Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Current State of the ART Market Series # 1- Daniel Cooney, Gallery Owner

Daniel Cooney of Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery right at home in front of the current show on display-Christoph Gielen ARCADIA November 20 – January 31, 2009

Lucas Foglia, Alex's Magnolia Leaf Rain Hat, North Carolina, 2007
Currently part of  i-Gavel , Emerging Photographers Auction

This is the first interview/profile of the Current State of the ART Market Series. Artmostfierce had a Q & A with Daniel Cooney Owner of Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery in the Gallery District in Chelsea, NYC. Lets see Daniel has to reveal to us!

Ruben Natal San Miguel-What is the main purpose behind the Emerging Artists Auction through i-Gavel?

Daniel Cooney-The main purpose of the Emerging Artists Auctions are to raise awareness within the collecting community of the importance of supporting young artists and the organizations that support them (including commercial and non profit). I started my gallery 4 1/2 years ago with the idea of showing emerging artists and building their careers along with mine and the reputation of the gallery. Now that many of the artists I originally started with such as Carrie Levy, Stuart O’Sullivan and Sarah Pickering have reached a certain level of success I became aware that I needed to keep growing with them but also reinstate my intention to find and show the best of emerging artists.

I have been producing the photography and fine art auctions on iGavel since I left Sotheby’s in 2003. Those auctions have always been exclusively secondary market material that is on consignment to me from collectors. I’ve had the idea of the Emerging Artists Auctions in the back of my head for a while but was never sure how to organize them or what the response would be. October came and it seemed like the world fell apart. Suddenly everyone stopped buying and even my collectors that I thought would “always be there” disappeared. I decided it was either “fight or flight” and a lot of the ideas that were once on the back burner moved to the front. I am now conducting more auctions of secondary market material (the next one starts Jan 27 on iGavel) and adding the Emerging Artists Auctions to the mix. The first Emerging Auction that I did in December was purely an experiment. I only had 25 lots and 20 of them sold, plus we had an amazing response in the online community with blogs etc. Additionally the auction brought 9 new clients to the gallery that I had not had any contact with previously. In addition to the auctions I am now presenting two or three person shows at the gallery as opposed to my usual schedule of solo shows. Additionally, Carrie Levy and I are teaching weekend workshops at the gallery. The first is titled “Finding the Right Gallery for You” and will be held at the gallery on Feb 7 and 8.

 RNSM-Does create for you any type of conflict doing both a gallery show and an on line auction at the same time?

DC- I think holding the auctions and running the gallery are very beneficial to each other. I leave my shows up for at least two months so that I have enough time to work on both the exhibitions and auctions. That is beneficial to the artists that I show in the gallery because it gives more time for press and collectors to see the work. I hope that the artists in the auction benefit from being associated with my gallery as I know I benefit by being associated with them. Also, having the public space gives the artists in the auctions a place for their prints to be seen. I always have the auction material available at the gallery, although not on the walls but I do show them to almost anyone I know who walks in the door. In a practical sense the exhibitions and auctions need each other. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent without both and there is a lot of crossover between my auction clients and my gallery clients, it helps to broaden the collector base significantly.

RNSM- How do you find the emerging artists? Do they come to you?

DC- I find the artists through word of mouth, suggestions from dealers, curators, artists and various portfolio reviews that I participate in. I find working with young artists incredibly refreshing and invigorating because it is such a supportive and huge network of interesting and intelligent people. Some do come to me which is fine. I’m always glad to at least have something to offer an artist even if they might not be a good fit for my gallery program.

RNSM-As a gallery owner , what kind of strategies are you implementing or modifying to stay afloat and keep up with the Art market demands in this current economic climate?

DC- I’m cutting back on any expense that is not absolutely necessary and thinking high volume, low cost. Collecting is like a disease. They might buy less expensive work or be more assertive about discounts but they aren’t going to stop collecting.

RNSM- What is the best advise you can provide to a new , mid-range or already established artists to weather this economic turmoil?

DC-I actually think this is a great time for younger artists because there is not as much expectation to show, sell etc. They should be working in their studios or where ever they produce their work and not worry about promoting their work. Then, maybe when this is all over they will have a solid body of work to show the world. In the previous years there has been too much attention to “the hot new thing” and everyone with an MFA thought it would be them. That is a totally ass backwards way to go about an art career. I really don’t know what to say to mid career or more established artists because I’m not there myself!

RNSM-Thanks Dan for all your insight and thoughts !

And for all of you folks don't forget that the Emerging Photographers Auction ends January 21,2008!
I had seen them all and you will be surprised how amazing the photographs look in person.
Put your bids on and invest on a great photograph for your wall!


Anonymous said...

Hey Rubin,

Thanks for the interview! I really appreciate your support as do all of our artists in the auction and at the gallery!

Great blog!


ruben said...

No Dan, Thank you!

It is YOUR expertize is what makes it worth reporting about.

Anonymous said...

Ruben, This series is going to be fantastic and this is a great start. Can't wait to read the rest.

Tema Stauffer said...

Thanks, Ruben, for your efforts in supporting the gallery and emerging artists in general - it is so great that someone is reaching out at a time like this and addressing these kind of issues.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ruben,

Thanks for auction plug....I know that everyone involved is appreciative.