Terrible Art Dealers and How to Spot Them

Terrible Art Dealers and How to Spot Them

I’ve writ­ten a ton of arti­cles over the years about the pro­to­col for artists– what to do, how to do it, how to approach this sit­u­a­tion or that, how to price your art, how to write or speak about your art or present it to poten­tial buy­ers, how to make sales, how to approach gal­leries, how to get shows, and on and on and on. Why? Because being an artist these days is way more com­pli­cat­ed than hol­ing up in the stu­dio and tap­ping into what­ev­er cre­ative impulse hap­pens to inspire you at the moment. The stu­dio is your sacred space and what­ev­er hap­pens there is yours and yours alone, but the instant you’re ready step out into the art world, know­ing what to expect can make your art life far eas­i­er and save you all kinds of pain and heartache as well.

Now the large major­i­ty of my writ­ing takes a decid­ed­ly pro-gallery and pro-deal­er approach because gal­leries so often play crit­i­cal roles for artists who want to get some­where in today’s art world. But you know some­thing? In the art gallery and art deal­er realm just like in any oth­er pro­fes­sion, there are exem­plars and there are ter­ri­ble peo­ple who should nev­er own a gallery or rep­re­sent artists– there’s not a lot of them mind you, but enough to make life dif­fi­cult for any artist who hap­pens to get mixed up with one. To com­pli­cate mat­ters, the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of artists will do just about any­thing to get their art into gal­leries, and less-than-hon­or­able deal­ers being well aware of this know exact­ly what to do in order to take advan­tage… and how far they can go.

Regard­less of what dri­ves bad gal­leries or deal­ers to do what they do, they can be real trou­ble and artists would do well to not to get involved. So in the inter­est of all artists every­where who are under the mis­tak­en impres­sion that gal­leries can do no wrong and that if some­one offers you an oppor­tu­ni­ty to show your art you auto­mat­i­cal­ly accept, I’m here to tell you they can do wrong… and they do… and it can be a real night­mare. The fol­low­ing is a quick tuto­r­i­al on how to spot and avoid that bane of banes– ter­ri­ble art dealers

Per­haps the num­ber one tipoff you’ve encoun­tered a malig­nant prac­ti­tion­er is when you begin to get the feel­ing they’re impor­tant and you’re not– like for instance they’re doing you a huge favor just by giv­ing you an audi­ence. Or they go on and on about how much mon­ey they have or how promi­nent they are, how great their gal­leries are, who they know, what boards they sit on, how many big deals they’re work­ing on, etc. Pom­pos­i­ty like this is an instant give­away. When the order of the day is for you to defer to them like roy­al­ty while they don’t even have the cour­tesy to treat you pro­fes­sion­al­ly or with respect, you’re in trou­ble. When you have to grov­el just to get them to look in your direc­tion, when they decide if or when they’ll respond to even your slight­est request, when it’s all about them, then it’s time for you to evac­u­ate the premis­es– and fast. These are not peo­ple you want to do busi­ness with.

Anoth­er indi­ca­tion that cau­tion may be in order is when a gallery you’ve nev­er done any busi­ness with makes mon­ster promis­es right off the top like entic­ing you with prospects of a fan­tas­tic solo show, expo­sure at art fairs, insid­er access, impres­sive sell­ing prices, and of course, sales, sales, and more sales– in spite of the fact that they don’t even know you, you don’t know them, and they have absolute­ly zero expe­ri­ence rep­re­sent­ing your art. Be aware that gal­leries are in heavy com­pe­ti­tion with each oth­er, par­tic­u­lar­ly in major art cen­ters, and if you hap­pen to be regard­ed as an artist with the poten­tial to make a gallery look good (like maybe you’ve got a pro­file, a big online fol­low­ing, or you can sell your art well), then con­sid­er your­self a prime tar­get for all kinds of offers– good as well as bad. Regard­less of their moti­va­tions, be aware that less scrupu­lous deal­ers will have no qualms about doing what­ev­er they have to do to sign you on– whether they have any inkling about being able to fol­low through on their promis­es or not.

Artists are par­tic­u­lar­ly vul­ner­a­ble to grandiose over­tures when they come from trendy new gal­leries, fresh on the scene and attract­ing lots of atten­tion. Though these venues may be the art­land dar­lings du jour, they’re often under­cap­i­tal­ized, inex­pe­ri­enced, have ten­u­ous (if any) col­lec­tor bases, and have no idea what it takes to sur­vive the long haul. In the real world, great gal­leries and great artist/gallery rela­tion­ships evolve slow­ly over time– nev­er overnight. Get all starstruck and place your fate in the hands of some­one who talks a great game if you want, but don’t be naive about poten­tial out­comes, and be aware in advance that the chances of their promis­es ful­ly mate­ri­al­iz­ing may not be any­where near as for-sure as they sound.

In oth­er words, don’t get caught up in the hype. If you’re one of those artists who’s for­tu­nate enough to be receiv­ing offers, some­times it’s bet­ter to go with an expe­ri­enced gallery, an estab­lished track record, and a long-term game plan than it is to go with delu­sions of grandeur, mirages of pros­per­i­ty, or the fla­vor of the day. FYI, it’s not all that unusu­al for fash­ion­able new gal­leries to be huge one month and extinct the next. In this busi­ness, stay­ing pow­er beats chic approx­i­mate­ly 100 per­cent of the time, so be care­ful about gam­bling on glam­our or the heat of the moment.

Now let’s say you inter­view with a gallery you’ve just recent­ly met or been intro­duced to, hear all the right stuff, the prog­no­sis seems sweet, and you’re ready to sign on. Here’s where a ter­ri­ble art deal­ers can get oppres­sive real­ly fast, par­tic­u­lar­ly with respect to what might be required of you in terms of art and oblig­a­tions. For exam­ple, watch out for gal­leries requir­ing you to sign agree­ments mak­ing them your sole and exclu­sive agents or rep­re­sen­ta­tives over large geo­graph­i­cal areas or online. Being asked to sign on with a new gallery for an extend­ed peri­od of time, say longer than a year or so– even though they have absolute­ly no expe­ri­ence sell­ing your art and your busi­ness rela­tion­ship is entire­ly untest­ed– is gen­er­al­ly not recommended.

A sure­fire deal squelch­er would be if you’re asked to either end all of your exist­ing rela­tion­ships with oth­er gal­leries or to pay the new gallery a per­cent­age of any works of art either you or your oth­er gal­leries sell no mat­ter how long­stand­ing those rela­tion­ships (it hap­pens; believe it). Don’t allow these lev­els of con­trol no mat­ter how bad­ly you want to get involved with any new gallery. Being forced to restrict or even sev­er estab­lished work­ing rela­tion­ships before hav­ing any idea whether the new gallery can suc­cess­ful­ly sell your art is tan­ta­mount to artis­tic sui­cide. If things don’t work out the way you hope they will, not only will you have burned all your bridges, but even worse, you may also end up hav­ing to go legal or buy your way out of suf­fo­cat­ing con­trac­tu­al obligations.

Speak­ing of exces­sive con­trols, avoid gal­leries that are secre­tive or refuse to talk about how they expect to rep­re­sent or sell your art or pay you when they sell it, and instead insist on total­ly dic­tat­ing and dom­i­nat­ing the rela­tion­ship. If you’ve already signed on, warn­ing signs include pre­tend­ing not to know or refus­ing to tell you who buys your art, not telling you in a time­ly man­ner when your art gets sold, being vague about when you’ll get paid, pre­vent­ing you from meet­ing your col­lec­tors, or oth­er­wise delib­er­ate­ly keep­ing you out of the loop. Some deal­ers actu­al­ly treat their artists like chil­dren, like they don’t under­stand, and attempt to sub­ju­gate and con­vince them that the deal­er always knows best. These sit­u­a­tions are pure poi­son, and the instant things start mov­ing in this direc­tion, get to work on your exit strategy.

Return­ing to con­tracts or agree­ments for one brief moment, if a gallery wants to show your art, you absolute­ly pos­i­tive­ly need some kind of for­mal agree­ment, a piece of paper you can hold in your hand. It’s that sim­ple and no more com­pli­cat­ed. No mat­ter how charm­ing, well healed, delight­ful, per­sua­sive, reas­sur­ing or impor­tant a gallery own­er appears to be, a casu­al hand­shake is nev­er enough unless, of course, you’re OK with risk­ing what­ev­er art you have on con­sign­ment as well as any prospects of get­ting paid any out­stand­ing bal­ance on sales if for any rea­son the rela­tion­ship goes bad. In fact, a deal­er’s reluc­tance or refusal to draw up a con­tract is almost always a warn­ing sign of a of sor­ry times to come.

As far as get­ting doc­u­men­ta­tion from a gallery on what art your con­sign­ing, it’s just like the con­tract. Either you get it in writ­ing signed by both par­ties or you walk. Beware when a deal­er gets casu­al or tells you not to wor­ry and that every­thing’s going to be OK. Care­less, air­head or nonex­is­tent record keep­ing ends up ugly approx­i­mate­ly 100 per­cent of the time, and is a great way for a devi­ous deal­er to vic­tim­ize an artist. Rest assured that if a gallery plays loose or has a laid back approach to the way they do busi­ness that soon­er or lat­er you’ll be plagued by mind laps­es about how much of your art they have on con­sign­ment, what they’ve sold, whether you’ve been paid, how much they owe you and so on. Espe­cial­ly watch out when a gallery is selec­tive­ly clue­less– like they’re extreme­ly on top of their over­all busi­ness, but when you ask for any sort of account­ing about your art, they come down with instant amnesia.

Regard­ing sell­ing prices, the worst deal­ers often seduce artists into com­ing onboard by promis­ing to bump their sell­ing prices on up into the ozone (with no expe­ri­ence sell­ing it of course, and no idea whether they actu­al­ly can). While all this tall talk may sound great in the­o­ry, it’s dan­ger­ous­ly short­sight­ed, greedy, main­ly in the deal­er’s inter­ests and rarely in those of the artist, par­tic­u­lar­ly over time. An artist’s prices have to rise in a delib­er­ate and order­ly man­ner, com­men­su­rate with that artist’s accom­plish­ments; no deal­er can arbi­trar­i­ly inflate an artist’s prices before their time, and espe­cial­ly before career accom­plish­ments war­rant it.

Gal­leries who raise artist prices too high too fast fre­quent­ly out­strip their col­lec­tors’ appetites for risk and end up pric­ing them­selves right out of the game. And then there’s the pres­sure to val­i­date those prices with suc­cess after suc­cess. If an artist whose prices are con­stant­ly at the absolute top of the mar­ket hap­pens to stum­ble or have a soft show, the fall­out can be sig­nif­i­cant. At worst, sales can fall off a cliff and the result­ing col­lapse will be almost like hav­ing to start over. Gal­leries may also be reluc­tant to show you because your prices got so far ahead of what they can sell your art for. Remem­ber– big price promis­es often come with big poten­tial down­sides so watch out when some­one claims they can make you rich and famous for no ratio­nal reason.

OK. Time to broach the bot­tom line– get­ting paid when a gallery sells your art. Hope­ful­ly, you and your gallery have agreed on when and how pay­ment is to be made and you both have it in writ­ing. If you don’t, then watch out. The art busi­ness is tough and get­ting paid can be chal­leng­ing. Worse yet, get­ting paid by duplic­i­tous deal­ers who could care less about you and more about their own per­son­al finan­cial oblig­a­tions can real­ly be chal­leng­ing. Since this arti­cle all about them, let’s talk warn­ing signs so you can diag­nose a bad sit­u­a­tion before it’s too late, hope­ful­ly recoup as much of your art and mon­ey pos­si­ble, and then get out.

Deal­ers com­mon­ly stop pay­ing artists because their gal­leries run into finan­cial prob­lems. Rep­utable ones will approach their artists, tell them what’s hap­pen­ing and try to work through dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions; less rep­utable ones have no qualms about tak­ing what­ev­er prof­its they can get before the ship sinks. So a real­ly good idea is to reg­u­lar­ly speak with oth­er artists they rep­re­sent and keep tabs on how things are going in terms of get­ting paid. If you don’t, you might not real­ize what’s hap­pen­ing until it’s too late.

Equal­ly impor­tant is to mon­i­tor your gallery’s finan­cial health, and a great way to do that is to keep tabs on the con­sis­ten­cy of their expen­di­tures. If they start cut­ting back, this could mean they’re run­ning low on funds, and if that’s the case, con­sid­er your­self on notice that get­ting paid for your art or even get­ting con­signed art returned to you might get dif­fi­cult. For exam­ple, let’s say a gallery agrees to give you a show and they’re total­ly sup­port­ive of your work, but when show time rolls around, they balk at doing what’s nec­es­sary to present it at its best– like sud­den­ly they won’t even pay for the hard­ware to hang it. When a deal­er’s agen­da appears to be chang­ing from mak­ing mon­ey to just stay­ing afloat, the time has come for the two of you to either talk it out or if for some rea­son that’s not an option and the deal­er refus­es, to start plan­ning your escape route.

Whether a deal­er is hav­ing finan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties or not, con­tin­u­al excus­es about why they can’t pay you also fall into the seri­ous­ly bad omen cat­e­go­ry, espe­cial­ly when the tall tales have noth­ing to do with your art. Like maybe their “invest­ments” are tied up, or they promise you’ll get yours as soon as the sec­ond mort­gage is final­ized or the Mer­cedes sells or the law­suit set­tles, etc. “Not right now but soon… the deal’s almost closed.” Some even add insult to injury by fram­ing their delay tac­tics like they have all this big buck stuff going on– all way big­ger than you– and that when the cash comes through, you’ll get your lit­tle pittance.

This stuff sure isn’t pret­ty, but it’s pret­ty nec­es­sary for you to be aware of from a pre­ven­tion per­spec­tive– spot­ting the warn­ing signs and know­ing when to get out before it’s too late, or bet­ter yet, know­ing when not to get involved in the first place.

As in any pro­fes­sion, the large major­i­ty of art deal­ers and art gal­leries are total­ly rep­utable, respon­si­ble and con­sid­er­ate of every­one they do busi­ness with. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, a despi­ca­ble few are any­thing but. So in hon­or of that small but sleazy cadre of scoundrels, what fol­lows is a list of behav­iors to watch out for and hope­ful­ly to avoid, regard­less of whether you’re an artist or a col­lec­tor. Know­ing how to iden­ti­fy and avoid deceit­ful deal­ers keeps them from infect­ing your life. Thanks to all the artists and gallery own­ers who pro­vid­ed the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion. And now for the list…

* Ter­ri­ble art deal­ers con­stant­ly remind artists how impor­tant they are and how impor­tant their gal­leries are (the infer­ence, of course, being how unim­por­tant the artists are). They rarely pass up an oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­claim their magnificence.

* They tell artists they’re doing them huge favors by rep­re­sent­ing them or show­ing their art.

* They insist on con­trol­ling and micro­manag­ing the careers of their artists even to the point of mak­ing cre­ative deci­sions for them, aka telling them what their art should look like. This may even include inter­fer­ing with suc­cess­ful or long­stand­ing pre-exist­ing busi­ness or per­son­al rela­tion­ships. When an gallery own­er does­n’t allow you to make you own deci­sions, that’s trouble.

* They are either reluc­tant or com­plete­ly refuse to pro­vide or sign any con­tracts, agree­ments, item­iza­tions, con­sign­ment lists or oth­er doc­u­ments for­mal­iz­ing any arrange­ments between them and their artists.

* Bad art deal­ers want a cut of every­thing– past, present and future– even trans­ac­tions tak­ing place with­in pre­vi­ous­ly estab­lished relationships.

* They refuse to nego­ti­ate and instead dic­tate every­thing. If they have this atti­tude with you, they like­ly have it with oth­er artists, deal­ers and col­lec­tors as well. Inabil­i­ties to com­pro­mise or be flex­i­ble are often detri­men­tal to the suc­cess of a gallery… as well as to its artists.

* They’re almost always too busy to meet or speak with their artists, often com­ing up with pathet­ic or insult­ing excus­es like they have “much big­ger deals” they’re work­ing on.

* They give eva­sive answers to mat­ter-of-fact ques­tions about gallery poli­cies, about who cov­ers ship­ping, whether they’re insured against loss or dam­age, how and when artists get paid, whether they’ve sold any of an artist’s work, how much they’re sell­ing the art for, where an artist’s unsold works of art are being kept, and so on.

* They don’t pay their artists on time. Always inter­view artists who are rep­re­sent­ed by any gallery you’re con­sid­er­ing show­ing with before you sign on and no mat­ter how des­per­ate you are for a show. If you find out they owe mon­ey to either one or more of their artists, ask those artists why. Non­pay­ment is almost always a bad sign, unless with­in the accept­ed guide­lines of a con­tract. Non­pay­ment cou­pled with refusal to either nego­ti­ate or dis­cuss the mat­ter is typ­i­cal­ly a ter­mi­nal sign. And don’t think the sit­u­a­tion’s going to be any dif­fer­ent for you than it is for the oth­er artists.

* They don’t tell their artists in a time­ly man­ner when art sells, but instead wait until the artist asks, and even then they’ll still try to put off telling them for as long as possible.

* With­out telling their artists, they either keep pieces of art for them­selves or sell them, and then instead of return­ing them when the artists ask for them back, claim they’ve already been returned. (In oth­er words, make sure you have com­plete writ­ten records of all con­signed art­works and that both par­ties sign off on every sin­gle sale or transfer.)

* Ter­ri­ble art deal­ers secret­ly raise prices beyond the amounts agreed upon with their artists, and then pock­et the extra prof­its for themselves.

* They ask artists to sub­stan­tial­ly reduce their prices for no spe­cif­ic rea­son, but are either eva­sive or refuse to dis­cuss if or how that affects the com­mis­sion split with the gallery. You want to make sure price reduc­tions are equal­ly split between you and the gallery, and not that the gallery makes the same amount on a sale while you agree to make less.

* They sell an artist’s art for below the agreed upon price with­out telling the artist first or ask­ing whether it’s OK to give an addi­tion­al dis­count. Or after a dis­count­ed sale, they either ask the artist to take less mon­ey for the art or sim­ply pay the artist less.

* When bad art deal­ers get into finan­cial trou­ble, they keep sell­ing their artists’ art but stop pay­ing the artists for it. If you stop get­ting paid for any rea­son, act imme­di­ate­ly and get some­thing in writ­ing from the gallery about how and when they intend to pay you. If they won’t give you that, pre­pare to evacuate.

* Even though the artists they screw often leave those gal­leries, unscrupu­lous deal­ers will keep those artists’ names on their web­sites, mak­ing it seem like they still rep­re­sent them. Before get­ting involved with any gallery, always check with a good num­ber of artists on their web­site to make sure they’re actu­al­ly rep­re­sent­ed by that gallery. If they’re not, find out why– or bet­ter yet, watch out.

* They trash artists who leave their gal­leries, even though those artists may have had excel­lent rea­sons for doing so. If an art deal­er bad­mouth’s one or more artists, it’s best to con­tact those artists for their sides of the sto­ry. Far too many artists take every­thing that comes out of art deal­ers’ mouths as gospel. You need as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble from all par­ties involved in order to make intel­li­gent deci­sions. By the way, if they bad­mouth oth­er artists, they’re per­fect­ly capa­ble of doing the same to you.

* They don’t know how to han­dle art or they han­dle it care­less­ly. Make sure you watch how a gallery han­dles art. Do they know what they’re doing? Are they care­ful? Do they have a casu­al atti­tude? Do they know how to pack and ship it? How a gallery han­dles art is not only a key indi­ca­tor of their expe­ri­ence in the busi­ness, but even more impor­tant­ly, of their respect for art and artists in gen­er­al. That said, if you make frag­ile or dif­fi­cult-to-han­dle art, be sure to pro­vide spe­cif­ic instruc­tions on how to pack, ship and care for it. Don’t expect the deal­ers to know every­thing espe­cial­ly if your work is unique or unusu­al in some way.

* A corol­lary to the above is that ter­ri­ble art deal­ers have a his­to­ry of return­ing unsold art to artists in worse con­di­tion than they received it. As if that’s not bad enough, they often say noth­ing about it to the artists, and nev­er sug­gest that either they or their insur­ance com­pa­nies will pay for the dam­age (assum­ing they’re insured in the first place, which you had bet­ter be sure of before get­ting involved).

* In order to get new artists to sign on, the most con­temptible deal­ers tell them every­thing they want to hear, regard­less of whether they have any expe­ri­ence show­ing or sell­ing their art, or have any idea how much they can sell. They promise the moon, tell artists they’ll make them famous, talk about bump­ing up sell­ing prices way beyond what they are now, or what­ev­er else is nec­es­sary to con­vince the artist to say yes.

* A corol­lary to the above is that after mak­ing huge promis­es, bad art deal­ers don’t fol­low through– or can’t fol­low through. For exam­ple, they dou­ble or triple your prices (or more), noth­ing sells, they give you your art back, and you’re stuck with an over­priced inven­to­ry and a bruised or dam­aged reputation.

* Unscrupu­lous gal­leries often require artists to sign oppres­sive long-term con­tracts giv­ing the gallery either sub­stan­tial or exclu­sive rights to rep­re­sent and sell the art every­where– before even sell­ing piece num­ber one. If you meet with a gallery own­er like this who wants to give you a first show, tell them they can have their rights for three months or six months, or some oth­er rea­son­able peri­od of time– and nev­er nation­al­ly or inter­na­tion­al­ly– maybe region­al­ly or even statewide, but not beyond that. Nev­er sign away the rights to rep­re­sent your art for extend­ed peri­ods of time– no longer than a year– unless the gallery proves after a show or two that they can sell your work and are hon­est and easy to work with. Even then, take it step by step. A gallery has to prove they can make good on their promis­es before you enter into any seri­ous long-term busi­ness rela­tion­ships or agreements.

* Bad gallery own­ers have a his­to­ry of get­ting involved in legal actions– from either side– either them going legal on their artists or their artists going legal on them. Or they reg­u­lar­ly threat­en legal action or talk about what they’ll do to any­one who does­n’t go along with their pro­gram. Lit­i­ga­tion is expen­sive, time con­sum­ing, and hard­ly ever pleas­ant. These are not peo­ple you want to do busi­ness with.

* Even though bad art deal­ers may be brand new, basi­cal­ly untest­ed and have lit­tle or no track record of suc­cess, they act like they’re real­ly impor­tant, a going con­cern, and will have no prob­lems sell­ing your work.

* The deal­er has a rep­u­ta­tion for strange or eccen­tric behav­iors or for mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for their artists. Again– don’t think you’re going to be the excep­tion, no mat­ter how won­der­ful­ly they treat you at the outset.

* Bad art deal­ers often give ulti­ma­tums. For exam­ple, they’ll tell an artist what to make, how many to make, how large it should be, and so on, the implic­it mes­sage for the artist being not to make what they want to make, but rather what the gallery thinks they can sell the eas­i­est. Deal­ers can cer­tain­ly sug­gest what might have sales poten­tial or what direc­tions an artist might explore, espe­cial­ly once a good work­ing rela­tion­ship is estab­lished, but they should nev­er insist that artists make par­tic­u­lar types of art. There’s a major dif­fer­ence between being demand­ing and being supportive.

* Bad art gal­leries (and these days, art spec­u­la­tors or “flip­pers”) offer artists arti­fi­cial­ly low stipends or advances to cre­ate or buy their art, then take con­trol of that art out­right and give the artists noth­ing more for it, no mat­ter how much they might end up sell­ing it for.

* They tell artists they’ll take care of the num­bers, inven­to­ry, pay­ments, and all oth­er busi­ness mat­ters and not to wor­ry. You bet­ter wor­ry! And you bet­ter keep track of every sin­gle work of art you con­sign as well as its cur­rent sta­tus. Any­time a deal­er is cagey about pro­vid­ing this kind of data, that’s a sure sign of prob­lems down the road.

* They’re either reluc­tant or refuse to give con­sign­ment sheets or any forms of receipts item­iz­ing and detail­ing each indi­vid­ual work of art they receive from an artist. They refuse to put mon­e­tary details in writ­ing includ­ing agreed upon sell­ing prices, how dis­counts are han­dled, com­mis­sion splits between the artist and gallery, pay­ment sched­ules, and so on. Ver­bal agree­ments on these issues are nev­er enough!

* They pro­vide con­sign­ment agree­ments or con­tracts with stip­u­la­tions or require­ments that were nev­er men­tioned or dis­cussed in meet­ings or con­ver­sa­tions about the respon­si­bil­i­ties of each par­ty in the artist/gallery rela­tion­ship. For exam­ple see­ing, “Artist shares cost of ship­ping, fram­ing, insur­ance or pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als such as adver­tise­ments and PR” when noth­ing like this was ever talked about in advance.

* And last but not least, they sex­u­al­ly harass their artists or employ­ees or make per­sis­tent, inap­pro­pri­ate or unwant­ed com­ments, remarks or advances that have noth­ing to do with art.

So there you have it. It’s cer­tain­ly not every­thing, but hope­ful­ly enough to get you start­ed. Remem­ber– be vig­i­lant and atten­tive at all times, trust your instincts, and the most impor­tant part: Don’t ever let any deal­er or gallery ever push you around.