“We do not accept unsolicited materials” and “we are not accepting new artist submissions” are messages sometimes found on the websites of art consultants/advisors and galleries. Although the phrases are annoying, these artworld venues are actually doing you a favor by announcing their myopic vision and limitations. What the website message should say is “Artist beware. I am lazy and insecure. I only work with artists who have been validated by art critics, museum curators or other galleries, and this laziness spills over to my lack of marketing abilities when representing you.”
Art consultants/advisors and galleries who work with contemporary artists should always be on the lookout for artists. If it were not for artists, art consultants/advisors and gallery owners would not have an occupation.
In various editions of my book I have pointed out that one of the biggest attractions for becoming an art dealer is that the title comes with instant respect, awe, and power. However being an art dealer requires no qualifications or certification. Anyone can become a dealer, and it seems apparent that anyone and everyone have become art dealers, as evidenced by a general lack of good business and marketing skills and high business standards. Also prevalent is a lack of sensitivity toward artists and a lack of basic knowledge about art. As arts writer Tim Schneider puts it: “opening an American art gallery today demands less verified evidence of expertise than installing home-entertainment systems, braiding hair, or pumping gas – three occupations for which certain US states still require specific training or certification exams.”