Artist-Dealer Relationships Often Seem Like Marriages (for Better and Worse) | Daniel Grant

February 20, 2015 4:16 PM

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If the arts are increasingly described as a business, why do so many artists and dealers refer to their relationship as a marriage? Similar to romantic link-ups, artists and dealers often claim to have met through mutual acquaintances; both talk of hand-holding, of being listened to or taken care of; they invite each other for dinners, parties, even vacations; their breakups are likened to a divorce. Supporting the entire affair is the sale of artworks. The art market is an odd mix of money and affection.

Relationships are what bring artists and dealers together, and relationships (artist-collector or dealer-collector) sell works of art. Some artists try to avoid the business of making individual connections with people by blindly sending slides of their work to galleries around the country or throug...

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