Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tales From The Art World: Art Advisors

I want to thank Ann @ Detroit Arts, for posting this NY Times Article. It opens a window into a part of the art world that few people see and confirms what most average people think; that art is an inside power game that they are not invited to play. Art advisors of various kinds have always existed- partly because, many people who have a lot of money are also not fully confident in thier judgements. In recent years and especially now that there is a hot art market ( Didn't you get the invite? ) the art advisor has come to the fore as the purveyor of access.

Here's some quotes from mega dealer David Zwirner:

"There are a lot of novice collectors out there who don’t realize that you can’t run through the door and make your first purchase,” Mr. Zwirner said. “You have to finesse your way to that. Primary market galleries like us often have three-year waiting lists. We’re very picky.”
This means that while advisers are selling the merits of a particular artist to their clients, they must also sell their clients to the gallery.
“I’ve definitely felt that there’s a certain hazing ritual in art buying,” said Lowell Pettit, an art adviser in Long Island City, Queens, who often works with first-time buyers and young collectors. “Galleries literally want your C.V. and that of your client” before they will part with their best inventory."

To a large extent, the situation in the major galleries right now is entirely fair and understandable. Markets are not always hot and galleries want to sell to collectors who supported them when times were tough, and also try to make sure that potential buyers are not just looking to buy and sell artist's work for a quick profit.

I don't have much else to say, other than that I know very little about this world. There have been some great comments on Detroit Arts.

1 comment:

Susan Constanse said...

Modern Art Obsession posted an interview with Lisa Hunter that addresses this same issue: