Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Vanity Flair

I must say Yahoo Answers is a good thing.
I just had to find out about this weird Gallery Gora in Montreal, but google only came up with heaps of promotional material. The space does look very nice, bright and spacey, and satellite maps do show it just a block or so away from the Musee d'Art Contemporain of Montreal, but the fees............
I mean, I don't have much practice at exhibiting, but these fees just seemed extraordinary! And on top of that, when I wrote back to ask where they saw my work and which pieces they were interested in, it took them about two weeks to answer. This time the email was only a one-liner compared to the previous 6 page long email with contract details, agreements, forms to sign and whatnots, with bad English AND "artsalant" instead of Artslant...
So I chucked my question up on web, and back came some rather alarming information that confirmed my doubts. Of course, I never wrote back again.


So I learned the term "vanity gallery". That's fine though, if someone just wants a space to exhibit, and is willing and able to pay for it, there's nothing wrong with that, it's personal liberty. But for a gallery to be commercial to the point that it actually goes out and contacts unsuspecting "fresher" artists, luring them with the bait of exposure then demanding horrendous fees for next to no services is just outrageous! Unfortunately, most artists do struggle financially, and they do need every possible exposure they can get. New coming artists, especially, cannot afford to be too discriminative when opportunities present themselves, this combination makes us voulnerable to such scams. If I were naive enough and desperate enough I might just have fallen for it! And to prey on that is just despicable.

This goes to show, once more, how important it is to be "street wise" in the art world, just as much as in any other field, perhaps even more, because we don't have well structured unions, meticulously drafted rules and regulations, or powerful organisations to execute them, because art is free. And unfortunately, there will always be "baddies" out there who are looking for opportunities to make some easy money by any unscrupulous means. So please, if you read this, pass on the info to your friends and your friends' friends, let's not give the vultures an easy ride!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Big Sea

So the day after I posted the last blog saying I'd probably not be selected, I got an email saying that I WAS in! And that I should send ALL my proposed paintings! Imagine how pleased I was to hear that! So today I wrapped up the three paintings that I have here and entrusted them to my beloved to send tomorrow, hopefully the paint is dry enough not to go funny on the way...
I don't know much about the gallery they'll be shown in but that it is in Wyoming (mid-west they call it?), so probably can't be anything extravagant (?), but I'm well chuffed to have two exhibitions going down in less than six months, you've got to start somewhere! :)
The same day I received the "you're in" email, I also received another email from a gallery in Montreal, saying they saw my work and would like to invite me to exhibit in 2010/11. My initial reaction was "this must be a scam!". But the email was very legit, the website proper, and when I googled it lots of stuff came up; friends I consulted also said it looked real. It's a place called "Gallery Gora" in Montreal, "situated in the heart of the cultural district, adjacent to the Musee d'Art Contomporain"...
I got so nervous I was shaking! Of course if it's all for real I would LOVE to exhibit there, I pretty much jump at any chance of exposure, and just down the road from the local contemporary art museum as well! But there had to be a catch. The cost of a solo exhibition is $2500 plus $700 deposit (for WHAT!?); and the cost for joining a group exhibition is $250 for the first painting, and $150 for every additional piece, plus 20% deposit. Paintings larger than 3 feet across are considered as two paintings!! Now that, for me, is some serious money that I don't have.
Now my question is, is this normal practice? Or is this just a rich kids' club gallery? Would it really be worth it? I've always believed that good things don't come easy, so I'm finding it difficult to believe that something coming so easy coul be any good. Plus they didn't even say where they saw my work and which pieces they are interested in. So if you, kind reader, know anything about this gallery, or you know anyone who might do, please tell me! I'd be very grateful.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Trial and Error

For the last two weeks, I've been working on a series of paintings for a juried exhibition, they said the result would be out by Aug. 3rd, and I haven't heard from them yet, so I'm probably not in, but that's fine.
The paintings are basically reworked images of photographs I took before. I find it much more involving to alter the images and intensify the colours etc. by painting them, rather than fiddling around with the computer. I'm not that digital a person. Needless to say the texture and feel of the paint is a completely different animal from that of photography.

The theme of the juried call for entry was "Nocturnes", a subject that I can easily relate to as I spend a lot of my days at night. What's more, I had recently painted two pieces that were shown at a gallery in New Orleans which just happened to be of the night.

The images for the "Nocturnes" project were also square, so I decided to use the canvases left from this previous project. It wasn't long before it became obvious though that the format was far too small (12"x12") for the images to realise their potentials or make any proper impact, by this point, however, there was no longer enough time to order larger canvases (everything is ready made here, and you only get a very limited range, anything even slightly out of the ordinary has to be ordered... ) and repaint them. Given that there was not much that could be done, I proceded with the small canvases regardless, and they don't look so bad after all. I emailed them out along with the two previous paintings.

Now, even if I never hear from this gallery
again, it will have been a good excercise, I've learnt a lesson and I think I might just repaint them in the right format when the time comes, and develop this theme and method further.