This is the second of the 9 paintings that I gave to the Italian gallery @barbarafrigeriogallery in Milan who has sold them all, and months later is still withholding payment.
The disgust we all feel comes from this situation: When an artist has a solo show with a gallery, it is an equal and respectable agreement. The artist spends months or more enveloped in creating their art, and we hand them to the gallery in full trust, for the opening night. Sales are made and the gallery thrives, everyone says “oh” and “wow” and “loved it, thank you!” After the agreed upon typical thirty days, the artist is to be given the money that the collectors entrusted with the gallery to give directly to the artist. In this way, the artist can eat, buy more supplies, make more art to give to that gallery and change the world, and they both thrive and grow, together. It is a symbiosis. We need them, and they would have nothing without us.
But what do we do when we fulfill our agreement, delivering paintings for the shows, paintings with which the gallery makes money, and then, incredibly, they refuse to pay us when due? You realize, this means they spent your money, either because they were already in debt, or on their own fancies, whatever it was, it was your money so that you as an artist may continue to live and create.
Imagine if you promised a gallery a huge solo show, and on opening night, you give them nothing. NO paintings. They would be outraged. Cheated. Disrespected. Just imagine that situation for a minute.
So why, when the tables are turned, does the light still shine and the disrespect stay silent, while the artist suffers and the gallery now has twice as much? It’s so ridiculous it hurts.
I would never wish this situation upon any other artist. And more than anything these days we need to support the galleries which stand as bastions of respect for our culture. As for me, I just want to be paid for everything I did, so I may be relieved of this terrible situation, and continue to create in my own peace.