This is what I hear from time to time when I want to snap a shot of an interesting exhibit.
If I am allowed to – and I always ask, unless the work is in the public realm – then the artist and I are doing each other a great favour.
I get unique, interesting content for my blog. I help establish myself as an expert of contemporary art. I get to have fun and meet new people and become a better interviewer / writer.
The artist gets marketed to a whole new community of people including my blog subscribers and my arts professional colleagues. A blogger taking the time to photograph a work and then disseminate (free marketing) the work is extremely valuable feedback for an artist . Arguably, media extends the life cycle of an exhibit and a chance to receive acclaim and opportunities from people who could not physically show up in that exact gallery space and that exact time.
Do you know what happens when the artist does not let anyone take photos of her work?
Nothing. That’s what happens.