Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Next round of art talks.

Anonymous said...
Well, I think that last comment pretty much sums up why some people don't want to take a number, and wait in line with a bunch of potentially really awful people that would take advantage of an online dialogue to say something that you would never dare to say in person. As an older working person, I find that I don't always enjoy being at an opening that is populated mainly by much younger people, and I can rarely make it to openings. I was not that "bitch" and I wasn't there, and I was trying to point out that if you are a gallery, you are there to make a profit, ultimately, if you want to survive. So you can be as high and mighty as you want about it, but in the end, you need the people with the money, not the people who are so busy being against the establishment that they'll never be able to buy anything other than a $20 Post-It. I don't excuse that woman being rude, but I'm willing to bet that she has been to many shows, and experienced many disappointments as a result of galleries that are not able or willing to accomodate the interested buyers. Am I wrong in thinking that this is art that hopes to survive, be taken seriously, and provide a living to its creators?

Of course, that's why I said we have a responsibility to our artists and customers. I mentioned many careers we have helped, and those are just a few. In the case of 1200 post its at $20, we can't cater to the wealthy or to just anyone who raises a stink. We've been in business for 12 years, more than 3 in the gallery business, and we are one of the early places for "low brow" art to show in a store setting. I think you're way off base, and don't know the history of what we do. That aside, I think you are condescending and I think maybe you need to think about yourself and less about my post.

Also, awful people could also include that woman. Our event was professional and orderly. It wasn't bad, the person who posted the "harsh" comment, probably didn't come to our show.

It is collected by and shown in museums, and no one is labeling it "low brow" to keep it out of the "real art" world. That reveals a complete lack of understanding of the art market, and what many museums and galleries are about. And many of those people that are collecting are not able to do it in person; we rely on the galleries to keep us informed of shows, and honor the system of a buyer's list. I don't like anyone getting skipped ahead of me, but I don't like thinking that any gallery would refuse to sell someone art because they simply don't like them.

We didn't do this. She left! I think you're not getting it. If she waited she could have bought what she wanted (there's an echo in here). We don't know if she's a collector or just a crackpot. It's possible she was a collector, but it's possible she wasn't. That's honestly of no consequence and it's not the point. However, thanks for acknowledging that you would have been unhappy with someone cutting in front of you. That's a big part of the point here. Those were simple rules.

No one should be able to buy every Post-It, and I think this show is a great way to get younger or less financially able buyers involved in and excited about art. But that doesn't mean you should say "No $20 art for you. This shows for all the kid that went without dinner to buy art. I'll call you next time I've got a really expensive Biskup available, though."

We didn't do this either, nor would we say this. (echo...) She just had to wait her turn in line.

I simply don't care for the name calling, and you sink to a level well below that woman's rudeness in doing so. You were right to not let her ahead of anyone, and she made the choice to leave. But I doubt that she will ever come back, if she has read any of this, and I don't know that it's worth it to lose a patron in order to enjoy saying some very nasty things. I think you rather destroyed any argument you had, claiming that you wanted the world to be all fair and considerate and gentlemanly, when you referred to this woman as a bitch, referenced the word several times, and then made comment about a "mother fuckin' Post-It." A gentleman would have said nothing, and been satisfied that this woman managed to purchase no art from his establishment.

My argument is clear, you read my response and didn't understand a thing. And the mother fuckin' Post-It was a reference to Snakes on a Plane! - the post soon before... Even if it wasn't, who cares if I call it a mother fuckin' Post It? Do you not watch PG movies? I'm sure any gentleman you know has even a more colorful vocabulary whether it's on the streets on in the bedroom.

Yes, bitch was a tough word, but what do you call someone who insists on cutting in front of others repeatedly? A nice person? She can read this and maybe learn something. I think you'd have referred to a person who acted in that way as a "bitch" too.

And no, I won't sit quietly, since 1) I am a publisher and co-editor of a magazine 2) I am willing to stand up to anyone who's going to cause problems in my store and business. 3) This is unjust, and I do believe in being fair. 4) This is a blog, this is where I can talk about things like this. Thanks for responding. I'm sure we can agree to disagree.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wealthy people believe that they are entitled to special treatment, because that just how they think. It's shocking to them when their money doesn't work the magic for them, as if gravity has just be cancelled. Gallery owners are not obligated to feed these people's delusion, especially in the expense of other patrons who are paying just as much money for the pieces as the wealthy people. On the other hand, if you are willing to exercise your money power and pay $100 for a post-it that's otherwise priced at $20, feel free to contact the artist directly and commission a piece all to yourself.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Eric, I must disagree with you on a couple of points. First, a gentleman (of the old school) would not refer to a woman as a "bitch", but would merely arch an eyebrow and remark that she's "not one of our sort of people." Second, a gentleman would refrain from use of the term m*therf*ckin'. Note however that these rules apply in public discourse and may be relaxed somewhat in the smoking lounge of one's club.

As for the above comment by anonymous, in fact the wealthy are entitled to special treatment, and money does indeed work magic for them. I could weary you with examples, but instead will note the hoary maxim, "People who say that money cannot buy happiness have had little experience with either."

I trust this finds you well, and please bring the post-it notes you held back from the show for me when you drop by to pick up your check. Ta for now.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi eric,

i stumbled across this interesting link to one person's experience, thoughts on comic con 2006


7:13 PM  
Blogger Enfu said...

I was standing in line for a train in Japan and was second in line standing side by side with my wife with about a fists width between me and the person in front. (japan=crowded).
An older man in his 40s slowly and intentionally slithered his foot out from my right and nudged in cutting in front of me. I was appalled, my mouth actually fell open, I turned and appealed with my eyes to my wife, whispering in english "That fucker cut in front of me!" She apathetically rolled her eyes and quietly explained thats the way it is.
Not for me, a 210lb 28 yr old Japanese American like myself isn't going to lie down and take it.
As the doors open you're supposed to line up in back if you're in the front, and this guy clings close to the doorway, essentially making the whole river of commuters enter into a smaller doorway. I thought to myself 'this fucker not only cuts, but he's in the way and wants the best position to get out'....
All this to say my small dose of personal justice for this dude was a nice quick but heavy elbow to his chest as I passed by him.

People who cut understand the concept of line. They simply must understand the consequence of cutting, and if its greater than the time you save it won't happen again.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Gabe said...

Having worked with Eric and Giant Robot on several art shows, and having 3 years experience working at one of LA's most influential art galleries, I can say that Giant Robot is in a unique position regarding its place in the art market, and its relationship with collectors.

Money drives the art market (as with just about any other commercial market), and since collectors have most of the cash, they in turn wield a certain amount of power over the galleries. Most art dealers have an obligation to keep these collectors happy in order to secure repeat business. This relationship between art dealers and long time collectors creates a cycle that, over time, tends to exclude those who are "late comers."

In the hopes of providing art to the masses, and not just the privileged few, Giant Robot (and Eric) places themselves in a unique position outside of this normal gallery/collector relationship. They of course would love to create repeat customers of their collectors, but they also feel an obligation to make the art purchasing process as level a playing field as they possibly can--whether it is through first come first served systems, not accepting purchases from "early birds," etc. This system has the chance of rubbing high-end collectors, who are used to preferential treatment, the wrong way. As a result, this may turn some high-end collectors away from doing business with Giant Robot since they 1) probably don’t want to deal with swarms of young kids flocking to art openings, and 2) feel entitled to a different level of customer care than Giant Robot is willing to provide. Many collectors require a degree of “hand-holding” through the art purchasing process, and Giant Robot does not provide this. This is because Giant Robot (BIG SHOCK!) is a STORE and not a GALLERY. This is not meant to be disrespectful in any way to Eric, his stores, the artists he shows and supports, and all that they have accomplished together in the past 3 years. This is just the reality of purchasing art from Giant Robot. “Serious” collectors should realize this well before they begin complaining about how art is sold at GR and ranting on about the unfair service they feel they have received.

Giant Robot’s unique status also has its advantages, which makes Giant Robot such a special place. Where else can a normal kid walk into a store and purchase art by the likes of Barry McGee, Ai Yamaguchi, and other world-renown artists? Granted a $4000 painting by Barry McGee is not the same as a $20 drawing on a post-it note, but essentially, at Giant Robot, they are one in the same. Both are items for sale—merchandise. And the same goes for the kid with $20 in his pocket, and the collector with $4000 in his wallet—both are customers. Put the two together (customers + merchandise, not the kid and the collector) and you’ve got a business. This simple equation, for the most part, translates into fairness when purchasing art at GR, and that is cool with me.

3:55 PM  
Blogger gr said...

A lot of people who see the glossy magazine and stores all over the place don't know how it has stapled-and-folded punk rock roots. Giant Robot has grown, but there's still an undercurrent of looking out for the underdog beating The Man. In the end, this is a case where we have gotten bigger but not buying into the system of The Man.


11:36 AM  
Anonymous isis said...

to the 3rd anonymous:

if money can buy you happiness, i hope it can buy you a brain because your comment was completely retarded. you clearly did not take in any of the information eric put out in responses to the main angry blogger. Who stuck their head up their ass and decided to make you head idiot? "not one of our sort of people?" give me a break, the lady was an impatient, rude customer. end of story.

ok i'm done. hey eric! :P

10:17 PM  
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8:18 PM  

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