Friday, 16 January 2015

Gallery-hogging


I was recently at a group art exhibition where one of the artists was curating. One of her friends, who was also in the exhibition, was rearranging all her own artwork. The woman that was curating let her friend put her own work in front of all the other work that was on display, moving things around with quite erratic behaviour. Two friends were with me and were almost pushed out of the way several times. I bought a card by said artist before I left, but as soon as we got outside my friends started to comment on how rude the woman had been. Sometimes things happen and they are so shocking that it doesn't sink in until after- this happens a lot with me when I encounter bad behaviour- perhaps I have an innocent outlook in life, but I always expect the best of people.

The woman that was curating was lovely and very pleasant but the friend just scowled at us as we came in and kept getting in our way as we tried to browse through the different artworks. Now, this person is a fantastic artist and I was considering buying one of her works, but I couldn't believe how unpleasant and rude she was. We were out shopping for Christmas and she couldn't even let us look at artworks for 10 minutes as she was so desperately trying to put all her own artworks on view. We watched her actually taking down and replacing hanging works and putting all her prints at the front of each section. This was actually a small exhibition of local artists- many who know each other- so I just couldn't get over what she was doing.

This is a mature woman who should know better. In an art gallery, the curator is there to keep everything as it is, and fair. Nepotism isn't welcome in group shows- why would it be called a group show if everyone's work isn't meant to be seen?

I have an interest in many types of art and this artists work is very skillful and lovely. However, I won't be purchasing or promoting any of her work again as I thought it was really unacceptable behaviour. When you buy art from an artist, you are not just buying the piece- you are buying something that they have created, put their energy and effort into. You can hang this piece in your home to admire for years to come. If I had bought an artwork from this artist, every time I looked at it I would have remembered how unpleasant she was. People tend to switch off and not think about where the things they have come from, but in reality this is something we should be more aware of.

I would love to hear others thoughts on this as it happened a while ago but I haven't been able to shake it off and the incident has kept bugging me. I always try to be as fair as possible as an artist and have no problem promoting others work- I really enjoy it and don't understand why someone would gallery-hog like this (think I just made up a good expression!).

Looking forward to hearing your views, Lily x