Curatorial Fees?

You can read in the PAKS Website:
In our art gallery in Lower Austria you can discover well-known and emerging artists. In the PAKS Gallery in Lower Austria in castle Hubertendorf you can buy artworks and buy fine art prints in museum quality.

Dear Carlos Fentanes,  
Our curator team has seen your artworks and finds these very impressive.  
PAKS Gallery and MAMAG Museum invite you to exhibit your art during the Cannes Film Festival, Art Basel Week and Carrousel du Louvre. You can also be part of these great exhibitions. 
Here i send You informations to the participations in the Biennials, as also about the possibility to be represented by the PAKS Gallery and show Your art in MAMAG Modern Art Museum. 

I received this note a few weeks ago and I thought that it could be a good example for one of my blogs. 

Gallery representation with one artwork with max size of 80cm x 80cm on the wall in the PAKS gallery + one artwork in the storage during the representation time. 
Cost of participation: 980 Euro. 

I’m not against paying for a curatorial selection for an exhibition but this is not the case, here they are not doing any kind of curatorial work: basically if you pay, you’re in, if you don’t pay you’re out. 

Why did I receive this message? Is it worth it? Can they tell me who is in besides me? Is this a serious gallery? I visit their website and what I saw is a lot of bad art with very little of proposal on it.  

What is the business model in this gallery? I mean, where most of the income comes from? Is it from selling art or from the “representation” fees? Just imagine that you have a thousand artists hungry for showing their work and you offer them an opportunity with no filters, very democratic, where there’s no necessary talent or quality, you just need to pay a very considerable sum of money if you compare it with other spaces, but they assure you an space in their gallery. That is good if you have to let your mother knows that you are an international artist with exhibitions in Europe, but it won’t help you in your career, there’s no serious collectors attending this shows. 

My advice? Do not waste your money in such events, they’re only there to take your money, not to promote your art. 

8 responses to “Curatorial Fees?”

  1. Thanks for this post. I just got the same email and it felt like a scam, so I went searching for more information and found your blog. It’s so important to share these experiences.

    1. I received the same… would be worth it perhaps if they were selective, but most likely not. I had a similar experience with IT’S LIQUID, another pay for play gallery in Venice. I paid and my work was hung, but when I saw how many works they jammed into the gallery space I was very disappointed! The show, and much of the work was average at best. I actually sent a photographer there to shoot my work on the wall, and then photoshopped out most of the pieces that hung next to mine! no joke.

  2. Aptly true review. I doubt their proficiency I got same e-mail. Thank you for publishing this for others to see.

  3. I also recieved exactly the same message!

  4. I received both its liquid and that packs gallery invitations. skipped them – not cost effective, and feels like ridding on my dream to be famous. Good job in bringing those issues.

  5. Thank you for the heads up. I received an email as well. I am interested in where they are getting our names because I am a very local artist from Portland who has never had anything in a gallery. I was stunned at first, then I saw the price to play and I went back to “if it sounds too good to be true…”. I find that it is so time consuming to have to research every little thing to make sure it is not a scam. Thanks again!

  6. Yes, they email me all of the time. I did see someone that had a solid reputation buy into the scam and was truly startled that they went for it. Bad news for the rest of us because it keeps them going enough to continue spamming us.

  7. Textile artist in Florida and got an invite too.too bad it sounds like someone’s good idea to get a bunch of artist’s money.

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