Louis Meisel – Not too long ago, I read about a collector who was suing a contemporary artist (& the dealer, I believe) for not selling him artworks. When I began to work with Photorealists, they would do 5-10 paintings a year and there were hundreds of people who wanted their work. Now if you were a smart dealer you could pick & choose the real collectors: those to whose collections other collectors would look up and that inclusion into their collections would do a lot to advance the artist’s career. I guess it sounds elitist, but that’s my job… Also, (as a dealer) you can choose people who had lent or donated works, or money, to museums. Rare exceptions include a great collector like Morton Neumann who was never good at doing that.
So there was a lot of stuff to think about. And, for example, to this day, if any buyer would even utter the word ‘investment,’ you know that s/he is the type who would turn around and sell the piece(s) as soon as their value rises, in a couple of years. And, then, there are those who show up with their interior designers… Forget it. I work with collectors who are as serious as I am about collecting. I want collectors who want to buy works for the pleasure(s) of enjoyment, and connoisseurship. Of course, there always are deaths, taxes and divorces… but that is a whole different story. Before Warhol left 30,000 works behind, it used to be much easier to manage an artist’s career. The same goes for a graffiti artist who produces 100 works a week… yet his dealer turns around and establishes a Waiting List for him just to make the pieces appear dearer to collectors. That is something that I don’t do. It’s something that I have never had to fake!