Τρίτη, 6 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

Thinking about “Vanity Galleries” to build your career?

Thinking about “Vanity Galleries” to build your career?

A very interesting article about vanity galleries by Renee Phillips at Art Calendar. What is a vanity gallery? … in a nutshell, these are galleries located in main art markets (e.g. New York City) that will bleed you in fees for you to get a line in your resume saying that “you” made it because you where exhibited there.
To believe an exhibition in any gallery in a major city at any cost will garner the attention of serious curators and collectors is naïve at best. Although they may appear to have credibility to outsiders, vanity galleries are viewed dimly by knowledgeable art professionals. As one art critic said to me, “When I see such a gallery on an artist’s resume, I know they paid to have their ego stroked.” Furthermore, the uneven quality of art found in most of these galleries turns away serious collectors. - Renee Phillips
Also, if you are interested in knowing if a gallery will charge fees, the article cites a website with information on fees at NYC galleries. And always it is possible to see if the gallery is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America, no vanity gallery will be part of this professional association.


Vanity galleries

A vanity gallery is an art gallery that "rents" its space to artists in order for the artist to have a show. Thus, the main driver in having a show at a vanity gallery is not necessarily the quality of the artwork, but the artist's ability to pay the gallery to host his/her artwork.
New York is crawling with vanity galleries, and the vast majority of European galleries are vanity galleries. In the US however, vanity galleries are often looked down upon by everyone, since they are essentially a "rental" gallery. A knowledgeable art critic or curator knows which galleries in his/her town are vanity galleries, and often ignore them, much like book critics ignore most self-published writers, who use "vanity publishers."
An interesting fact, at least here in Washington, DC, is the fact that (being on the inside), we often see "reputable" galleries which sometimes cross the line and become "charge the artist" galleries or vanity galleries once in a while, as the mighty dollar calls.
Sometimes we'll get a phone call from an embassy, or from the agent of a Hollywood actor who's also a "painter" or "photographer," and they'll ask us how much would we charge to host a show by their "artist."
When we inform them that we do not rent the gallery for artists to have shows, they thank us and hang up. Then a few months later we see that "Hollywood artist" or "embassy artist" exhibiting in one of our local "reputable" art galleries, and immediately recognize that - at least for that month - that gallery is making ends meet by renting the space to someone while pretending that it is part of their regular schedule.
While I understand that most galleries are labors of love, and often run by the skin of one's teeth, I still find it somewhat distasteful, and dishonest - to appear (on the surface) to be a gallery that shows work based on merit, while at the same time showing work based on an artist, or a corporation's ability to pay.

And it's not just commercial art spaces. A while back, a story by Robert Lalasz in the Washington City Paper even exposed a local non-profit which admitted charging a multinational corporation a hefty fee to put up an art show at the "reputable" non-profit art spaces.
One can even make the case that even some museums sometimes cross the line and become "vanity museums." A few years ago I was astounded when a Culture Minister from one of the embassies in our city told me that they had finished a deal with a local museum to host the first ever retrospective of one of that country's artists for a fee of four million dollars! To him, it was "business as usual," while to me it was distasteful and dishonest and since then has left a bad taste in my mouth about that museum.

Δευτέρα, 5 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

International Contemporary Masters - the BIG SCAM

Artists don't be victims!

Thousands of artists get the follow email which asks them to pay thousands of dollars in order to be included in ... a book! For what? For NOTHING! 

Dear Craig,

I visited your portfolio and I liked your work. You are therefore pre-selected to submit art for inclusion in Volume V of “International Contemporary Masters”, a leading juried annual art publication presenting the most important artists from all over the world!” Please note that this is not a free inclusion. If you are interested I will send you more information or you can visit the link: http://wwab.us/artists.html(add www in front of the link)

To get an idea of the quality of our publications you can view our previous book at this link: http://wwab.us/books.html
Best Best regards

Grant Conzaman – Assistant Curator

World Wide Art Books
5383 Hollister Ave, # 260
93111 Santa Barbara CA
Tel / fax +1 805 683 3899

http://wwab.us/(please add www in front of all links)_

They sell it on online bookstores (so what? nothing is worth so much money!!!) and distribute it to art galleries but of course they don't prove it! You know why? Because the only distribution is to the participating artists. 
 And of course they don't have a list with the galleries or museums where supposedly the book is sent!

This is LAME. What "Master" would really pay that much to include his work in a book of other ego-centrics? Seems just like another rip-off scam.

The following is quoted from their website:


Inclusion in International Contemporary Masters' book is NOT free!

We invite artists to participate in the 6th edition of "International Contemporary Masters".

An invaluable tool for every artist who wants to help himself or herself to succeed, to get the best value for his or her art, to establish relationships with art galleries, and also as a reference for clients.

Every artist knows how important it is to be included in juried exhibitions, festivals, books and publications. To create an important record that will open a path to success and also to show his or her creations in every possible way and to get one's art out of the studio and before the public eye.

In this superbly printed annual art book, we present artists of high caliber from all over the world whose work we believe to worthy of a serious art book.

Participation Fees

  • One page — US $985.00
  • Two pages — US $1,485.00
  • Three pages  — US $ 1,985.00
  • Four pages US  — 2,485.00
  • Five pages US — $2,985.00
  • Six pages US — $3,485.00

Here are some links, it is certainly worth reading them!


Artist Pay-to-Play Galleries, Exhibitions, Publications

If you receive solicitations to participate in any for-profit exhibitions, galleries, publications, websites, contests or competitions where you have to pay to be included, first read the article Art Contests, Competitions, Shows and More Where You Pay Up Front-- Will They Get You Somewhere? Or Are They Dead Ends, Time Wastes or Scams? 

Then THOROUGHLY research any such offer-- BEFORE you pay-- and evaluate it on its own merits. The article explains how to do this research right. No matter how marvelous an opportunity sounds, get the facts, get informed, and then make your decision.
Artists often find out about these offers through various forms of advertising, particularly mass emailings. The more agressive senders relentlessly bombard artists with emails and sometimes even contact them directly by phone. Costs to participate can range anywhere from under $100 to thousands of dollars, especially if you factor in incidental expenses like shipping, travel, insurance or accomodations. Whatever the circumstance, make sure you are aware of all costs and potential benefits or drawbacks in advance. Does everyone benefit... or is it more like you pay, they play? Here is a partial list, in no particular order, of publications, venues, and other situations where you have to pay to expose your art, and that you should fully research-- before you pay-- in order to understand exactly what you're getting for your money:

• Internationale Kunst heute  (scam!)
Hidden Treasure art magazine  (scam!)
• Agora Gallery, New York City (related solicitations: Chelsea International Fine Art Competition) (scam!)
•  Florence Biennale
• Gallery Gora, Montreal, Canada
• Artists Wanted (scam!)
•  World Art Media
• Artoteque
• Masters of Today
• World Wide Art Books (related solicitations: International Contemporary Masters, International Masters of Photography) (the BIG scam!)
• Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City
• Art & Beyond Publications  (scam!)
•  World Art Vision
•  American Art Awards
• Artist Portfolio Magazine
• Artists Haven Gallery, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
• The Brick Lane Gallery, London, UK
• Queen Gallery, Toronto, ON
• Manu Sol Publications
• Townley Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA