Do the hustle
Post #1413 • November 4, 2009, 8:02 AM • 145 Comments
...a business that generates a $75K monthly overhead for a white room filled with arcane, useless objects can only be sustained by the kinds of people who happily pay themselves multimillion dollar bonuses in taxpayer money after their personal actions torch the global economy. It can only be sustained by the kinds of people who are driven to accumulate infinitely more than everybody else, no matter how many others go sick, hungry or unemployed. It can only be sustained, in other words, by sociopaths.
I faced these issues this week as I wrestled with the question of how to best take advantage of the fact that one of my prints will be in New York City for the next month. I decided to act like an illustrator and have a postcard made, and I've been collecting a short list of people in the NY metro area to send cards to. First: friends and family. Next: all my NY-based illustration clients. And then I looked for galleries to alert. The IFPDA Print Fair will be happening while my print is hanging, so I looked at the list of exhibitors and added a few who deal in contemporary prints to my list. Then I got a copy of the August issue of Art In America and went through the NY gallery listings. About 800 of them. I was able to eliminate quite a few of them just from the descriptions, but I looked at the web sites of maybe 1/2 of them. I found about 40 that deal with work something like my work and are open to emerging artists and added them to my mailing list. All of this took about 3 days. I have a list now of about 100 people to send cards to announcing the IPCNY show.
Kazakina: You have been a working artist for 50 years. Do you wake up every morning and go to the studio?
Stella: No, I wake up every morning thinking about servicing my debt. I have to pay for what I do. And in the last 20 years, I've done it all by myself.
Kazakina: Don't you have a dealer supporting your production?
Stella: No. There's just not enough capital to keep going at the rate that I make work.
Kazakina: How much is that?
Stella: Take a guess.
Kazakina: $10 million a year?
Stella: No, not that much, but half of that would be close. That's not so easy to come up with.
Kazakina: Even if you worked with someone like Larry Gagosian?
Stella: I've been with Larry. It's hard to get money out of him. He's responsible to, essentially, the stockholders who are putting up the money. Those guys want 17-18 percent return on their money. I am not that successful.