Did you know that Roy Lichtenstein brought his works to Leo Castelli’s gallery in 1961 by arriving without an appointment but being determined that the gallery will be interested to sell his art? Castello and the gallery director Ivan Karp held onto the works to see if anyone would be interested before they made a commitment. A collector soon arrived at the gallery, seeking to buy something new and exciting, and bought Lichtenstein’s piece. Right after, the deal to represent the artist was cinched. Not long after Lichtenstein arrived at Castelli Gallery, another artist was brave enough to visit the space. Andy Warhol found his way to the gallery with the intention to buy a piece. When Karp showed him Lichtenstein’s works, Warhol was smart enough to reply saying that he could make a painting like that. Right away, Karp was intrigued and arranged a studio visit to see Warhol’s works.
The artists didn't get into Castelli’s gallery right away, but Warhol was determined to show his works in a well-established gallery along with his peers. Karp believed in Warhol's work and it's value and helped the artist in the meantime by bringing art professionals and potential collectors to his studio. Warhol got a chance to have two solo shows at Stable gallery, and both were a great success. Castelli realized his mistake and offered Warhol gallery representation.
This story illustrates that you need to make bold moves and go outside your comfort zone sometimes. You will never be sure if the gallery likes your work or not unless you go there and talk to the gallery director. Find a way or find a contact (local curator, art professional or art dealer) that can introduce you and help you get in contact with a gallery.
Also, find art professionals who appreciate your art and support you - keep in touch with them. Many artists get frustrated and give up their dream to sell art. #curatoronthego