Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
The idea that you're going to be "discovered" just because your work is amazing is pure fantasy. If you want to have a chance of getting into the better galleries, and have professional representation (before you're a "name"), you're going to have to have a CV to send with your portfolio. This CV will need a history of exhibitions and/or competitions.Without a history, they won't be interested. The better galleries are looking to have a relationship with the artist. Part of it is seeing a history of commitment to their art- more than a few years. The better galleries will spend a lot of money promoting their artists.
I don't think anybody is disagreeing with you on this. It's also defending the status quo, which I think needs to change, and is changing. Gallery "needs" a CV? Fair enough. Let me see a CV of their successes in getting their clients exposure and sales. (Oh, wait, Just who is the client in this exchange? The guy whose photographs are on their walls 24/7? Or the customer who walks in on a lark and gets out his wallet?

If the gallery participates in something like Art Basel Miami, they can spend more than $10,000 exhibiting just a few artists.
This is not that level of a gallery, is it. I'm sure there's some stars out there but they are vastly outnumbered by galleries that know very little about marketing. Galleries who are very hesitant to really push an unknown artist, perhaps not even educated enough about Art's idiot bastard stepchild, Photography. Been in plenty of galleries where some solid photography was hung so as to be almost invisible while prime real estate was given over to repetitive garish acrylics and second-rate brown pottery.

Sales may be rare at the show, but it can lead to other sales. I had 2 pieces hanging in a competition far from me. A couple checked out my website, and bought 3 photos, totally different than what was exhibited.
I would suggest it was your website that made the sale, not the gallery. You probably aren't going to get rich via Etsy, but the Internet lets you get to millions of eyeballs. It's been a new world out there for a while. I doubt galleries want you to realize that.

I happened to take first place, too, and got a bit of $.
Congratulations. Really.

LENS 2013 is legitimate. It's well know among photographers who do enter competitions. Being accepted looks good on a CV, and would open up the Chicago area to those with no exposure there.
I'm not suggesting anything else. I'm saying the old ways need to die. If galleries want "relationships" then they need to show the artist a real CV too. AND, they need to alter the fee schedule until such time they can prove to the artist that they can deliver the clients so the work can deliver the sales. If the work sucks they need to say so and turn the artist out, and not make up some excuse to themselves to hang it anyway because the electric bill is coming due.

At some point you have to have confidence in your work and aspire to more...
The gallery mule method is the only way to do this? To gain confidence? To move on? That's ridiculous. Twelve years ago I sold two 16x20s for $130.00 each at a company art show in my employer's lunch room. Those checks gave me more confidence than any gallery up to that time. There's lots of roads twixt here and there.