Episode 122 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Owning a Gallery

Owning a Gallery

I owned a gallery for nine years, and in that time, I received hundreds of artist’s statements. What I noticed were two things. Sometimes, many times in fact, if I liked the artist’s work and then read the statement, I often changed my mind and didn’t like what the artist was saying and, in turn, didn’t like the work even though I had liked it initially. That is how powerful a good or bad artist’s statement can be. Think again about the dating comparison. Let’s say someone is interested in you and wants to date you, and he sends his picture. At first you think he is handsome and has a kind face. He describes himself as playful and intelligent, so you decide to write back. Then he sends you another letter with his personal statement or a little more about himself.

Now he tells you more about how wonderful he is and all the sports he is involved in, how many awards he has won, where he has lived, why his marriage didn’t work out, and his two kids, etc. Perhaps you will change your mind now, thinking this guy seems full of himself, and what do you care what awards he has won or about his ex-wife and his kids? Or perhaps you will feel differently, but the point is that when we present ourselves or our artwork, what we say about it carries incredible importance, because no matter what people think initially, they will reevaluate what they feel after you have explained or talked about your intentions.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.


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