Jason Horejs, the co-owner of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, recently wrote about the thorny question of galleries splitting a commission when a piece is shown in one place and sold in another. The conversation sparked a second post with even more debate….
The original situation discussed had to do with an artist who didn’t sell a big piece in one gallery, so she moved it to another gallery. The first gallery had someone come in who had previously seen the piece in Gallery No. 1 and wanted to buy it. Did Gallery No. 2, which currently possessed the piece, deserve a portion of the commission?
There were more than 60 comments on the post, and multiple viewpoints expressed. But perhaps more interestingly, one of the comments inspired a second post exploring the idea of perpetual commissions. Does a gallery deserve to get a piece of the sales of future paintings because the collector first became acquainted with the artist through the gallery?
This post spurred another 60 comments. If a collector buys one piece of yours through a gallery, then contacts you directly or through your website, do you pay your gallery a commission on any paintings sold to that collector? Horejs says this depends on how much you value your relationship with your gallery.
Commenters seemed to generally agree that supporting the gallery is supporting yourself, indirectly. If you want the gallery to work hard for you, treat them like a partner. Or, as Horejs says at one point, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The golden rule applies even in the business of art.
We’ll be watching RedDotBlog in the future for more useful information for artists.