Back when I was in art school, talking about the business side of art would have gotten you branded as a careerist, a sellout. This kind of thinking has persisted in—and, frankly, hindered the careers of— many midcareer artists who still believe that financial struggle keeps you closer to integrity, and that selling well means selling out. Ha! Garrets don’t bring you closer to heaven, they just keep you cloistered in poverty a few stories above street level.
Deborah Fisher’s brand-new blog, Sellout, addresses these ideas. Conceived as being by artists for artists, it encourages dialogue about every practical aspect of being a visual artist. Recent topics include suggestions on finding a way into the art world; the realities of who you know; news on a new book, The Artists’ Career Guide: Making a Living Doing What You Love; and a digital/cyber Q&A. It is more than a professional advice aggregator and hot-tip provider, says Fisher. " We want any information we provide to be fleshed out as anecdote or called out as bullshit. We depend on your insight, and welcome your ideas, comments and emails." (Disclaimer: Fisher has mentioned Art Bloggers @ , a project I do with Sharon Butler, whose Two Coats of Paint I have written about previously, and I’ve already put in my two cents on a few posts.)
Fisher is a sculptor and writer.
How’s My Dealing?
Also back in art school, when I was still dating men, I used to say, "Wouldn’t it be great if there were a National Asshole Directory? You could ask about a guy, and if his name showed up on the A-list, so to speak, you could save yourself the trouble and not get involved."
Now comes How’s My Dealing, a site for New York Galleries that does essentially the same thing for a particular slice of the art world.
Alas, there’s a lot of opportunity here for anonymous dealer bashing, despite the moderator’s entreaty for "Facts and first-hand accounts wanted, not opinions." The moderator, a smart, sincere artist posting anonymously as Buck Naked, has his/her work cut out for him/her. I’m not entirely comfortable recommending this blog, but it’s a great idea at the right time—hey, wouldn’t you want to know who pays on time and who doesn’t?—and if everyone uses it in an informative way, big IF, it could work. Take a look and make your own decision.
Yes, I’ve noted Ed's blog before, but his business-of-art posts—he’s a respected Chelsea dealer—get scores, sometimes hundreds of responses. I teach here and there on the topic of building and sustaining a career in art, and I often used his posts about the art business as teaching tools.
Some interesting items from the archives: Gallery Contracts and Not a Cheap Affair (what it costs a dealer to participate in an art fair)--you need to scroll down the opened post for these-- and The Logic Behind the 50/50 Split . Spend some time clicking and linking in those archives; there's a graduate course worth of MFA advice there.
What Blogs Give you the Art Info You Need?
Consider this a forum to post your suggestions and commentary.