2 Nov 2009

Role of galleries in promoting upcoming artists

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Most art galleries, now, are on the look out for young and upcoming artists for multiple reasons. One of the primary causes for this is that prices of senior and established artists are beyond the reach of the average buyer. But, on the other hand, most new artists complain about the difficulties they face in finding a foothold. It appears that there is a gap in the system where talented artists may not easily find promoters, and this is despite the fact that most galleries claim to be on the lookout for them.

In fact, most galleries and promoters who are serious about showcasing good art are extremely selective about who they pick. And, this works out well for both artists and buyers. It is important that galleries remain discerning as it ensures that only talented artists are promoted as emerging artists. But, unfortunately, while this may sound like a good principle to follow, it may not be always as straightforward. Often good marketing skills or efficient networking or other factors may play a role in who eventually gets promoted.

Still, it would be fair to say that the bigger galleries maintain a high level of standard in terms of their artists as it is crucial to their survival and their credibility. That is one of the reasons why buyers frequent galleries that have established credentials as the groundwork is somewhat over and a buyer can afford to take it comparatively easy in terms of choosing the artist. But, it would still be advisable that collectors and investors do their own research before investing in art. It is important to remember that at the end of the day an art gallery or promoter is likely to endorse their own artists. Therefore, to have a completely unbiased and balanced picture one should rely on independent sources.

(Published in Financial Times)

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