Several years ago I took my work to a prominent Melbourne gallerist to hopefully organise a show.
Now, I am dubious of some of this guy’s practices…they seem a cynical way to make money but perhaps his gallery survives on cynical ways that make money.
The gentleman gave my work a good hard critiquing. It was solid & hurtful &, for the most part, true…ish.
I had talent, a perspective but no finesse.
I had to study, he said.
I was a mother living in the country, I said, thank you but that wouldn’t happen due to logistics and my cynicism to ART schools.
I attempted confidence as I said my goodbye, collected my pram, my toddler and walked down a fashionable Melbourne street crying.
At my last exhibition 2 other Melbourne gallerists came to look at my work and expressed an interest in exhibiting it. It seemed to excite one of them. The other was less keen.
The asked me to contact them.
I did. 6 times. They never returned my calls or my emails, the final of which said that their lack of response, (considering they sought me out), was rude and unprofessional and it was going to be my pleasure to have nothing to do with them.
Add these experiences to my belief that galleries are of limited support to artists. That many who run them are drowning in pretension. That the system is obviously flawed and fumbling in the new internet defined world. And that an artist should focus on cultivating relationships with people who are intrigued and curious about your work; people who enjoy and support it. Rather then the brick wall of rejection (oft described by fashion). Confirmed that I have no want to be part of a traditional gallery system.
One that refers to it’s artists as being part of stable. One that screws both the buyer and artist with exorbitant commissions. One that controls when and where an artist can exhibit. One that oft tries to control what the artist should produce and explore … yup, I had come this far without that.
On my own.
I am lucky to be surrounded by support, enthusiasm, encouragement, buyers and opportunities.
But I lack any critical feedback. Nothing since that fella two children back. And I still think about his words because they are all I have.
I stalk twitter and the net looking to grow.
Hope I am doing something right
Hope I am getting better