Can We Afford Success?

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When I started out as a photographer, all galleries had an inventory of frames. All that was required was to send matted prints to the gallery and they popped them in their frames. The costs of shipping and flying the artist in for the opening were also absorbed by the gallery. Digital imagery (and the economy) changed that system, as prints became large scale and no longer uniform.

via L E N S C R A T C H.

There Are 3 Comments On This Article.

  1. I agree. It’s been my observation that there’s also been an increase in galleries where your work is relegated to decoration for walls that don’t have the owner’s work on display. Although there have always been vanity galleries where the artist pays for wall space and other expenses, many regular galleries now routinely expect the artist to assume nearly all costs and keep 60-70% commission. Galleries just aren’t an attractive option these days.

    That said, their gallery, their rules. If a contract isn’t in your best interest or at least fair to all concerned, don’t do it. We won’t change the market, good or bad, we have to get creative and find ways to earn a good living in the market that exists. That’s where we have an advantage over other professions – we’re creative :)

  2. Donnor Party

    The art world is such a shuck and jive. Middling art clogs the system, I’m not even talking about bad art, but just tame, safe boring stuff that isn’t crap, but just OK. This over supply allows for commercial abuse because the only people who will bend and take it are the people that make the work. No one else in the art supply chain takes a haircut: B&H doesn’t give a discount; the framer you have doesn’t discount, nor the shipper. Only the artist accepts the cuts.

    Its a bsuiness and a hard one, for the unrepresented artist.

  3. Just imagine being a chef (a regular one, not a celebrity) and trying to open up a restaurant. I think commercial/fine art photographers who are still trying to get established are in a similar bind of having to jump into a massive debt hole in hopes of getting a glimpse of the top.