Georgina Adam’s FT column contains this interesting account of a panel at the Barcelona Talking Galleries conference which is meant to bring independent galleries together to discuss the changing business of selling art.
What makes the item noteworthy is that the conference held a panel on the new, and fairly theoretical, role of artist’s agent without having an agent there to speak. The result seems to have been a straw-man conversation where a collector hypothesized what an agent might do and how the agent might get paid. What was missing was any reference to existing practices.
A dealer hypothesized that he wouldn’t like it:
Adam Sheffer, of Cheim and Read, also president of the Art Dealers Association of America, saw a number of pitfalls. “Much of what you have described could be my own job description!” he said. “The idea could mean that the financial success of the agent would be beholden to the success of the dealer and artist, and they would direct artists to galleries where they get better money.”
Others raised concerns that the agent could be the equivalent of some art advisers — those equipped with little more than a pair of Louboutins and a fat address book — and interfere with the clarity and confidence of the artist-dealer relationship. “Like a ménage à trois!” quipped one participant.
The Art Market: Italians in NYC (FT.com)