Despair... What's going on?

Art is a commodity. There is no denying that. We know it, we choose to make art nonetheless and hope for the best. We take a leap of faith and create works of art with the hope that there will be people out there who will love them, love them enough to take them home and keep them forever!

But times are tough, and there's no denying that, either. When it's time to tighten the belt, the non-essentials are the first to be cut. Again, we know that. But there is a difference between being aware of it and seeing it with your own eyes.

For those of us who are still trying to get out there, the thought of being represented alone brings a little peace of mind. We think that once we are in, we are somewhat safe. You get local, regional and national representation and you are on your way. But what happens when your gallery drops you, or even worse, when it closes its doors? What do you do? This is a different kind of failure I am ashamed to admit I have never considered before.

Trying to make sense of things.

When I first moved to LA, I had the daunting task of scouting for prospective galleries where I could show my work. I don't like to waste my time or the time of others so, to improve my chances of being accepted, I had to keep in mind I should only contact galleries that represent emerging artists with a body of work somewhat similar to mine. Unfortunately, this list took a seriously long time to prepare. I looked at, literally, hundreds of places; each of which with its own sets of parameters. "Accepting submissions". "Check back for submissions". "We DO NOT accept unsolicited submissions". By the time I was done organizing this, I had no energy left to actually start submitting!

So I kept the list on file and decided to develop my body of work. Then Marine Layer happened. And Laguna Beach happened. And as much as I hate to admit it, I got complacent and a little lazy. I stopped pushing.

The new year came and it was time to keep things in check. I pulled out my list of galleries (now with a more considerable body of work to show) and, to my surprise, I started witnessing how so many of them are now closed. To make it even more tragic, some of the websites are still up, posing as painful digital gravestones that point us to the fallen and left behind. Further inspection led me to find out galleries that once accepted occasional submissions are now not accepting them, under any circumstances.

So, what now?

I honestly don't know. I want to keep working and creating even stronger pieces, as hard and, well, pointless as that may sound. As of now,  I am still trying to paint my new series in bigger formats, which as I've said before, it's proving to be very difficult. I guess I will be doing that and take it from there. As for now, I guess I'll just be bummed, thinking about all those poor artists and gallery owners.

Art is a cruel profession indeed.