Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No Voice

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.


Tim said...

Too bad you couldn't have convinced the cops that it was the guy in the gallery who stole the bottle of water. What a pompous twit.

RG said...

Parable (after Baldessari)

A certain King named Sango sent two slaves to a distant country on an important mission.

In due course they returned, and he found that one slave had achieved successfully what he had been sent to do, while the other had accomplished zip. The King therefore rewarded the first with high honors, and commanded the second to receive a hundred and twenty-two razor cuts all over his body.

This was a severe punishment, but when the scars healed, they gave to the slave a very remarkable appearance, which greatly took the fancy of the King’s wives.

Sango therefore decided that cuts should in the future be given not as punishment, but rather as a sign of royalty, and he placed himself at once in the hands of the markers. However, he could only bear two cuts, and so from that day on, two cuts on the arm have been the sign of royalty, while various other cuts came to be the marks of different tribes.

namastenancy said...

The guy sounds like an utter asshole - how easy it is to dish out meaningless phrases and ignore even common politeness when you "have the power."
Ug! More reasons why I hate the gallery system. Too many petty egos, too little common decency much less real understanding of art.

kloeamongtheturks said...

Well, you can't win em all. I consider it a notch in my silver spangled belt (better than a scar, anyway).

Oh, I forgot part of the story. As I prepared to leave, two women approached the guy about renting the gallery out for an animal rights benefit. His question to them:

"What celebrities do you know?"