The commercial dimensions of a fine art practice (live tweets)

Chris Hammond (founder of MOT International) and art lawyer Henry Lydiate in conversation with Margarita Gluzberg at the Royal College of Art, London, 20 May 2015. The seminar was organised by FuelRCA and the RCA School of Fine Art.

  1. Welcome to live tweets from the Commercial Dimensions of a Fine Art Practice with Margarita Gluzberg, Henry Lydiate & Chris Hammond
  2. Margarita: If you choose not to commercialise your work you should do so knowingly.
  3. Henry Lydiate discussing The Art Eco-System Model. © Morris Hargreaves McIntyrel 
  4. Steps in a career...artists attract recognition of peers...exhibition curated by artists or freelance curator etc... 
  5. The gatekeepers of consensus in cultural value...artists, scholars, critics, public-facing institutions, biennales, trusts & foundations
  6. Cultural value does not necessarily translate into market value
  7. the market value is the amount that has been paid for a work...the artist's problem is how to fix a price
  8. Agents, advisers, gallery dealers, art fairs, auction houses, collectors, investors all have an influence on the marketplace (Henry Lydiate)
  9. People have been buying art because they are investors, not because they like the work
  10. market value doesn't necessarily translate into cultural value
  11. Annual global art sales guesstimate 2014 - private sale & public auction = €51billion. Contemporary art 48% €24.48 billion - 50% in New York
  12. Why are artists poor? not supported by patrons anymore...have to fund everything yourselves
  13. Why are artists poor? They're making work for themselves...but need to find an audience to earn a living
  14. Why are artists poor? artists only control primary sales prices
  15. Whay are artists poor? its a collector's market
  16. Global communications have transformed the market, especially for visual work
  17. art practice dimensions: executing, exposing, selling, lending, donating & copying work - based on Henry Lydiate's experience
  18. most artists manage themselves but some have studio managers, agents, gallery dealers, personal business managers
  19. In eastern europe & BRIC countries auctions are preferred
  20. Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Australasia mostly use the western art model
  21. Watch out for the new MINT country art markets - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey. 
  22. Chris Hammond @MOT_Intl representing artists costs a lot of money
  23. Chris Hammond @MOT_Intl representing artists costs a lot of money
  24. How to represent practices that have been overlooked?
  25. The art success ladder is a roller coaster
  26. Elizabeth Price's is now recognised in the UK, but how to establish her internationally?
  27. @MOT_Intl has moved gallery locations to build visibility
  28. High auction prices are mainly for paintings, not sculpture, performance etc
  29. Curators have an important role in educating collectors
  30. In most cases, artists need to be represented by a gallery to have commercial success
  31. Question time chaired by Margarita Gluzberg...
  32. Margarita - is there a structure or career strategy for artists?
  33. Chris - the most important thing is to keep working
  34. Chris - we find artists through what they've done, you have to be your own curator, gallery etc at the start
  35. Chris - how do you get noticed as an artist?
  36. Paolozzi did it himself, taught, but had a gallerist who enabled him to get on with working
  37. Building profile can gives artists incredible bargaining power
  38. Chris - As dealers we control the market for our artists as much as we can
  39. Q&A there are ways to organise so that artists get paid
  40. Artists are free to choose what they make and do...there is a game to be played of being recognised by galleries..but you can say no
  41. Art is a business like any other once you're negotiating
  42. Art is a business like any other once you're negotiating
  43. Q: how many artists do the global sale figures represent? 100s say Henry
  44. TEFAF report (art market for 2015) & Art Price report list artist by name and value of sale
  45. Q: average salary for artist in UK is £7,000 per year. Needs to be education of government/others as sale proceeds aren't going to artists
  46. Has art subsidy in Holland produced a thriving scene?
  47. Collective action was taken by artists in 1970s to acquire low cost studios e.g ACME
  48. The most fundamental thing artists need is a space to work
  49. You have to deal with abstract values all the time
  50. Traditional gallery commission is 50%, non-negotiable
  51. Most galleries don't have written contracts...gentleman's agreements instead
  52. I don't have anything in writing but things have gone wrong!
  53. In most countries a contract works both ways
  54. After Francis Bacon died there was little documentation after 5 decades..a nightmare for the executors
  55. In the 1950s it was the tradition not to sign anything
  56. Its an artist responsibility to look after their own finances and legal position
  57. You need a good accountant who understands what an artist a very important relationship
  58. Become self-employed as soon as you leave the RCA...don't leave it until later or get in trouble with tax
  59. Residencies provide useful space to work and exposure for artists
  60. You need to curate and look after your work throughout your is expensive...curate your own in an old barn in the country
  61. solve the storage problem by exhibiting work..its tax deductible!
  62. When you're making work you're not thinking about selling it...
  63. Chris - Any artist that makes work to make money is not an artist
  64. Henry - The work gets made because it needs to be made
  65. Having a spectator in mind might help or hinder the work
  66. Chris - there is across-over happening but I don't have an opinion on design/art
  67. Henry - interesting cross-over into film, e.g. Steve McQueen
  68. Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard (Sundance festival winners) - "the film is our artwork"
  69. Chris - we have a sustainable cap on how many artists we represent...
  70. Chris - I expect a lot of artists , that they will fulfill their potential 100%
  71. We don't want to lose artists, but if all fails they may be better off at another gallery
  72. Q: what is the weak point in the art market?
  73. Chris - the market does create bubbles...Henry - are there weak points in the art eco-system? there's only one way up for artists!
  74. The main thing is you have to make some work, but teaching great & public funding still possible
  75. Many thanks to Margarita Gluzberg, Henry Lydiate and Chris Hammond...more next year!!
  76. Have a cultural value-my illustrated notes from talk: Commercial dimensions of a fine art practice. Thanks @FuelRCA
    Have a cultural value-my illustrated notes from talk: Commercial dimensions of a fine art practice. Thanks @FuelRCA