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October 12, 2006

A Sign of the Times!

About three weeks ago MAO sent this email to the gallery manager of a way too self important prominent NYC Chelsea Gallery regarding an up coming hot artist show opening...

To: Pompous Self Important Gallery Manager
Subject: Big Hot Artist's Work

Hi Pompous Self Important Gallery Manager,
    I got your invite and poorly written & wordy press release to the up coming BIG Hot Artist show.  It sounds like the new work is great. I've been a long time fan of  both, your wonderful gallery, and Big Hot Artist's work ever since the 2004 Whitney Biennial.  I recently attended the panel discussion you held at your gallery between
Big Hot Artist and  More Modest Hot Artist. I thought they both were very impressive.

     I'm a long time contemporary art collector living in  NYC.  And while I've always loved his work, I've never purchased one yet for my collection.  I was wondering if there is a waiting list for Big Hot Artist's work I could get on or if any of
the large beautiful works from the up coming show are available? If any are available, would it be possible to schedule a time to come by the gallery to view them before the opening next week?

I look forward to meeting and speaking with you.


Much to our shock and disgust surprise... two days later this is the foolish mistaken email we received.

Subject: RE: Big Hot Artist's Work


  Here is yet another one. If you have trouble getting back to him I can
send it on to Jr. Gallery Flunky.

It's really crazy!


Pompous Self Important Gallery Manager

So.. we wrote back in a very courteous tone, informed her we were not just some random collector but, an important art blogger and suggested this message was probably meant for someone else in the gallery and not MAO, the fucking prospective client.  She barley apologized, and assured me someone might would get back in touch with me ASAP.

Well, as expected, it's three weeks now, no one ever contacted us. We reluctantly attended the opening, it was a shit show insanely packed. Of course the Sunday NY Times wrote a full page, but somewhat lukewarm, review of the show.  We went back to the gallery again last weekend to try to speak to the Pompous Self Important Gallery Manager about the work.  All we got was the nasty vapid gallerina saying "No one was available to help me," she then rudely handed us the same poorly written & wordy press release and suggested we contact her through email. Grrrrr!!

Actually after being treated like I was just some common person so unprofessionally, and looking at the show a second time.. We kind of hated both this way too self important Chelsea gallery, and now the Big Hot Artist as well.  Plus we thought the new work looked flat, thoughtless, tacky and much less inspired than all his earlier work.   The magic was just gone... probably it's all for the best.

It's a 100% true story..Well.. except  we were only joking about the important art blogger comment! So..... What would you have done?


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I would have just went to ACRIA and bought this print. All the money goes to a great cause and it's the right price!


Might not be a "new ecstatic reality", but it will look great in the powder room!

so often an artist's work is colored by your personal experience of them.
I once stopped gilbert 'n george on west broadway to just say that i adored them and their work, and they just snarled at me... and since then i only "like their work alot".
as for dealers, so often they can turn you off their entire stable.

Have you considered contacting the artist? He/she (I imagine) would be interested in knowing the layers of crap between him and an audience.

or maybe he/she doesn't care, and then you can write him/her off forever!

peace out!

Aaron, please let me know if MAO contacts you......

I'd go to my favorite new gallery that exhibits emerging artists and support them!

I think you played it long and generous, if anything. You underscore your generosity by not naming the guilty parties here.

If you're feeling a little bloodthirsty you might follow up with a squib to the gallery owner, letting him know by name how one of his dithering dvotchkas took all the excitement out of this artist's work for you.

If possible, carbon the artist as well.

I'd do the same thing I'd do to any business that was so blatantly rude & disrespectful; tell the owner and unless a quick & unqualified apology was forthcoming I'd never step foot in there again and be sure to let every one I know what a terrible place it is. Why hide (kinda) their name? After all, they seem to have gone out of their way to insult you! The better galleries are at least more subtle about it.

Mike, I think you're being way to polite. I would be naming names on the blog at at this point. For example, see my Claire Oliver mention:


Oops. Make that "too polite" not "to polite."

Oh christ. If MAO (some kind of financial world guru(from what I glean)/important blogger(whatever that means)/gallery hopping/upper crust art collector/social butterfly) can't even get the time of day from these galleries. Then I figure I got about zero chance.

Oddly enough, so far I have had pretty good interaction with all the galleries I've inquired at or purchased from(knock on wood)---which is odd because I certainly don't "dress the part" of a well to do chelsea gallery hopper. I can barely support my habit, er addiction, er I mean love!

If possible I'd contact the artist directly and forward him/her the erroneously sent email- and see if you can work directly with them instead. But how do you get their email? Wouldn't expect the gallery to give it you?

i would daydream of pulling a Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman..."you work on commission, right? BIG mistake...BIG." but seriously, i agree with A.J., if you can find a way to contact the artist directly, that'd be the best route for the both of you at least to inform him of the negligence and rude behavior of his representation. Since he is probably under contract with the gallery, either way, ANNOYING gallery will get your money until he leaves them.

What would we have done? We would have identified that gallery on west 25th Street. And we liked DCFA's suggestion, about cc'ing the artist. Maybe that's aggressive, but they asked for it. Eventually, you can peck through the Chelsea inflated hubris.

What would we have done? We would have identified that gallery on west 25th Street. And we liked DCFA's suggestion, about cc'ing the artist. Maybe that's aggressive, but they asked for it. Eventually, you can peck through the Chelsea inflated hubris.

FYI.. the gallery is on 26th street.. not 25th street for those whom asked.

And good idea Aaron/BillBob.. I'll see if I can send the next email along with a CC to the artist.

Oh.. and Andrew.. FYI..the Owner(s) are the gallery managers in this case. Which makes it even more shocking.

Thanks all for the Help..
And the next step will be to take the white handling gloves off and start naming names!! Thanks Bloggy!

Boo fucking hoo...sure, there is pretension in the art world. What a news flash. If you knew how sickening it is to read about some stock broker type crying about not getting past a velvet rope....

Thanks WalterP..
For reading and your comment.

Yes.. I'm sure it sounds pathetic for someone to complain about not getting what they want.

But I think it's more pathetic that these Hot Artists and Hot Galleries are unprofessional and wasteful with their opportunities.
So many in the art world would kill to be in their shoes, but yet these people choose to be rude, and inconsiderate to potential supporters. It's experiences like this that turn many potential patrons off to artists and the entire contemporary art world.
So who really suffers in the end?? I'd guess, it's not the collectors.

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