Free How To become An Art Dealer Video Course

Interview with Michelle D'Souza, Director at the Lisson Gallery, London.
A Videojug Production

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Art Dealer:
Becoming An Art Dealer


Passion and talent will push you forward. But You needs both!

Experience, experience, experience! Try getting to work in an Art Gallery.

A Master degree (e.g. in History of Art, Librarian Sciences) helps but it's not always necessary. You can learn by yourself, too!

Usually it's a full time job.

Never thought of becoming a curator or, yes, a collector yourself?

Art Dealer:
Working As An Art Gallery Dealer


Two kinds of Dealers: working with artists, and working without real artists but selling their work for clients

Usually a gallery working with artists represent in average 20 artists. More respected/older galleries may have far more artists

Selling is done to private collectors (small, lighter objects), museums or foundations (small art or larger, complex installations)

Commission bonus or year end bonus are the two ways an art agent working for a gallery earns money.

Earning varies. They can reach £100'000s of pounds

Galleries accept returns if client is not happy after a while

Older artists may have a say on to whom to sell.In the USA there is the tendency to sell to private private collectors who in turn may give their collection to museum and take advantage of large tax benefits.

Buyers are divided in 3 tiers in terms of purchasing power:

  • 1st tier - Museums
  • 2nd tier- large foundations and respectable collections
  • 3 tier - private individuals

Art Dealer:
Life Of An Art Dealer


August and December/January are quite moments otherwise the pace is quite hectic.
An art dealer fill the gap between an artist and a client.

There is a lot of Travelling involved, 3-4 times a month.

Main events are in Basel, the Fete in Paris, Miami, Frise in london, Armory in New York.

A good artist shapes the History of Art, like Duchamp.

Negative points: too much travelling, moody artists. Positive points: exciting and ever changing environment full of opportunities.

All artists have ups and downs.

Art Dealer:
Art Collecting

SUMMARY: if on a budget buy what you like of young artists. If you want to start a serious collection and have the money, buy works of respected artists.

Space is the limit. Paintings and art which can hang is easier to collect than sculpture.

Today is very difficult to buy from artists directly since they are recruited by artists while still in school!

Best way to see emerging artists: Biennal show such as Instabul, Biennale Venice, Documenta (Germany), and Muster (Germany), (non-solo-arte-com Note, I would also include Basel, Switzerland).

Art Dealer:
How To Know What A Buyer Wants

By knowing their taste and by knowing the market and art history. In short: by experience.

Art Dealer:
How To Find New Artists To Represent

SUMMARY: by word of mouth (e.g. other artists, professors). Always never by receiving slides and letters from unknown people.

Art Dealer:
Art Dealing: How To Recruit Artists To Your Gallery

SUMMARY: Recommendation by word of mouth from teachers and friends.

Art Dealer:
Art Dealing: How To Sign An Artist Once You Have Discovered Them


By personally following them for 1- 2 years before offering a first exhibition. Then we follow their career.
Other galleries simply offer a one off exhibition and that's it.

Art Dealer:
How To Tell If An Artist's Work Is Going To Sell


Nobody knows!

Art Dealer:
Art Dealing: How To Cope With A Difficult Artist


All artists are difficult. They all need nurturing, too.

Art Dealer:
How To Inform Buyers About New Artworks


Today simply with images by email.





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In the example below, a price chart for an investment in Francois Boucher, the French Rococo painter, from 1998 to 2010.

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