The studio visit has always been essential to my business as a gallerist. Each year, I travel across the world, visiting up to 20 artists across Europe, China, Latin America and the U.S., to gain a better sense of what I like—and don’t like. The trips keep me grounded, connected to the work, and serve to develop the types of relationships I feel are necessary to grow both the artist and myself. I learn firsthand which museum acquisitions and private collections an artist has been a part of, and I evaluate whether the artist is a good investment—if he or she is producing at his or her full creative capacity.
Studio visits are critical to appreciating the evolution of an artist—and to be able to speak to collectors not just about the artwork but also about the creator. For this reason, it is important the gallerist or art dealer makes a connection, and a commitment, to the artist. Otherwise, the gallerist or dealer is just offloading inventory to their collectors. I do not sell inventory. I sell my artists.
One of the challenges, especially when representing three or four-dozen artists, is the time and capital required to travel globally for studio visits. Thankfully, my passion has always been exploration and travel. If I were not able to travel, I never would have entered this industry. As I explore, I refine and globalize my eye—an imperative in today’s market.
Last week, I traveled to Paris to visit photographer Iris Brosch, and then to Lyon to visit painter Eric Roux Fontaine.