Sorry for any errors on the tips & how to pages. I'm doing this fast.
I went to a nearby gallery and to cut the story short, she listened to my ideas. This was in 2007. I was just given the "unofficial/informal" designation of "friend of the galleries" by the River North galleries, which continues to be the most prestigious and most expensive group of galleries in Chicago. (Long story another time.)
I told her that self-publishing had become an accepted trend in 2006, when it was buzzing at the publishers convention I attended.
I told her that by publishing the works and the artists she was representing, she might get more people interested in purchasing the works in her gallery.
"That just sounds like too much work!" was her answer. About a year after that conversation, she closed her gallery, which occupied three store fronts. The economy went bad anyway(?)
I can't offer you any guarantees about publishing, but if others are beginning to do it, you might as well put in some effort. You already have the art, you already know how to take photographs for your postcards and news releases, you just need to put in a little more to produce a book. Tell your artists; they might want to do the book projects themselves.
You probably have an exclusive territorial agreement with your artists. Your artists can be represented by another gallery as long as it is not beyond your territory.
All you need to do is let your artists know about #valzubiriagenda. It will be up to them to write or get writers and publish their own books and art books. All you need to do is take photographs of the art that you have, and send it to them. They almost do not have a choice but to come up with their books, because their fellow artists will also be doing it. Even though they are both represented by the same gallery, if this approach trends, they will be competing with their fellow artists for the investors and collectors that will visit your gallery.
At the same time, it would be good to come up with your own books. The repetition of the appearance of the same art pieces might also be a crucial, additional, deciding factor for your clients.
This is not a new idea. I met this artist who was staying at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. When I arrived at his hotel room he had paper strewn about. He said he was writing a small book which his gallery will print in time for his upcoming art show.
He came to Chicago to get away from New York, so he can finish his book of poems and essays.
He said not everyone who come to his art opening can afford his art, but with the books, they will be sold at an affordable price so people can go home with something of his that he can also sign.
This means that at least one artist is entertaining at least one factor in the idea and with no pressure. The artist can still change his mind.
Some galleries have been around for more than 3 decades. This means you are doing something right. This is why I am suggesting that you tell your artists about #valzubiriagenda. It would be for them to decide. At the very least, you might be delighted that they would embark on writing their artistic essays, memoirs, or even poetry. They can look for a writer to do it for them.
When a collector or investor walks into your gallery, you can tell them that a book project is in the works. You can even show a postcard of the artist with such an announcement. The mere announcement can get people to promptly collect. If the artist promises to make an art book, you just need to make sure that you have an acceptable image file of the art that you are selling.
Be aware that with print on demand, the individual copy of the book gets printed as that individual copy is ordered online. This means that if your artist forgets to include an image you promised to be included, you just need to edit the pdf file and resubmit to the online bookseller/printer.
This happened twice, on separate occasions at two galleries, at the time I was hanging out at the galleries.
On the first occasion, a group of young gentlemen in suits walked noisily into a gallery. It appeared as if they were on the same wavelength, like they more than worked together--like they led the company, had just had a meeting, lunch and a drink, and they seemed as if they all have lot of money from their business. They were cocky.
They came in and the first thing they loudly proclaimed as the gallery owner welcomed them was, "Do you have any artists we can invest in whose value will go up?"
The owner said, "I'm sorry, we cannot guarantee that. The only thing I can tell you is buy what you feel you will like to have."
What was funny was that another one joked and they immediately walked out, without even stopping to glance anywhere. The owner of the gallery promptly came back to me, smiled and shrugged. She said people like that come in once in a while.
I witnessed this again at another gallery, with that year, which was 2007, before 2008 (don't mention the crash). It felt like a rinse and repeat situation.
I obviously remember these and kept wondering what could make such visitors stop and talk to the gallery.
You're just announcing that the future prices will change. Just let the artist decide on it, and you can always tell your clients that it was the artist who decided to follow the #valzubiriagenda, following a worldwide trend, as if they almost had no choice. You can be as apologetic as you want. People will want to get something for less NOW, before the next price is reached.
Just blame the artist for the increase in prices. What's the big deal. The artist is nowhere to be found. I'm kidding.
There are people who collect art who lose their sources of income and have to resell their art collection. Who better to resell the works, than the gallery they originally bought the art from? Here lies the problem. There are galleries who resell, but they do it as a favor to their former client. The art gets sold as "used" and is sold for less than the new ones made by the artist. The former collectors obviously agreed to sell for less. Art, if really collectible, should cost more!
It would be better if the collector decided to resell because the price went up. The sheduled pricing increase should help!
I'm 52 years old right now. I was 19 years old, in college, in the Philippines, halfway around the world. It was the 80s. I partnered with a friend whose brother had a betamax and vhs rental. I supplied them with recent (no longer current) American consumer magazines. Every once in a while, I came upon an art magazine, filled with gallery ads located in different cities. In the 90s, I became aware of a former street artists, who had recently died. In 2007, I started hanging out at the galleries. Some were friendly and some were not. At least two gallery owners were arrested for scamming collectors.
One gallery was displaying art by that street artist who had died about 13 years ago. That's a really long time to still have art that looked so pristine, with no wrinkles. Another problem I had was that the gallery owner used push pins, on the four corners of each of the four art pieces, to secure them unframed and unprotected on the wall of his gallery. This produced four holes on each corner of each precious art piece made by that grungy street artist.
This is why I propose that each art piece of each artist be photographed and published in book form. We should avoid fraud. Each piece should be accounted for, no matter if the artist we're talking about is a child prodigy, an artistic cat or elephant from India, a homeless person, or someone who simply crumples or tears up paper.
Going to hell for eternity, for art, would have to be a person's stupidest move. The reason I started this story about being 19, which is true, is that by the time I came to the revered temple of art that was his gallery, he had gotten old. His mind seems to have started to slip. We all get old. I hope I get old and collectible, and still go to heaven.
There was a gallery I used to always visit because it was on the way between a favorite cafe and my home. I always walked in to see what they have displayed. They sold limited editions. One weekend, I passed by and they were closed with some sort of protective seal. I later found out that they were printing too many of those limited edition lithographs. Ouch!
This happened many years later, in the mid 2000s. I believe it was a husband and wife who got caught producing much too many limited editions.
This is why I am advocating that everyone get involved with originals, even if the originals are priced at $1. Make sure that each original is accounted for in book form. The way the pigments touch the grain of the paper or canvas is difficult to duplicate. Everyone is better off with $1 art as long as it is genuine. It has the chance of increasing in street value if the artist announced a scheduled increase in asking price. When we die, we leave our art and books here on earth, but we also would not have to go to hell for defrauding strangers we don't even know nor care about.
I have had gallery friends who had to close their galleries. They were too honest, while some were a little more aggressive, at a time when the economy was getting worse.
I once noticed something questionable, about how someone else was convincing clients to acquire art. I told one gallery friend what I noticed, and she laughed and said, "That's exactly what everyone is doing in varying degrees."
I feel bad that some of my gallery friends had to close their galleries, but I have kept in touch with them. There are ways to do this approach without even having to maintain a storefront gallery. They have enough emails to start promoting artists who have upcoming art and books. I would not mind reserving my art for them to get them started again.
I have a future memoir which will include my professional gallery friends and their magical, generous, welcoming nature.
I noticed a new gallery fixing their interior. I talked to the man who was in charge, and he was excited about the opening of his gallery. He was rushing things, because he will have his first art show and reception in a week. Unfortunately, the gallery decided to close in less than a month. From the conversations we had, he thought they can afford the rent, and he will build up his clientele from the walk-ins. He closed his gallery in a month, probably because he thought he can do better. Most days in galleries are slow, and there are days when almost nobody walks in. I wondered how that can be solved. People should chase art. People should become aware that the art they will see might just increase in value, and they should, therefore, get the art as promptly as possible.
When an economic crash is looming, people should see art as the way to preserve their wealth. In my opinion, we are actually borrowing from the future. If our current art world becomes inundated with original art, published art book and memoirs, we will have enough art to keep circulating for a while. The future artists might not have the attention that the current artists, including the homeless ones and amateurish ones who also happen to have books, will enjoy.
My biggest preoccupation. How can all my gallery friends represent me. It will go against the grain.
I heard an early, early comment. I was working in the late 80s downtown. One of my coworkers learned I was pursuing art on the side. She came up to me and asked me if I have heard of this artist who recently died. I said yes, I just read an article about him, and how he felt cheated by the city. I told my coworker that the article mentioned his relatives saying the city owed him some degree of recognition which he never got.
I then commented, "How can an entire city owe someone something? That's too abstract!"
She repeated the same thing! She said the city should have recognized him! The city owed him and he died depressed and cheated! Huh?
If the guy made a movie, he wouldn't feel the same thing. No one would ever say, "Hey, I made a movie and therefore, everyone should see it!"
If you love a city, you as a solid, encapsulated, separate individual, give to the city, which is abstract. Expecting the abstract to reciprocate might take a while.