Philly Artists—Sick of the Mainstream Gallery System—Revive the Alternatives

By Nicole Finkbiner
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 12 | Posted Dec. 14, 2011

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Obviously, “success” is a rather elusive concept in the art world. But these young Philly artists have a whole other model for “making it.”

A few days after the “Useless Scumbags,” opening at Little Bar, James Anderson laments the loss of his job. “Its almost like being an artist is asking to be broke,” he says. “It’s nice to make a sale to recoup on supplies and overhead but I really just dig when people tell me they are into what I’m doing.”

Anderson says that Philly’s art scene is a “dysfunctional, close-knit family of weirdos. Some of us will make it somehow and others will just give up. But I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.”

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Comments 1 - 12 of 12
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1. PhillyTee said... on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:02PM

“Really enjoyed this article. Very informative as well!
Well Done!”

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2. Anonymous said... on Dec 14, 2011 at 01:18PM

“My man, Fishtown Jim!”

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3. Anonymous said... on Dec 14, 2011 at 02:13PM

“"My man, Fishtown Jim!" ---- your a loser dude”

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4. Bluestone Fine Art Gallery said... on Dec 14, 2011 at 05:31PM

“Bluestone is new to Old City. We opened our doors last May. We are a combination of a traditional and contemporary run gallery. We accept works of art from emerging artists to well established artists. Our works of art start at $10 and go up to $5,000. We represent artists who don't view success only through the price of their art. We are open seven days a week; including evening hrs. You should stop in and check us out! Gallerist, Pam Regan”

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5. Blinky Comix said... on Dec 15, 2011 at 02:27AM

“Finally! Sounds like the way the art scene was around NYC in the 60's and earlier 70's. That's what draws people in- catchy excitable stuff.”

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6. Barry G said... on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:22AM

“What a load of hipster dufus crap most of this article is.”

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7. Colleen D. Gjefle said... on Dec 16, 2011 at 01:24PM

“Love this article as it does express what so many artists feel. Perhaps Barry G is a traditional gallery owner?”

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8. Anonymous said... on Dec 16, 2011 at 01:42PM

“How in the hell do you get in contact with "James Anderson" to find out where his next show is going to be??? There are like 1mill James Andersons on fb:/”

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9. Anonymous said... on Dec 16, 2011 at 08:48PM

“Yis is an amazing artist, to be honest I am not sure who the others are. Judging by James's blatantly obvious hatred for galleries it's good that he does not want to have a gallery show, and that is also why comment number 8 is unable to find him. Galleries have an important role in the life of an artist. I also like what Patchell had to say about Brave New Worlds business practice, “If we sell our artwork for under $20 and someone doesn’t pay with a credit card, they won’t take a commission.” That is called not paying taxes. Galleries take a cut of which they need to in order to say open. At the end of the day an art gallery is not the devil and should never be viewed as such, it is a small business that is simply trying to survive. It makes it hard to look and buy art work without a gallery.”

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10. Marc Etch said... on Dec 17, 2011 at 09:27AM

“This article is full of completely misguided non-sense. The government will rape you sideways with taxes (as suggested by comment nr. 9) once they smell a whiff of money being made by any artist. More significantly the central problem in the PHL art scene is the lack of capital. That is to say, no one is buying it here. Do you get it? It doesn't matter whether you are in a tony gallery on N 2nd or off in the wilds of Kensington. There is little to no support locally for serious artists. It's a great place to make art for certain. Frankly if you're smart you'll get into the export business. And another issue is that much of what is being discussed in this article is commercial art. I can see why hipsters would confuse the issue; as hipster is just the new word for consumer.”

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11. blahblahblah said... on Dec 17, 2011 at 05:30PM

“james anderson can be contacted through his website www.grimgrimgrim.net”

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12. Cassandra said... on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:09PM

“Gallery ML, the world's first collective body art gallery, is run by three talented artists in their mid-twenties. They are moving to a HUGE gallery space in Old City in April and plan to dedicate half of the gallery to body art and the other half to local artists. They really are committed to supporting local artists, because they also feel that there are too many talented people in the local art scene that aren't being recognized. Their current show, "The Lunatic and the Lover," is their first non-body art exhibit and it serves as an introduction for what is to come. Read more about it here: http://philly.sidearts.com/2012/01/gallery-ml-the-lunatic-and-the-lover-exhibit/”

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