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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Definitive Resource for Artists and Art Professionals!
on March 17, 2009
I'm an emerging artist who's been shooting for the past couple of years. I've done some shows in the non-profit realm, but only in the past few months have I been actively trying to figure out the ins and outs of the gallery scene.
For months now, I've been scrounging for the most basic information: How do for-profit galleries operate? What kind of contractual/financial obligations are required? How do you properly document your work? I've gone to workshops, interviewed artists, and dug through a lot of junk on the internet...
Only to find that everything I needed (and lots more) was in this book.
This is the definitive how-to book on running a fine art business (from the artist's side), specifically in regards to working with galleries. They don't offer any secret formulas for success, but instead dish out best practices for presenting yourself as professionally as possible.
What amazed me most was the depth of subject matter this book covers. It offers everything from sample legal forms to explicit instructions on how to pack your work for shipment. They use a very open and honest writing style throughout. Instead of coming across as preachy or snobbish, the authors sound more like a good friend letting you in on the secrets of the industry.
An interesting device they use throughout is to include relevant quotes from art professionals on almost every spread. These tie in directly with the subject matter of each section and represent the perspectives of artists, curators and gallery owners. It's one thing for the author to say what he or she thinks, but another thing when you get other voices add to the mix.
My only complaint about the book is a very minor one. While the book is striking in its design, I question the use of a bold sans serif for the body text throughout the book. There's enough white space and leading to make it work, but it seems a choice of aesthetics over practicality.
I don't often get this jazzed about books (especially not over a how-to manual). But I've seen firsthand what a lack of comprehensive resources there are for artists trying to figure out the how's and what's of the art world. This book does a magnificent job of filling that void and I'd recommend it to any artist who's trying to get established.