Damien Hirst Shop

I’m susbcribed to a whole bunch of newsletters and am bombarded with all kinds of promotional emails, most of which I never open. But one that I always open is from Other Criteria. It is a collective of artists, pushing all kinds of limited editions, prints, and publications, but I really only look at what Damien Hirst is selling.Continue Reading

Gagosian Store

ARTINFO has reported on the new retail outlet of gallery mogul Larry Gagosian..
“The sleek, 2,500-square-foot, bi-level space, which opened to the public this past weekend, also inaugurates London import (and Gagosian artist) Damien Hirst’s publishing company and retail shop Other Criteria on the lower level, making for a kind of casual art emporium with a fancy ZIP code.”Continue Reading

Damien Hirst Auction

Damien Hirst may have a pile of unsold artworks sitting in a gallery and Robert Hughes may think his work is “tacky,” but there’s still plenty of rich collectors willing to bet their millions on the British artist. Financial crisis and all, Hirst still sets records.

The first night of the much talked about Damien Hirst auction (Beautiful Inside my Head Forever) made about £70 million, which is 8 million pounds above the high estimate by Sotheby’s.Continue Reading

Damien Hirst Production Line

I find it interesting that a backlog of about 200 works by Damien Hirst can be news. He’s the closest thing we have to a Britney Spears in the art world, with the media looking for any excuse to publish a story on the man (I realize I do it too). All the art world needs now is some art celebrity sex tapes and some police mug shots of artists that have misbehaved. I would probably subscribe to an art gossip magazine if it was cheap.Continue Reading

Damien Hirst Auction – Beautiful Inside my Head Forever

The much talked about Damien Hirst auction is coming up soon. I thought it was the 15th of this month, which is why I thought I would mention it now, but it’s the 15th of next month. The Sotheby’s London auction is called “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever” and will take place over two days on the 15th and 16th of September.

There will be 223 lots up for auction, with more than £65 million expected to be raised from the sale. They are new works by the artist, mostly from 2007 and 2008.Continue Reading

Top Ten Art Collectors

The ARTnews magazine has released a list of the top 200 art collectors from around the world. It’s probably a good list of names to have on your exhibition mailing list, especially if your works sell for more than a few hundred thousand a piece.

Here’s a list of the top 10 art collectors..

  • Eli Broad – Contemporary art
  • Steven Cohen – Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary artContinue Reading

Running an Art Gallery

Last year I made a post about starting an art gallery, where I mentioned that I have a lot of respect for gallery owners and the hard work that they do. Here’s part of what I said..

“I used to have romantic ideas of what it would be like to own an art gallery. To be surrounded with great art everyday, to work with artists I love, and to sell art to people that love art as much as me. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.I haven’t owned an art gallery or worked at one, but I have had an exhibition at an artist run gallery. Which took all of the romanticism out of the idea.
There’s marketing, hanging, organizing the opening, smooching, and when it’s all up and running, it’s just like looking after a shop. I know an artist run gallery is a bit different to a commercial gallery, but setting up and looking after my own exhibition gave me a lot more respect for what gallery owners do. It almost justified the large percentage of the sale price they take from artists.”

Anyway, occasionally a gallery owner or an artist makes a comment on the post, so I thought I would share a few interesting ones..

Paula says “I am a small art gallery owner in Columbia, SC – I am going on my 2nd year in business and it has been a “roller coaster ride” thus far! It does take more money than I ever dreamed – I can say, that without determination and a drive to survive in this business, it (the stress) can gobble you up. I am often quite surprised at the attitudes of artists that come in and think that what I do is so “easy” – their thoughts are that I am surrounded by art on the walls, I get to meet people (different artists), and I get to make all this money off of their art,,, that is not the way it goes! The business of it all is quite stressful if you let it get to you – how do you pay your bills month to month, taxes, advertising, etc, etc….I do not have a “financial backer”, just my own savings – and as an artist myself, those savings were almost non-existant! All artists should have this experience at least once to know both sides of the gallery. It is not easy and it is definitley not cheap! Be kind to your gallery owners, especially if they have been good to you – it can be a thankless job with no paycheck for a long while!

Anonymous says “I am an artist that also runs my own studio and gallery. Because I am in the business of “selling” art, I do have to appeal to the masses if I want to make a sale. That is not to say that I don’t do work that I have fun making. I sell a lot of the traditional “over the sofa” type stuff, but I sell quite a bit of the edgier stuff as well. It is just a matter of finding that niche. I have a client list that shows a picture of what that person has bought in the past. If another piece is completed that I think may appeal to that client, (based on their past purchase) I give them a call or drop them a note. Sometimes (more than not) it pays off. To be an artist for art’s sake is one thing, but being an artist to make a living takes flexibility and smart tactics in marketing and salesmanship.”

Arthur Browning says “Yes, it’s tough to sell art to people that have no taste or no money. It takes a lot of money to do the real thing, and connections with wealthy buyers who also have taste. For the poor and the tasteless we have poster stores with “archival matting and framing” shticks. Online art, or the neighborhood artists’ league are the only hope for people without real money. But, if it’s any consolation, many of our museums show atrocities that will only be remembered in their own archives (blessed be the “deaccessioning”).”

KJ says “My experience as a part time assistant in a commercial gallery many years ago really opened my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes. I even began to understand why artists checks were sometimes late (I understand, not approved.) All artists should strive for some little bit of experience like this… it’s a real education not obtained elsewhere.”

Who is Banksy?

Banksy, Banksy, Banksy.. this guy seems to be everywhere. The mainstream media love publishing stuff on this guy. Andy Warhol would be proud of the inches published on Banksy over the past 18 months.

He has an official website, where I stole the image to the left of this post (it’s a detail of a larger work). There’s no links on his homepage, but he does have more pages to his site. I’m not sure how you are meant to find more pages of his site if you don’t know about them, but here’s some outdoor works, indoor works, and a Banksy manifesto.Continue Reading

Banksy does Kate Moss

The British graffiti artist Banksy has been getting a lot of media attention in recent months by painting elephants and tampering with Paris Hilton CDs. He pokes fun at fame and uses it to his advantage, which has been good for sales of his work.Continue Reading

Starting an Art Gallery

Over at ArtInfo.com they have attempted to outline what it takes to start an art gallery and why you should start an art gallery.
I used to have romantic ideas of what it would be like to own an art gallery. To be surrounded with great art everyday, to work with artists I love, and to sell art to people that love art as much as me. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
I haven’t owned an art gallery or worked at one, but I have had an exhibition at an artist run gallery. Which took all of the romanticism out of the idea.
There’s marketing, hanging, organizing the opening, smooching, and when it’s all up and running, it’s just like looking after a shop. I know an artist run gallery is a bit different to a commercial gallery, but setting up and looking after my own exhibition gave me a lot more respect for what gallery owners do. It almost justified the large percentage of the sale price they take from artists.

Anyway, in part one of “Opening your own gallery” there’s this comment..
“The best dealers are not salesmen in the classic sense of the word. Their passion and their connoisseurship and their knowledge have to combine to convince someone to acquire something that has no ostensible function in life, and that’s not always an easy thing to do. It is distinct from the normal business world because of that.”

And in part two there’s these great tips for starting a gallery (go to the ArtInfo page to see more on each tip).

  • If your motivation is purely financial, forget it.
  • Those without prior experience need not apply.
  • You have to be passionate about it. The “merely interested’ won’t cut it.
  • You have to have a precise focus.
  • In New York City, you have to be equally certain of where you should set up shop.
  • You need a lot of experience in business.
  • Just as important, you need a lot of experience with, and knowledge of, art.
  • You have to have the ability to make both artists and collectors comfortable with you.
  • Then, if there is a secret ingredient, here it is: You have to have “a good eye.”
  • In conclusion, you need a wide range of skills, you need to work hard, and you can’t imagine for a moment that this going to be easy.

See more on Running an art gallery here.