students of his say "I don't want to be pigeon-holed or be tied down." I have felt like that too, but the consistency thing also reminds me of the medieval approach to painting where you developed an in-depth knowledge of one type of painting over time. That takes away some of the fear of being trapped in a box--because it's a very deep box.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:05 PM
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Re: would you paint a series if you had your own gallery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contumacious
When I was first trying to break into some of the more respected galleries that was what I heard over and over - A Cohesive Body of Work. Most higher end galleries I have dealt with since then and still today want an artist who's work is predictable. They don't want to confuse their customers with an artist who does wild abstracts one day and highly refined representational stuff the next day.


I totally agree with the principle. As I said, it is more for marketing, and the gallery. No confusion. Predictability. No binges on wild "experiments." But in a sense, it becomes a work product to fit an "employer." An employer dictating what you make, and you submissively making it knowing that it will be marketed and advertised -- which is work that as an artist who wants to do art, you will allow the gallery to do.

If I owned my own gallery, I think I would still do the same work because it is the customer who comes in expecting to see your work (what they think of as your work) which is a certain genre and style.

I think if I owned a gallery, I would invite a few artists to share in the floor/ wall space, for rent or some kind of a co-op agreement. Nothing is as boring as a gallery with only one artist.

I would not want to own a gallery though because then you are the one who has to do all the marketing. That should be left to a person who has experience in gallery management and will do it 100% of the time.
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