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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


A stranger walks up to you and says: 'I think I like you." You hand over a cheque for R20,000.
They say: "I'll pay you back," and walk off with your cheque.
Absolutely, but in principle thats what we do every time a gallery asks us to consign work. They take no risk (if our work proves unpopular there's always a storeroom.) And in handing over what is essentially merchandise we could say that we are financing their business. Thats step one. Step two is when work sells and we don't get paid, so our R20,000 investment hangs around gathering no interest and no return on our investment while the gallery is using our work to finance their business. That is basically what we as artists are doing. An example: a gallery I've had dealings with over the years have always claimed that they only work on consignment. Another artist comes along and says: "no ways, you want my work, you buy it from me." They roll over and the gallery coughs up. Perhaps their is a case for unknown artists consigning work, but surely more established artists should atuomatically work on a buy the painting upfront basis. What are your thoughts?

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