Having "lost" seven pieces of art to a gallery in NJ (owner refuses to communicate in any way as to the whereabouts of the paintings nor have I been paid), I now have a new rule: I will check any prospective gallery’s credit score. For $10 – $40, anyone can buy a business credit report that gives a pretty good picture of a gallery’s financial situation along with a risk assessment (how likely are you to get paid?). I use SmartBusinessReports.com by Experian (one of the big three credit reporting agencies), but they all offer a similar service.
If I had known I could do this a few years ago, I wouldn’t have touched the NJ gallery with a ten foot pole.
Of the three galleries I’ve searched for on SmartBusinessReports.com two are listed. The third is only about four years old and quite small, so perhaps doesn’t "qualify" yet. I’m sure it’s not foolproof, but it’s better than just sending my work off into the unknown.
Another lesson I’ve learned from this is that you can’t necessarily rely on other artists’ opinions of a gallery. I don’t care how glowing the reports are, in the future I’m also going to check the gallery’s credit score. (See ten foot pole comment above.)
Image: Kathy Partridge, October’s Gold. Acrylic, 18 x 24 inches. (c) The Artist.