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Old 04-24-2012, 05:28 PM
dharris dharris is offline
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Advice for the surrealist painter...

Hello everybody, I have a couple posts on this site but am a relative newcomer to the site. I have a two part question. I have been showing for about a year and a half. I am currently showing in a couple of galleries in Columbus Ohio, and these galleries are fantastic but I am full fledged in selling art and this is my full time job (struggling). I am looking to expand my career and get exposure in different cities in the United States. I am looking into juried exhibitions because I know this is a step I need to take. I am also trying to find surrealist or lowbrow galleries that I might fit in to as well. And I guess that is my main question. Where would I fit? It seems simple but other than the galleries I am involved with, I am having a tough time. I have a couple of photos below so everyone knows where I am coming from, as far as the paintings go.



Last edited by Greg Long : 04-24-2012 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:54 PM
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Greg Long Greg Long is offline
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Drew, to be honest, no-one can tell you where your work will fit without knowing your local galleries and gallery owners.

Without wanting to be too hard, you need more experience and practice in your work to succeed as a full-time artist, at the current level your work sits it is difficult to find galleries to sell consistently. As far as Juried shows, the jury process looks for work that is much more finished and academic. Juried shows are designed to only show works of a higher standard. This is why they are relevant on a resume/C.V. and as such your work needs improvement before you spend both time and money submitting to Juried shows.

Incidently, your work is figurative rather than Surreal, but as such you need to pay more attention to the figure. Try doing some life drawing and sketching paying particular attention to the shape and proportions in the figure.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:46 AM
dharris dharris is offline
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Ouch so I guess your saying I should feel lucky for being in the galleries I'm already in..
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:36 PM
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharris
Ouch so I guess your saying I should feel lucky for being in the galleries I'm already in..
No, not at all...apart from all artists being lucky to be represented by galleries..
Just that your work needs more polish before you start spending hard earned money on juried shows. A little more improvement and practice will also help you get into more and better galleries, we all started off at some time, and we all continually work to improve. Surviving as a full time artist is hard, and you need to be able to produce a range of good work consistently, and a bad painting shown will do more harm to a reputation than ten good ones will do to improve it. You need to control the quality of your work, and if you don't think it's the best you can do, you don't show or sell it.

I know it was a bit of a blunt reply, (I'd "ouch" too ) but when you are looking at art as a business you need blunt but realistic advice. You will get a lot blunter comments from hard-nosed buyers and businesses. Most of the regulars here in Art Biz try to help all who are trying to sell their work, but at the same time it is of no help to you if we aren't honest in our replies. This is possibly one of the reasons for the small number of replies to your thread, it is hard to give any other advice to you at the moment.
What I would reccommend is that you try selling online for a while, via ebay, etsy or similar sites and keep working and improving. You could try selling through coffee shops and similar venues too.
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Last edited by Greg Long : 04-25-2012 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:05 PM
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

If you want showing oportunities NOW do some research. The internet is a great tool for finding shows and galleries, ads in various art publications can also provide leads but are usually targeted towards established artists or customers looking to buy established artists.

Research as many showing and selling venues as you can. Look at the work they show and see how it compares to your's. When you find venues that show comperable work, contact them and ask for their submission guidelines.

Asking for and following submission guidelines is very important. Most galleries will quickly tell you "no" if they are not accepting new work. For the ones that are submitting according to their guidelines shows them that you can follow their directions and makes it easy for them to evaluate your work.

Expect a LOT of rejections. Some may come with no further information than "no". The ones that do provide more information give you a chance to grow and improve.

I run a small specialty retail shop and teh truth is by far the majority of possible new suppliers are not added to my active sources. They may not be right for my market, I may already have a source for what they offer, the cost may be too high, lots of reasons why I might say no. I am sure they send their information to many, many shops like mine. I am equally sure that many of those do not lead to sales. That unfortunately is just business.

But work hard at improving your art, and work hard at marketing yourself and finding venues for your work.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:17 PM
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Greg, I hope I dont give off the impression that I dont want an honest critique. If I learned anything in art school it was that an honest critique can do more than a "nice" one. I do agree that the work needs polishing. I cringe at my work ten years ago, as I hope that I will cringe ten years from now at the art I am doing now. I think sometimes I just get over amibitious. Im at a tough time because I have survived a year without another job other than selling paintings, yet I know there is something lacking from me being at the level I want to be or the galleries I would like to get in to. Im debating whether I should suck it up and get a job so I can spend more time on each individual painting rather than make seven paintings that arent quite "There".
Horsa- I also agree with your advice on galleries. There are so many different galleries of course rejection is something that is a constant reality that is to be dealt with as an artist. For every 30 galleries you submit to, in my opinion, if you get one, thats a good thing.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:51 PM
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Hi, Maybe you should consider getting a part time job? It sounds as though through lack of funds you are rushing through your work which is not really a good idea.

Every piece has to be perfect....your very best effort

I do abstract work and like a lot of artists I am a perfectionist, I always ask myself when I look at one of my paintings that I think I have finished, Would I buy this? and if the answer is no.....its back to painting again!
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:47 PM
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

I wouldn't say your work belongs in a lowbrow or surrealist type of gallery, but perhaps galleries that represent more expressionistic work. And I would not say that your work necessarily needs polishing, but just a little more experience in order for you to develop an even more distinct voice. It's like you are almost there. I see it in your work - a style developing like a Francis Bacon and a little DeKooning. Were these your influences? There is a primitive hand about it. I think you should keep the simple, large brush strokes and find a unique palette and maybe even tweak your subject matter slightly to be a little more focused into original idears. The ideas in themselves can stay surreal, but perhaps they can posses a quality that entices a little more - which in turn can actually be less obvious and more abstract if you so desire, less concrete, as in the middle piece as opposed to the other two. I don't know if this advice will help you or not. It's just one person's opinion and art is subjective, but I personally can see you paintings working better if you abstracted them more than polishing them up. That's my .02
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:28 PM
dharris dharris is offline
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Thank you so much for the input everyone. This has really helped me through this decision process
Katie- I think I will get a part time job so I can do fewer paintings and just put more hours into them.
Artyczar- I appreciate the advice. It definetly hit home for me. I will try to get my style more developed and work on process development more. Oh and by the way Francis Bacon is one of my favorite painters
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:17 PM
JeremySVilla JeremySVilla is offline
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Very very cool, and thanks for the lesson! I love your unique ink!
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:14 PM
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Hi,

Have you tried the Beinart forum ?
It's specialized in Surrealism.
http://beinart.org/forum/

Surrealism is not for everyone, since it demands alot of creativity.
It's like looking at Dali's works. Sure there are many artists who, from a technical point of view, could paint his works. The problem is to come up with those ideas.
By looking at your works and comparing with what I've seen around - I know it's not fair - I say keep working hard.
Good luck.

José

P.S. don't forget that if you have a website or blog, you can place it on your signature line.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:33 PM
dharris dharris is offline
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Re: Advice for the surrealist painter...

Bringer, thank you very much for the encouragement and info on the website. I have never been to that one before, I'm excited to check it out
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