I spent almost every weekend in July in Paris. Sounds glamorous no? Of course nothing is less glamorous than schlepping yourself through the metro to do gallery research. Of course, it does still beat having an office job.
So, FrenchBoy and I arrived in Paris Saturday morning. We did some shopping and bought some fancy new cutlery and then went to lunch where he proceeded to sneeze and cough and begin to run a very high fever. I sent him directly back to the hotel to sleep, which meant that I was stuck doing gallery hopping without my favorite gallery hopping companion. Boo Hoo.
I've probably mentined this before-- FrenchBoy knows very little about art, but he sure loves looking at it. Heck, he loved Art Basel, FIAC, and the Berlin Biennial as much as I did. In fact I love going gallery hopping with him because I like to have someone to compare notes with after we leave each gallery. (Me: “Did you see how snotty the receptionist was?” Him: “No, but did you see how many typos they had on their price list? Ils sont nuls!”) Also suddenly with him on my arm I’m not just another sweaty tourist or an artist trolling for representation or inspiration. I could be a collector! I admit it. He’s…my disguise!
So since my “Art Beard” had a fever, I set off to Le Marais solo. I knew many galleries were closed already for the summer, but I figured I’d at least be able to visit a few. Unfortunately, almost every gallery I visited was just…horrid. My friend Julie, another artist from New York, was in Paris the weekend before and she had mentioned how crappy she found most of the galleries to be compared to New York, but I was hoping I’d magically stumble upon a few good ones. No such luck.
I’m not even going to start criticizing the actual artwork, because the thing I found most appalling was the galleries themselves. Two particular instance stand out in my mind. The first being the fancy gallery near Place des Vosges where the gallery assistant was scaring everyone away with her evil glare before they would even try to enter, and my favorite being the gallery where the seemingly drunk receptionist refused to make eye contact with clients!
Now, I can take being treated poorly, but what if it was my work in this gallery and a drunk gallery receptionist treated my collectors like that? One by one my already modest list was being reduced to almost nothing. Not one of these galleries woudl be suitable for mywork!
But just when I was about to lose all hope and head back to the hotel completely deflated, I ran across one tiny little gem. I saw a group show of all of their artists. I read their resumes, and checked their price lists. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about this gallery. Even the 2 women working the reception desk were helpful and chatty. Chatty I tell you! Also, as I was checking things out, 2 people actually bought 2 paintings. So, apparently they sell stuff!....which is always a bonus.
Ok, so, I don’t want to jinx it yet by talking about it, and I’m not running to dust of my slides just yet, but I am excited to see what they have on for the fall!