Tuesday, August 18, 2009
A friend recommended me to the gallery director where he shows. Because of this personal contact, she looked at my work and was nicely encouraging. She liked the most conservative of my paintings, which I agree might suit her clientele. Perhaps some time in the future I’ll show there, but the point is to make the connection.
This woman then recommended me to another gallery down the street as perhaps a good fit, as they mainly show figurative work. So, I took a deep breath and walked in for a cold call. The young man behind the desk said ok, bring in the work. I’m not sure what happened then. But he didn’t spend more than a minute looking before he dismissed me, saying the following:
“You have no voice.”
“You should research galleries before you approach us.”
“Never work in series.”
“There’s no consistency here.”
“Forget everything they told you in school.”
“No one will remember this work when you die.”
What did I glean from this battery? I’m too old for this gallery, which was showing more illustrative, graffiti inspired work. I confused him with different styles of painting; maybe he’s used to reading work quickly. I look like I’m on my last legs…
To be dissed by someone half my age, who obviously had the vocab of education, was eye-opening. I’m still glad I did it. Just shows the power of a personal recommendation and a bit of background. I could have laid into the guy, but what would be the point? It’s his gallery, it’s his powertrip.
Leaving the gallery, I walked next door to a Ralphs to shop and saw five cops flatten a kid for stealing a bottle of water. Over-reaction on all fronts.