It's A Gallery Affair: How We Choose our Artists and Why They Choose Us!
We were interviewed last year for an article in the Fair Guide at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea when they asked us how we choose our fantastic artists and asked Blandine Bardeau and Rod McIntosh why they chose us to represent them! So with Battersea just around the corner we wanted to share this with you again...
WHAT’S THE SELECTION PROCEDURE FOR THE GALLERY?
Amy: We spend a lot of time researching and going to see new artists’ work. We look for something that catches our eye, and then consider how it would fit with other works in our gallery. Sometimes artists also contact us directly if they think they’d be a good fit for our gallery. Either way, the work needs to speak to us, we have to love it. Then, once we’ve spoken with the artist, and are sure we’d have a great working relationship, we’ll ask them on board.
AS AN ARTIST, HOW AND WHY DO YOU LOOK FOR GALLERY REPRESENTATION?
Blandine: My meeting with Caiger Contemporary Art was through Twitter initially, in a typical 21st century fashion! After a few interactions online I looked them up and liked what I saw, so invited them to one of my shows – we chatted there and they asked me to come on board. For me, it was as much about the artists they represent as it was about the feeling I got from interacting with them; it’s important that something clicks, and that you’re on the same page I think.
Rod: I did lots of research initially and drew up a shortlist of galleries where I felt my work could fit. From there I started to build up relationships with the gallerists and it then became more of a mutual selection process between me, them and my work.
OTHER THAN REPRESENTING ARTISTS WORK TO CLIENTS HOW ELSE DO YOU WORK WITH YOUR ARTISTS?
Amy: We ask our artists what they are hoping to achieve each year – this may be a creative goal, or something more unusual – and we see how we can support them with this. We’re also always on hand to advise our artists whenever they need it, perhaps on a new body of work, trying out new sizes, framing or prices. We also like to plan projects that would be good for our artists to help them in other areas such as their CV or growing their reputation.
Blandine: We also get a lot of feedback from the gallery which I really take in to consideration. I like to hear how customers react to my work, as well as hearing Amy and her colleagues’ opinions on my new works. They understand my work very well and it’s great to talk through my plans for future pieces, as well as sizes and prices. I like that they are really approachable, that Caiger Contemporary Art is a family business – I was there close to their beginnings and there’s a real sense that we’re growing together.
Rod: Likewise, I meet with the gallery regularly to review and plan. It allows me to present new ideas, get feedback and throw ambitious, wild-card ideas at them and see how we could work together to achieve them.
WHY DO YOU THINK GALLERIES ARE IMPORTANT?
Amy: I think they’re important for both the client and the artist. For the client, we’re knowledgeable about our artists and a trustworthy source they can go to. In effect we’re giving our artists a stamp of approval – as a gallery we endorse the high standard and value of their work. We’re also there to help and advise clients on artworks, especially if they’re new to collecting or aren’t sure what would best suit their space.
Galleries are important for artists as it means they can get on with what they do best, making art! We take the strain off them by marketing their work and showing it to clients. We’re also able to talk about their work with enthusiasm and without feeling self-conscious, as a lot of artists can when discussing their own work. And, of course, we’re here to help and support them in their work and career.