Tell me, did something went wrong at the Outsider Art Fair 2017?

La Galerie des Nanas drilled seriously into its discretionary budget to attend the Outsider Art Fair in New-York last week. I think we should have bought art instead of trying selling some.

Last year our gallery had also given a try to this seemingly potential haven for brut, hors-normes and outsider galleries. But we were hit by the worst snow storm in decades in New-York and we thought it was the reason for our poor results. Despite the Saturday shutdown of the city we had nevertheless sold several pieces in the 2000-4000 price range. For some reason, this year, we sold essentially the same amount of works but this time it was in the 200-500 price range. How can you make a living as a gallery when you invest over the 10 000 USD mark in booth rental, travelling, hotel, customs bond and obtain such low performance? This is without accounting for close to 48 hours spent attending a booth and answering questions from hundreds of great curious and interested fans without budget. Their budget was to get in the fair at 15$ and it was it. The Outsider Art Fair is a great promotion event for this niche’s proposition, but the art mediation staff paid to do the work.

Was it the Women’s March, the frightening inauguration of the new president or the 1,24M USD$ record breaking vernacular art auction held at Christie’s on Friday the January 22nd ? Is the fair too confident about itself? Many fellow galleries questioned about their results confirmed they lived the same burden we did. Some important foreign galleries didn’t even took the chance of coming.

La Galerie des Nanas who’s fighting for the recognition of living self-taught women artists presented affordable works by 82 years old french art singulier master Danielle Jacqui, by Martine Birobent our own founder dead this year at the age of 60, as well as by Anne-Marie Grgich a veteran and wonderful Seattle artist boasting 25 years of consistent presence at the Outsider Art Fair. We obtained a total sales figure of 750 USD for the three and no interest from the NY press, busy covering American artists and galleries. Are we disappointed, frustrated? I would say yes. Should we blame someone? I don’t know. The one thing I know is we must stop saying that outsider art has found its public and is supported by a consequent and united eco-system. This is false.

If you wish to read on, we wrote an article about the OAF in 2014 which generated quite a good thread of comments. Here it is…

Danielle Jacqui – Le manteau de Jeannette

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Un commentaire @ “Tell me, did something went wrong at the Outsider Art Fair 2017?”

  1. John Maizels 29 janvier 2017 @ 13:29 #

    I am very sorry to read this. Danielle Jacqui’s work is amazing- maybe the American buyers tend to just go for American work they have heard about. If that is the case it will affect the make up of the Fair in the future. It is still a struggle to make people aware.

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