How to find the proper art gallery. The gallery is no longer the only point of contact between the artist and potential customers. Therefore, in fact, between painters who wish to sell their works and collectors eager to buy new valuable pieces? Nevertheless, the art gallery remains one of the main channels to promote one’s works without a shadow of a doubt. Finding the proper gallery is a challenge not to be underestimated.
The starting concept is simple: there are many artists, and there are few galleries. It means that to find your space, you need to beat a long line of competitors and show your value to the gallery owner. Furthermore, it is not enough to find an art gallery willing to exhibit our works: it is also necessary to identify one that can do it effectively and advantageously. So let’s see how to do it!
Types of art galleries
There is, it should be emphasized, only one type of art gallery. These differ first of all for the kind of works exhibited. The first and foremost distinction is obviously that relating to the reference period. The artist who intends to show his results will not be interested in modern art galleries, which exhibit artists’ works of the recent past. He indeed prefers those of contemporary art, roughly dedicated to the exhibition of the results of artists from the second post-war period. That’s not all. There are contemporary art galleries to which an emerging artist cannot even think of proposing himself. Let’s assume, for example, of the Brand galleries, which are designed to welcome and showcase only the works of the most prominent artists is landscape drawing.
At the other extreme, there are the so-called Vanity galleries, which have almost no type of selection at the entrance. Instead, it is sufficient to pay an entrance fee to “rent” the spaces to showcase one’s works. These galleries, however, are not a good springboard: collectors go to art galleries because they trust the judgment of the gallery owner, who practically does not exist in the Vanity galleries. Traditional galleries are inclined to exhibit well-known but not yet fully established “mid-career” artists. Therefore, the emerging artist should aim for the smaller traditional galleries or, more likely, towards the so-called commercial galleries. They were explicitly created to select the best works in the undergrowth of emerging artists at a mostly local level.
What the galleries do
We have seen that there are many types of gallery owners. In general, however, we can say that his work is to select the artists to be included in their spaces, following the fundamental criterion for which the gallery was born. Therefore, we can talk about the tastes of one’s public of collectors, the geographical benchmark, the style of the works, and, obviously, the economic value of the individual pieces.
When an artist is selected, the gallery owner undertakes to promote his works, position them on the market, and bring them under the eyes of those interested in purchasing. When he binds himself to an artist, the reason is simple: the gallery owner knows that his success is also his own, even economically.
How to contact a gallery
Understanding which galleries to turn to, let’s see how to get organized to try the first approach. First, before wasting time in vain, it is good to make sure that the gallery in question accepts new artists. Not infrequently, in fact, on the galleries’ websites, there is a notice that signals the closure of any new candidacy. It is also good to find the right moment: it is unlikely that an application will be considered, for example, during the launch days of a new important exhibition.
You need to take care of your presentation as well as possible. First of all, it is good to create an eye-catching portfolio. Inside there must be a photographic selection of its best works. In this sense, it is rewarding to make a selection that is neither too large nor too small (a dozen pieces may be sufficient) with a background continuity (by subject, by style, or by technique: for example, they could all be painted with oil colors. , primarily portraits and so on). The photos of your works must be of quality: it would be a real shame to be rejected because of the poor photographic yield of your paintings.
To have the opportunity to present the portfolio to a gallery owner, it is necessary to get in touch with him in a discreet way without catching him off guard. Suddenly showing up during someone else’s show is not a good way; much better, in case, to be introduced by shared knowledge. Therefore, the preferred formula is that of the presentation email. Accompanied by a small selection of photos – two or three – combined with a cover letter to briefly tell their art history and stylistic research. Once this email has been read, the gallery owner will eventually get in touch with the artist, who will then get to know him and present his complete portfolio.
The contract between artist and gallery owner
By the time you are interested, like the contract between artist and gallery owner, most likely, you can already uncork a bottle. It means that a gallery is interested in the works presented. However, we must not celebrate too much ahead of time. It is good to pay attention to the type of contract proposed by the gallery.
For example, in some cases, the gallery proposes an exclusive contract, which can last two, three, four, or five years, during which all the artist’s works must be entrusted to the gallery. In other cases, the gallery decides to buy some of the artist’s works directly, becoming the de-facto owner. Still other times, a sales account is used, with the results that remain – at least until the moment of sale to the collector – owned by the artist, with the gallery ready to collect a percentage of the final price.