There's no HR in the art world. (Lecture on June 27!)
First of all, I'm excited to be giving a lecture at Sotheby's Institute on June 27 about working in galleries. E-mail me directly (email@example.com) to RSVP. I'm leaving the exactitudes of the lecture wide-open, but typically I do more Q & A than anything else.
I've also been working on chronicling the joys of my previous gallery work. It begins here with more to follow:
Some of the best things said to me by various gallery owners:
1. “I used to only hire tall, blonde girls and now I have someone like you.”
2. “Those shoes look like the ‘before’ shoes from The Devil Wears Prada.”
3. “You are definitely gaining weight, I can see it in your face." Then, she (the dealer) proceeded to grab the area under my chin - an area I wasn’t self-conscious of until that moment - and now have been forevermore.
4. On correcting my approach with male collectors: “You speak too intelligently - male collectors don’t like that. You should work on sounding dumber. Smart doesn’t get too far here.”
5. The gallery owner speaking to a collector about me, close enough so that I could hear, “Yeah I’d like to take Lily into the backroom, see what happens.”
I know a lot of you have similar stories, so do us all a favor and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for a project they're working on - they'll keep your secrets (and your anonymity).
Disclaimer: Of course, I am but one person in a sea of gallery workers, with only my experience to write about at the moment. Once in a blue moon I hear about someone working in a gallery that loves their job. And note that in a heartbeat I’d work for Queen Paula Cooper ;)
To be continued...