Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Overexposed... Part Two

Thank you Scott for the excellent post on artists potentially showing their work too much. And thank you Ed for linking to Scott's post. Given the response, it's obvious this is not just an issue in our little town.

I thought as a former dealer/current curator I would give my two cents. First of all, I am inundated with portfolios on a daily basis, have studio visits, travel to look at shows all over, and try to get to as many shows locally as physically possible. I know every other dealer/curator/collector is in a pretty similar situation. Although so many of us are completely consumed in the contemporary art world and at times it seems limitless, we need to remember we are dealing with a very small segment of the population. If your goal is simply to sell work, the number of large collectors in this country, let alone Indianapolis, is a very tiny and fickle group. If you are hoping for gallery or museum shows, the number of curators is dramatically even smaller.

As was mentioned in a couple of earlier comments, it is very important for an artist to choose their group shows wisely. If there is a dealer with a gallery whom you are trying to get in good graces, this can be an excellent opportunity. I also encourage artists to follow some very good advice when participating in group shows. (thanks again Ed for the very interesting discussion).

Beyond that, I want to see work that has been thought out and developed, and this can be tough to communicate with the viewer with anything less than a solo show. I like going to alternative venues and I won't hold anything against an artist that needs to work on an extremely tight budget. If you are fighting for someone's attention, you better make sure you do your best to capture it, and that's not going to happen by showing a few pieces in often non-cohesive group shows 5 or 6 times a year.

I thought this comment as advice to artists was worth repeating:

Over-exposure is an issue in any market. I've worried about it over the past few years as I kept getting invited to participate in group shows. Some were in other locations, but many were in New York. I've started to pick and choose more carefully, and to leave more free blocks where my work can develop. I was starting to feel like I was always just working toward the next show, which doesn't necessarily allow me to push the work as much as I'd like.

Indy is changing. I can't say it enough, but if Herron ever starts their MFA program and hires a great graduate faculty, we might see it actually flourish in our lifetime!

3 Responses to “Overexposed... Part Two”

Edna said...
January 12, 2006 at 7:54 AM

Great post; and perfect illustration - Dzama is so overexposed it's ridiculous.

Ciao baby

Scott said...
January 12, 2006 at 3:13 PM

Thanks for stopping by Edna, I always find your site to be wonderfully insightful. Loved your view of the Leipzig crowd.

Jim said...
January 12, 2006 at 8:02 PM

As an someone who is really enthusiastic about the Indy art scene, I just wanted to comment on what a great blog you guys have. I found out about your blog through one of the art-related articles in this week's edition of INtake (Casey Roberts mentioned it in INtake's bio of him). Keep up the great work!

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