Overheard at Art Fairs

Howard Rehs recently published some of his favorite questions and comments from visitors to his booth at various art fairs. Here’s another installment:

What you need to remember is that dealers, while participating at shows, can  see thousands of people every day and while you think your comment /question is unique, odds are it is not and they have probably heard it more times than they want to remember.

  1. Are you selling the frames or the paintings?  I know you are saying … no way someone said that!  Well, yes they did and it happened at the recent show in Chicago.  To make it even worse, the individual was wearing a press badge and videotaping our works.  Now here was my answer:  Yes, we are selling the frames and as a bonus you get the painting at no additional charge!
  2. Do you buy paintings?  No, we just sell them.  Come on people; get with the program.  Of course we BUY paintings … otherwise we would have very little, or nothing, to sell.
  3. I cannot afford them, but thanks for bringing them.  You’re welcome!
  4. When I win the lottery I will be back.  We hear this one at every show and with the typical lottery odds it is more than likely that you will not be back.  Let me say this … I hope I hit the winning numbers first – then I can go sit in a little hut on a beach in Tahiti.
  5. I would love to buy something but you just don’t have what I am looking for.  The real question is — do you have any idea what you are looking for?  Probably not. So this is another comment better left unsaid.
  6. I’ll know it when it hits me.  I am not a violent person, but don’t tempt me!  I have always wanted to hit someone with a painting just to see if they would buy it.
  7. I’ll know it when I see it (goes along with the last two).  Now this is usually a comment from someone who really has no intention of buying – it is an easy way, in their mind, to move on.
  8. What is your best price?  Look, a dealer’s BEST price is one that is far MORE than the work is currently priced at.  We all know there is usually a little wiggle room in everything, and if you are going to ask for a LOWER price be prepared to make a deal.  Try not to waste the dealer’s time.