I was at a private view a while back. It was for a group show at Smithy Gallery, and I have a couple of paintings exhibiting.
Just about anybody can go to a private view, you don’t need an invite, really, as they are all about selling the artists’ work; and they are what they seem to be on television, lots of people milling about talking about art and to artists, drinking champagne. A group of passing backpackers turned up and were welcomed with a glass and a catalogue list – I think they bought cards and prints.
However, from my point of view, private views can be something very different. I am a nervous wreck before I even arrive, and when I walk in, the first thing I do is look around trying to find where my paintings are hanging; then I check out if there are any red dots (meaning they have sold). I try to avoid looking at anyone while they look at my paintings (will they buy, won’t they buy), then there are the people who just glance at my work and walk on (obviously no taste). I don’t know why I put myself through them. It’s much more fun doing something else and receiving the good news by phone from the gallery.
My Dad coined the family motto, “Happiness is a Red Dot”. So true, but I like to think of it with additional small print – “…but only when you are not present”.