Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brick Lane Gallery Stumbling

AOM subscribers with work in the AOM gallery are getting emails from the Brick Lane Gallery in London. The writer says she "stumbled across" the artist's work on the "Arts [sic] Opportunities Monthly website and was really impressed with your work. "

The gallery describes itself as a "rentable gallery space." But "rentable" simply means vanity: you buy your way in. As I have stated many times, there are very few advantages to showing your work in any kind of vanity space and many disadvantages.

The advantages are that you get to see your work outside of your studio and having it on your resume will impress your co-workers and relatives who don't know anything about art. The disadvantages include: having it on your resume will negatively impress those who do know something about art -- the real dealers and collectors -- and in fact will often be the kiss of death; it will cost you a lot; and the odds of your selling enough to meet your expenses are terrible (real collectors steer clear of such places although tourists may not know any better).

There are programs which can search the Web to find art-related sites and copy all the email addresses. Brick certainly used one of those (although a human with very low salary requirements could do it by hand) and then sent everyone the same email.

Love your work, baby! Let's do lunch.

19 comments:

  1. hmm...my artist friend from Malaysia received the same word for word email and pretty thrilled and excited about the whole invitation to participate thing...thanks for highlighting this!

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  2. thanks ! it's what I mean ;)

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  3. I get such a invitation letters from Brick Line Gallery for the second year. I live in Russia, St. Petersburg. I do not have enough of all the pictures, even at total sale, to pay all the costs of renting space, delivering paintings, accommodation and travel. It look like to buy a one way ticket to the moon. Business as usual - not honest.
    Thaks! Yuri.

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  4. Brick Lane Gallery is fine, I showcased there in 2012. Its a great passport to be introduced to London art scene, specially for those who live faraway in underdeveloped countries or in the moon (rs)... Of course there is an investment of money, its an expensive adventure. But isn't it better to showcase in London for the first time that keep on drawing anonymously at your room? I did't sell any work, but it was a great introduction to London art scene. Is not about only showcasing, its also about being in London, and you can never expect to be instantly represented by a gallery who promote established artists at the begin of your career...
    Alex

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    1. But you didn't sell anything, you weren't showcased, you are just as anonymous now as you were before the exhibition but are £600 worse off.

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  5. The Brick Lane Gallery offers a lot for what they do. It is less expensive than the usual 40 percent commission that galleries charge. That is if your work is high end.
    The worst venue you could be invited to do in London is The Parallax shows. Dr.Chris Barlow is a true con man.
    He rents space during off times of the year , he pockets tons of cash and leaves the artists standing around wondering where the crowds are, like he has posted on his Facebook page., After doing the exhibition you realize that the photos are from the opening night celebration for friends and family. Stay away from that venue !!

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  6. I too have been contacted by Brick with the same message noted above. Of course, I receive such solicitations with the utmost suspicion. But I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has actually exhibited there. What was the cost, and was it a losing, break-even or profitable venture? Anybody out there? Pls contact fotofrieze@gmail.com.

    Benny: Is this gallery so well known in art circles as a scam that it's truly "the kiss of death" (as I agree it might be)?

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    1. I haven't exhibited there, but i was in London at the weekend and went in to inquire, it's £600 to rent a 3 meter space.

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    2. It is now 500 per 3 meter space. Just emailed with the exact same words myself lol.

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  7. Dear all,
    I am actually thinking exhibiting with this gallery in London. the price does not shock me, as I would spend the same to do an opening in Switzerland. Of course the main question is, do their clients be informed properly and are there any people visit the exhibition....

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  8. Hello I too have been contacted by Brick Lane gallery with the same message and was over the moon... that was before I searched online for more information about the gallery. Thank you for writing this post, and thank you all for your comments and opinions.

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  9. Hello I too have been contacted by Brick Lane gallery with the same message and was over the moon... that was before I searched online for more information about the gallery. Thank you for writing this post, and thank you all for your comments and opinions.

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  10. I exhibited there 2 years ago, waste of money and time. No-one of any influence came to the opening night, I spent over 1500 pounds in UPS, accommodation etc to hang three works, placed in a basement section, near very amateur art....was left feeling flat and ashamed that I had been effectively conned...gallery owner never introduced me to anyone, she didnt even know who I was, when I popped in during the 1st week?? Stay well clear....they do not sell your art, and use the money they take from you to pay their staff and rentals....will never fall for something like this again...Art Fairs are a waste of time too, in my opinion...same concept...there is no incentive for the gallery or fair staff to promote your work once you have paid them...you are beter off selling online...

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  11. I'm about to exhibit at the Brick Lane Gallery. In Switzerland you pay for the location too, plus commission! I didn't find the price that ridiculous, given it's in London, in a vibrant area.
    I mean, how else are you going to exhibit, show your art? By sitting around waiting to get discovered? How if you don't show your work?
    I'm a bit confused to be honest, do some of you expect to exhibit for free? I have honestly never heard of that before.
    I will do it and let you know how it went. Let's say if they are actually just taking your money and not doing anything for it, I'll make sure this gets out!

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    1. All the best Sandra! I just got emailed today to exhibit there and opinions are mixed. I'm really happy you're giving it a shot!

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    2. Hi, i got an email from the gallery as well, quite recently, just before Christmas (19/12/2015). Offering me to exhibit my work in a group exhbition coming up on 19th January 2016 . Liked the fact that they want to support or show work of emerging artists . Did not expect it for free, but at the same time i found the price quite hight for someone who is just at her/his artist beginnings .... They agreed on paying the rent in two 50% instalments . I have done mostlt groupe exhibitions here in Dublin, for far less money . The fact that my work could be shown in London has trilled be at the first, but now as I am reading all the comments , i am not sure that this offer from The bRick Lane is the right investment in promoting myself . I am left with a huge dilemma now ...

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    3. Hi Sandra - how was the experience at Brick Lane Gallery in 2015? I am thinking about being part of this fall exhibition. all the best
      Svend

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  12. I've received a third email from a different gallery assistant, which is almost word for word the same as these.
    I am a British artist, who currently lives in South Korea. I've been paid to show my work, but I've never paid to exhibit my work anywhere. Good luck to those of you who do choose to exhibit there. In my experience, if they are taking a fee, they are saving themselves work having to make sales, which doesn't instil any confidence in a gallery.

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  13. I was also recently invited. I was quite excited till I looked at some of the work on their website then I realised that they have no selection process or interest in quality work. The price is quite high and when combined with the cost of getting the work there is astronomical when you realise that you have no control over where or how your work is hung, or even if it will be hung, and as they have made their money up front they have no incentive in making a sale. Thankfully my work is already represented by a very good gallery which is commission based. I had made an appointment with Brick Lane to check them out - but I won't bother. Building a good reputation as a good fine art painter means you need to be associated with good galleries.. simples...

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