Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Current State of the ART Market Series # 7 with Gallery Owner of the Like The Spice Gallery - Marisa Sage

Marisa Sage, Gallery Owner of Like The Spice Gallery in Brooklyn in front of Jenny Morgan's "Distance Concrete"

Images from the Artist Dinner: A-braised , as well as a link to our blog, with posts that recap each dinner. The most recent one has a great video of Jenny, and the url is:

Jenny Morgan: Abrasions, which is up now until February 8th.

Jenny Morgan, "Kindred" 62 x 44, Oil on canvas, 2008

Like The Spice Gallery is about to begin our New Artist Silent Auction series, happening on the First Friday of every month. The url is and this month we're featuring Reuben Negron, Collette Robbins, Nao Charuvi and David Mramor.

Reuben Negron, "Dirty Dirty Love: Coupling I", watercolor on paper, 30x22 inches, 2007

Rachel Beach: Towers and Portals
March 7th – March 29th, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday March 7th 6:30-10pm
Artist's Dinner: : March 13th 8pm - RSVP Required - Click here to RSVP!

The Lucky #7 of ARTmostfierce's The Current State of the ART Market Series goes to Marisa Sage, Gallery Owner of the Like The Spice Gallery in Brooklyn, NYC. Marisa has some interesting concepts and approach to the gallery business. Let's see what she is sharing with us!

Ruben Natal-San Miguel- Please tell us about your Gallery...Location? Type of gallery?

Marisa Sage-I opened Like the Spice Gallery in June of 2006 with the aim of fostering the careers of emerging artists by allowing them to show in public group and solo exhibitions. I exhibit both Digital formats as well as traditional methods. Our artists push their medium; our paintings are fresh and our digital art is not just about the pixels, as stated in our mission statement. I would say that my artists primarily create works with a very specific marriage of technique and aesthetic prowess, as well as a compelling conceptual agenda. Each artist has learned to balance their technical mastery with a sound conceptual statement. We are a commercial gallery with roots in the Williamsburg neighborhood, Over 80% of our artists make work within 15 miles of the gallery.

RNSM- As a gallery owner...How do you feel about the Current State of the Art Market? Please explain

MS-I think about what's happening to the art market and the world market is a huge plus for me and my artists. Much like the financial sector, the art market has had little oversight. Whenever anything becomes too focused upon consumerism you lose truth, expression, experimentation, and love. Art is not only about the sales. The dealer who says " We sold that piece for 100,000 so make more of them... in pink!" will not work in the market we have today. I think in the current climate a collector will have to truly consider all aspects of living with a piece including knowing why an artist has created it, as well as weighing the possibilities of it being a good or bad investment. I think that artists will also have more freedom to make their work without the constraints on expression that come from dealers who have to sell a flat amount each month just to make rent. Everything will slow down, we will have to take more time with a piece before buying it, refocus on the process it takes to make a piece and the time it takes to truthfully understand it will become more important. This is a great time for dealers such as myself to show my vision, the way I choose artists, why to place two pieces together in a show, and the way I think about art.

RNSM- What tactics are you taking towards braving this economic crisis?

MS-I decided pretty early on to showcase my artists' work through multiple directions. Like any gallery, I've attracted a list of collectors who have come to trust the decisions we make, and are always willing to at least take a look at a Like the Spice artist. With this trust I have been able to add different events that strive to offer the works we represent at reasonable prices, like the New Artist Auction, showcasing the growth potential that each one of our artists has today, and really, in any market. Recently I have been putting an emphasis on value, affordability and on the sound investment that art can provide., while diversifying to use different vehicles to promote our artists. This includes fairs, online promotions, blogging, guest curation, artist dinners, partnering with other galleries, local developers, and nearly anything that will allow people to find art where they do and don't expect it, all over the country. I truly believe that a solid work has a value offered to the viewer both now as comfort in hard times and in the future as investment, and, despite the crisis, art has the potential to stay successful, and that's why I do what I do.

RNSM- Who are you showing now? Why?

MS-My current show is Jenny Morgan. I'm showing her for the same reason I show every one of the artists I represent, I fell in love with her work the second I saw it. If I had all the money in the world her whole body of work would be mine. For now I will have to settle with owning one and with trying to place the rest of them in loving homes. Thankfully, we've been very successful at getting them into some fantastic collections.

RNSM- I know that for a while you had been hosting Dinner parties during your show openings? What made you start such concept and Why ?

MS-Collectors can often make a connection with the artist as well as the art. When you have a piece you truly love, it is fascinating to know the whole process and hear the little details that only an artist might know. Additionally, since many of our artists are also friends, we'll see that next month's artist is eating with us at this month's dinner, which can be a great chance to expose people to new art they might not have considered before. We also offer studio visits for a similar reason. It's a good feeling to see artist and collector having a great time together. Most importantly I love throwing dinners, I think they are a perfect way to turn the formal informal. The most interesting discussions about art, politics, and day to day life occur during my dinners. The person next to you can become a good friend and this person might be very new to art and has never stepped into a gallery, or maybe they are an artist, a doctor, or an art collecting accountant. A wonderfully diverse group of people creates the best discourse and the nights are just magical I look forward to them each month!!!

RNSM- I had seen you during several art fairs and you seemed to do pretty well even considering the current tough economic times ...Would you have any suggestions or ideas of how do you manage that?

MS-If an dealer is successful in identifying the value in their artist's work, a gallery should manage in nearly any venue. However, the hard work I have been doing with the Williamsburg Gallery Association has helped to make a name for Brooklyn that has attracted the attention from local and foreign markets. The Brooklyn name is a positive one, especially for growth. I think of art fairs as advertisement, recently I have been thinking of new ways to make my gallery stand out at these fairs, just like when you create and ad you want it to stop people from just turning the page. I also stay positive no matter what is going on in the art market my artist believe and invest in me and I do the same in them; that keeps me positive no matter what is going on around me good or bad.

RNSM-Are you continuing doing art fairs? Which one ? Why?

MS-I love art fairs! I think they are a more valuable way of marketing oneself in the current market, especially when compared to simply investing in print ads. A combination of the two results in getting the word out, then showing it off. Good work can catch someone's eye in person, and in a way print ads simply can't. Art fairs also attect a more diverse audience. Many of my largest collectors and art lovers have come from my appearance at Bridge Art Fair, Scope Art Fair, The Affordable Art Fair and, of course, Fountain Miami. These fairs are well known and anticipated, and I wanna be where the collectors are.

RNSM- How is your on line art business vs, lets say foot traffic?

MS-I've worked very hard over the last year to be sure that the art Like the Spice provides is for everyone, from a first time collector to an experienced investor. This has resulted in a great deal of walk-in visitors, especially from the immediate neighborhood, which is always fantastic. It's fun to see someone glance, pass by, and then reappear because they want to see more. Online, we've seen our blog traffic grow as well, and we're hoping to do more with that in the future. We try to keep our blog posts and web pages fun and the sort of thing you'd want to read, and our online sneak previews mean people get a taste of the work a few days before the opening. If you visit the blog you'll find regular intros and recaps of our Monthly Dinners, and leading up to our monthly New Artist Auctions you'll see us posting about the studio visits we use to discover new talent! This introduces our new artists to our other artists, as well as our collectors, and our Facebook friends. We attempt to keep a pretty good mix between the two types of traffic, and, ideally, overlap them as much as we can. After all, art is always better when seen in person!

RNSM- Are you changing or channeling your artist selection and their works for these times? if so why?

MS-Nope, and I never will. To be able to properly represent an artist I myself have to understand and believe in the art. I have a very instinctual attraction to the art that I show. A kind of love at first sight to the medium, the process and very often the concept. If I did not truly understand or believe it how would I ever get any one to invest and believe in me as a dealer.

RNSM- What about pricing of the works ? Sizing? Editions?

MS-I have confidence in my artists and I want them to have confidence in themselves. That confidence comes from them believing in the work and their pricing, so we always work on the prices together. We go over each piece take a look at the time and cost of manufacture and we look at the art market and see if it works in relation to what the market is demanding. Of course, very often lower editions will go at higher cost. and higher editions at lower cost. And of course we stay with a formula that works.

RNSM- Any opinions or suggestions of how you see the Art Market changing and prevailing through the year 2009?

MS-I'm using this time to have these great events like the Monthly Artist Dinners, the New Artist Auctions and inventing new ways for more people to see more of our artist's work! And blogging! Don't forget the blogging!

RNSM-Thanks Marisa! I love your energy and passion !

No comments: