Hank Willis Thomas and Ryan Alexiev in the Cereal Art booth at the Armory Show
Sparked by a series of related posts by dealer Edward Winkleman on the effects of recession in various fields, the art blogosphere responds. We at Art Fag City have our own series on the subject launching shortly, but in the meantime, here is a summation of what’s been discussed thus far.
- Two Recessionary Shifts in Attitude, One Good, One Not So Much: Edward Winkleman notes art charity benefits are doing well, but he’s being harassed over the phone by desperate artists with greater regularity. This is likely a direct response to tougher times, but I suspect it also has to do with social media exhaustion. After all, if people thought their emails, tweets, and facebook status updates were being received, I doubt they’d resort to inappropriate means of contacting people. At least, that’s the hope.
- Conscientious observes the possible recession trend of affordable editions, but doesn’t think they help the emerging artist. Such statements however need to be applied on a case by case basis. I’d like to think those sites run by dealers are managed with an understanding of the collector market they are developing. Perhaps there’s a dealer who can answer this question better than I can, but I sometimes wonder whether the ease of digital reproduction will eventually force change upon the art world’s model of scarcity. After all, Cereal Art just released a poster edition of my “favorite” Hank Willis Thomas and Ryan Alexiev Obama image Breakfast of Champion, in an edition of 1000 at $30.00 while simultaneously issuing a limited 100 edition run in a larger size at $950.00 a piece. The site doesn’t tell a user how many are left in the edition though, so it’s hard to know how the work has been received, and of course, what effect, if any, it’s had on the artist’s print market.
- Prior to the discussion above, Joanna Mattera wrote a post on how to approach a gallery, directly speaking to the poorly informed email soliciting exhibition space I published Friday. I like to think most readers are not so obtuse to make the mistakes outlined in Mattera’s piece — it’s fairly obvious that unless you have set an appointment with a dealer, artists shouldn’t walk into their gallery and demand attention — but it does shed some light on the sheer volume of imperceptive solicitations gallerists deal with on a regular basis. Speaking of which, Williamsburg dealers tell me they each regularly receive the packages containing same semi nude photographic self portraits from young female artists blanking the neighborhood with cold submissions. It hasn’t worked yet.