Copyright 2005  russ reina

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A MOST UNUSUAL REJECTION LETTER

 
(Most images you see on this website can be found in larger format  in the Galleries or Slide Shows. If you'd like one or more for your own, e-mail me.)
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This e-mail was in response to an 11/28/2005 query I made to Hana Coast Gallery, on Maui for consideration of my artwork, which read, in part, "
I turn to you with a dual purpose.  Naturally, I'd like you to consider my work for your galleries.  Perhaps more important, though, is I could sure use some counsel on positioning the work. I keep getting the message 'this' kind of art is a tough sell on Maui.  If so, then where would be the best market?"

Aloha Russ:

I'm not certain how you ended up at the email contact for our "sister" galleries in California, but in any case it was just forwarded to me here at the Hana Coast Gallery.

As you suggested, I spent not merely "a few moments" but quite a bit of time clicking my way through your web site. It's damned good work, but not at all our cupp'a tea.

I've no doubt that you keep hearing that refrain from art dealers. It is the kind of art that is virtually impossible to "sell", except for venues that specialize in "spiritual-oriented art" (what ever THAT is).

Some of us deal in "cultural" art, but most are trying to sell stuff that is primarily "decorative" in nature. Your art doesn't fit in with either of those areas very comfortably, much to your credit.

Your work is deeply primal and aboriginal and, as you so beautifully stated, highly metaphorical. In other words, it does indeed require the viewer to ascend to "different" levels, where what they are seeing can coalesce with what is already stored away in their conscious and unconscious memory.

What each viewer sees is a VERY personal artistic interpretation of the reality you are presenting . . . and therein lies the rub.

Hand-in-glove with being a fine photographic artist you are also a gifted writer. My feeling when I'd finished journeying through your web pages was that your work will ultimately find its audience by means of the Internet, rather than in commercial galleries.

I say that simply because your work demands to be appreciated within the context of language that can flesh-out the metaphors you are using. Oh sure, I realize that the medium is the message. And the images will indeed "speak" to the viewer.

But you aren't creating pretty little landscapes whose colors blend well with the drapes. You have developed a brand new kind of art, one that is reflective of the healing work that you've been called upon to do.


That's both a blessing and a curse. But then, too, you've already discovered that. In the art world, anything that doesn't fit neatly into an art "ism" slot is considered to be outside the mainstream. Your work is anything but mainstream, wouldn't you agree?

Unfortunately, with the rents and overheads in today's art marketplace, galleries such as ours can't take that leap of faith that "outsider" art requires in terms of both artist nurturing and sales representation. What you are probably hearing from the art gallery community is that your work doesn't fit comfortably within the "standard" mix. As an artist who is pioneering a new dimension in photography, that should be music to your ears.

I'm not at all sure that what I've tried to say is helpful, but it is honest and forthright. That's the most any of us can hope for, right? So just keep on keeping on, and the best of good things for you and yours.

Me ke aloha pumehana,

Patrick

Patrick Robinson, managing director/curator

Hana Coast Gallery

Hana, HI


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