Outsider artist & gallery representation

F**k Gallery representation ~ By a proud outsider artist

Would you be proud of your artwork (which is literally a banana taped to a wall), sell for huge sums of money and you get a fraction of the profit (because the gallery had to pay the media to cover the sensational exhibition)? Or would you prefer to build a community of art lovers over decades, and sell a digital NFT for 10x that amount of "a taped banana" while retaining almost all of the profit?

Unfortunately, after many years of having fantasy of one day getting gallery representation. I have resolved to never pursue that goal. I sincerely feel it is unproductive and a waste of time/resources to try and please the Nigerian Gallery so they could try to sell my art.

This method of doing things is obsolete and apart from the fraudster and clout chasers, you would never find a young person teaching you how to network with a brick and mortal gallery. It is usually old people and snake oil salesman who wants to sell you a course or be your consultant. We all know of the upgrowth of "Vanity Galleries" due to this myth (where you pay to have an exhibition at a famous address).

Especially in Nigeria, the galleries don’t like artist without an art degrees (it is a form of academic solidarity to compensate for the fact that 90% of art graduates never once become full time artist). They also like to give opportunity to those who doesn’t want the publicity. They give opportunity to those who have independently built their own audience. So these galleries are themselves clout chasing.

Even the biggest galleries and museums are on social media, where any one can also build a social media page. The crazy thing is that these galleries are followed by thousands of millions of people in the art industries (many with the hope of one day working with them). The galleries have zero interest in finding new UNKNOWN talents, they never care to see what their followers are making or commenting (even though they are not as relevant as pre-internet era, they come on the same internet and act like they are the only way to make a living as an artist).

It is absolutely smarter of an artist to promote their art online independently. When you make a name for yourself (after 5 to 18 years of never-ending hard-work), those same galleries would show up when you no longer need them.

Disregard the big galleries since they would dismiss you with the exception of you being famous/trending by your own effort. Change is the only constant and things have since changed. Those galleries are just shadows of themselves living off the old glory and old connections. The traditional method of doing things are getting lost in the computerized age and this is evidence in the rise of NFT that sells for millions of dollars without any gallery, agent, curators or anonymous collectors (artist are creating their own fan base and their own collectors who cares about their art and not just look at their work as an investment that is expected to increase in value).

Long before the 2020 global pandemic, galleries in the UK were closing in mass due to failed business model. They are using 1800 promotional tactics in 2020 and are surprise why no one is fooled. Back then, you could make people look stupid if they cannot understand your art and can use big meaningless words to spin their brain or intimidate them intellectually.

These are my views about the big galleries. As a 12 years veteran online artist, I vowed to never "suck up" to any big galleries. I reject them because they were useless when I needed them the most.