This book aims to help artists and art professionals understand the primary art scene, how art galleries work and what are the differences between them, how they work with artists, which artists they choose to work with and why.
I started reading this with the idea of just reading a few chapters for now and coming back to it later. Then I found that I couldn't stop reading! This is an invaluable guide for artists and it has sorted out a lot of things in my mind that I intuitively felt were right but I needed clarification on. It's such an anxiety producing situation sometimes, being the 'artist' person and to have things spelled out really helps. Jenny is not just sharing knowledge but also experience, which is the really vital bit. I also enjoyed the straight talking style and the cutting through the nonsense parts of the guide. I will reread this and revisit often. Thank you for writing this it is going to be very helpful to a lot of people.
- Fionn Wilson
This is the perfect book for any student, graduate or emerging artist, full of the dos and don'ts of the art world which aren't necessarily obvious when you first start out. As a student, currently studying BA Fine Art, it's great to have this information laid out, particularly so I can start coming to terms with some of the realities of self promotion and networking that don't exactly come naturally to me.
Jenny Judova not only gives plenty of direct and useful advise on working in and with galleries, but also details the alternatives with practical information on the importance of an online presence and social media, all in an approachable manner. I couldn't recommend this book more highly!
- Grace Lee
I've been waiting for this book for a while and it has been well worth the wait! As an artist when we leave university everything seems invisible and progress seems impossible. There isn't much idea what to do or how to go about it. Thankfully though this is where this book steps in. After this book things seem to make more sense. It explains fully the hierarchy of galleries as well as ways to approach them. Just these two bits of information are important enough. From reading this book, as an artist, understanding the framework of galleries is very important as it allows me to figure what to do next in terms of what to do. I, like others, have made the mistake of heading to galleries portfolio in hand then leaving confused when I realise it's not that easy. This book however tells you there are differences in galleries and it is important to know them. Knowing these differences is paramount to allowing yourself to know what path and direction you want to take.
Explains the often secretive, baffling world of galleries and the art scene with a refreshing clarity that’s mercifully free of jargon and artspeak. A gem of a book for anyone interested in engaging with this world which also offers lots of practical advice about working both inside and outside the traditional gallery system.
- Richard Son
The subtitle of this book should be "and not piss them off." Much of the content is about what not to do. It is no less valuable for that. Jenny has become an authority on the art world and, as the founder of Artmap, knows a huge number of gallery owners. She has gleaned a lot of clearly heart-felt examples of just how annoying importuning artists can be for the gallery staff. Reading this book will save you from sending Charles Saatchi a package - he employs people to keep unsolicited items away from him - or going round the West End galleries with your portfolio under your arm; it won't be looked at. She starts with the basics - the difference between the primary and the secondary art markets and explains how it all works in clear, easy-to-read language. Even those with some knowledge are likely to find useful tips. Above all, she emphasises how the art markets are a people business; you are not approaching a gallery, you are getting to know the people who work there.
There is of course no magic solution which will see you represented by the gallery of your choice in a few months. Understanding how the process works, understanding how galleries like to discover artists for themselves and how they listen to recommendations from the artists they do represent is likely to increase your chances of success. It is still going to take talent, luck, hard work and above all persistence, but reading Jenny's book should at least mean that the hard work you undertake is not nugatory. Highly recommended.
- Sue McDougall
Jenny Judova started her career in the London art scene as the founder of Art Map and an exhibition producer exploring the grassroots artist’s projects and the relationships within the art market. After being involved with Tom’s Etching Studio and Clarion List, she has published two books about the art world dynamics: ‘How to Approach a Gallery?’ and ‘Who to Know in London?’.
Currently she is the travelling exhibitions manager at Vastari, she still manages Art Map London, and her book How to Approach a Gallery was recently published in Dutch by SEA Foundation.