I recently sent my work unsolicited to a handful of NYC galleries that I thought might be interested in my work. I have good news and bad news. I did get an immediate response from one gallery. I read the e-mail on my cell phone while I was at my mother’s house, and I was thrilled. I could not believe I get an immediate response. However, when I read the accompanying documents, it turns out the gallery would like me to pay a set amount to be in a group show.
Much as the business of graphic design has changed dramatically over the years, so has fine art. I recently did some design comps only to find out that the company had chosen the work of another designer and I would not be getting paid. I very much want to know that the gallery that shows my work values it and me as an artist and treats me with respect. I want to treat them with respect as well. If they want 50%, that is fine. But I do not wish to pay a fee for the wall space. I don’t know if they are doing the work to sell my art if I am paying to show it.
It was hard to say no, because it is a show in NYC with a small number of artists. But I can’t afford to pay to have my art seen.
There are some wonderful resources on the internet about vanity galleries. Here are three of my favorites.