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Dealers and artists differ over sales of works

23 May 2014, 14:17

Lagos - An artist, Fidelis Odogwu, on Thursday lamented that artists were not being carried along in the disposal of their works by auctioneers in outlets where artworks were sold.

Odogwu said that dealers in artworks were more interested in selling such works displayed in their galleries.

"They just talk about the arts, leaving behind the person that painted it for weeks and months before the final product. It is not good. We produce the artworks, when they open gallery they leave us behind, not involving us in every step of the way.

With that we will also learn some things about what the buyer has to say.They don’t carry us along; they are just interested in making their money.They should highlight certain opportunities for the artist like partnership,’’ he said.

In his contribution, a former President, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Olu Ajayi, said some dealers were able to anticipate market trends, while some prominent dealers were capable of influencing it.

"Many dealers specialise in a particular style. They often travel internationally, frequenting exhibitions, auctions and artists’ studios looking for good buyers and exciting new works.When dealers buy works of art, they resell them either in their galleries or directly to collectors.Those who deal in contemporary art, usually exhibit artworks in their galleries, and take a percentage of the price the works sell for,” he said.

He also advised artists to concentrate on creating artworks rather than engaging in the sales; which, he said, would distract them.

"The artists should concentrate on their creative task to avoid being distracted in the bid to sell their works,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, a Curator, Sandra Mbanefo-Obiago, said that artists don’t understand the business side of the art world.

"They cannot create and at the same time go out to market their product; some other persons has to do it for them.We keep up with the trends in the market and are knowledgeable about the style of art people want to buy.We have to promote new artists, creating a market for the artists' works and securing financial success for them and us as well.Art dealers must be economically conscious in order to maintain their livelihoods,” she said.


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