The role of a manager in an artist’s world, with tax expert Steven Goldglit
THE DEBATE OVER WHETHER VISUAL ARTISTS NEED MANAGERS LEAPED TO THE FOREFRONT OF ART WORLD WHEN, IN 2015, UNITED TALENT AGENCY’S JOSHUA ROTH LAUNCHED A FINE ARTS DIVISION TO MINE A NEW MARKET. TRADITIONALLY, THE PRIMARY GALLERY REPRESENTING AN ARTIST’S WORK HAS HAD THE PROPRIETARY ROLE OF ORGANIZING EXHIBITIONS BOTH AT THEIR VENUE AND AT OTHER GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS AND SECURING PUBLIC COMMISSIONS. OFTEN ARTISTS, PARTICULARLY ESTABLISHED ONES WHO ENJOY AN INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION, REQUIRE ADDITIONAL ADVICE AND EXPERT COUNSEL FOR A LARGER AND LONGER-TERM PERSPECTIVE. A MANAGER OR MANAGEMENT TEAM WITH EXPERTISE IN MARKETING, BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, LEGACY AND ESTATE DECISIONS COMES ON BOARD TO WORK IN TANDEM WITH THE GALLERIES AND WITH A TEAM OF SPECIALISTS SUCH AS ATTORNEYS AND TAX ADVISORS.
SINCE ITS INCEPTION, GOLDGLIT AND COMPANY HAS NURTURED ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH VISUAL ARTISTS, GALLERIES, PRIVATE DEALERS AND MANY IN OTHER CREATIVE FIELDS. IN TODAY’S LRFA POST WITH STEVEN GOLDGLIT, FOUNDER AND PRINCIPLE OF THE TAX AND ACCOUNTING FIRM, WE EXPLORE THE ASPECTS OF BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL PLANNING CRUCIAL TO SUCCESS.
STEVEN, WELCOME BACK!
SO MUCH OF A GALLERY OR ART ADVISORY SERVICE AND, NOW THAT I THINK OF IT, AN ARTIST’S BUSINESS IF THEY ARE NOT REPRESENTED FULLY BY A GALLERY OR IF THEY PREFER TO MANAGE THEIR OWN MULTIPLE GALLERY REPRESENTATIONS, ARE TRANSACTIONAL.
DO YOU ADVISE CLIENTS IN TERMS OF POTENTIAL DEALS SOLELY IN TAX TERMS OR IN A MORE GENERAL ADVISORY CAPACITY?
We advise clients on transactions on a regular basis, along with their attorneys. We will handle any aspect of the deal – negotiation, terms, tax implications etc., but will not handle contracts. We always insist upon the use of an attorney for that aspect of the transaction.
I KNOW YOU ENJOY VISITING GALLERIES AND ATTENDING OPENINGS. DO YOU AND YOUR WIFE COLLECT?IF SO, WHAT IS THE AREA OF INTEREST? HAVING AN ENORMOUS PROFESSIONAL LEGACY FROM YOUR DAD AS WELL AS EXPERIENCE AS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE FIRM, ARE YOUR CHOICES INFLUENCED BY AN ARTIST’S STANDING IN THE ART WORLD?
My wife Lisa and I have become art collectors and have a rather wonderful collection – in my opinion. We attend Art Fairs around the world and have purchased art from Galleries and Artists I work with and know well, and from galleries and artists I have no previous connection to. We are drawn to art on a piece by piece basis, but tend to gravitate towards more conceptual artworks.
CREATIVE WORK IN GENERAL, AN ART ADVISORY SERVICE OR THE CHARACTER OF A GALLERY SEEM SO CLEARLY ASSOCIATED WITH A SINGULAR VISION. DO MANY GALLERIES AND ART-RELATED BUSINESSES HAVE BUYERS? CERTAINLY INVENTORY IS A CONCRETE ENTITY AND CAN BE EVALUATED BUT HOW IS THE REPUTATION, ARTIST ROSTER AND CLIENT BASE (AND WHETHER THEY REMAIN LOYAL TO A NEW OWNER) DETERMINED?
The sale of a gallery to an unrelated person is a very difficult transaction and you rarely see this put into action. Most change in ownership of a gallery is within a family between generations – Sonnabend, Pace, etc. Sales to outside persons are rare and tend to fail. As there are no contracts between Artists and Galleries and the continued representation of an artist by a gallery is based solely upon relationships, if the artists and collectors have no previous relationship or confidence in the new owner the gallery will fail. As such, 3rd party purchasers are very leery of the industry and galleries tend to have a measurable lifespan without turnover.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, STEVEN WILL SHARE HIS EXPERT OPINION ON THE VIABILITY OF SELLING AN ART BUSINESS AND THE GENERAL TAX LANDSCAPE THAT LIES AHEAD.
PLEASE JOIN US!