Footnotes 2: As to how DIY art scenes don’t make sense to many

August 20, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard


A real estate agent once bought a copy of the Phonebook from me. Her eyes were big and wet with this million-dollar idea: She wanted to rent a storefront out to artists. It made sense to her that artists would pay for exhibition space. It made sense to her that they would pay more than a store because their occupancy would rotate over short periods of time; further she felt she would do some larger service to the neighborhood. We shared a mutual experience of bafflement as I explained that, by and large, artists did not pay for exhibition space. “The spaces in this book?” she asked, shaking the Phonebook. “Definitely not those spaces.” She asked me how anybody made money. I said, “With the exception of a few commercial galleries, nobody makes any money at all.” She asked me how people made a living. I think I shrugged.


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