the gallery 47 post- don’t be hating them or I will write about you next

Holy crap, people actually read my blog!

Ok, with that out-of-the-way, I wanted to follow-up on the “how gallery 47 killed the video star” post. I’ve written back and forth to 47 about this since and wanted to repeat some of the clarifications we made about the post.

1. I *contrived* the headline to be overly dramatic and somewhat ironic as the main point of the post is about my own naive expectations coming to Toronto. I initially wrote it with a general, non-specific gallery in mind and it did not have the same effect. So I took a place that is a smashing success so far that fits some of the criticism I wanted to write about so I could take advantage of their web popularity and write a headline that hooked the reader in and then revealed a totally opposite conclusion than expected in a humorous and intellectually satisfying way while remaining a relevant and honest discourse. It’s classic blog marketing writing 101, and that is the point of my blog – to combine arts, culture, marketing and some of my humour and insight. For professional bloggers, they know exactly what I am doing and that daily posts really are a tied to your emotions, energy and experiences that change from day-to-day. I’m not a glossy magazine – this post is part of a larger and more accurate realm of contemporary concerns and issues that are debated in the public realm.
2. I am an improver, comedian, writer, artist, gallery administrator and social media marketer. Seriously. So when I write, it is akin to a character monologue and is deliberately all over the place in an effort to be clever and funny. sometimes it works. That is why I am “artlistpro” instead of “Chris Healey” – it’s a lot easier to be a character or a brand when delving out opinion and meeting new people. It’s a creative work that makes a valid point – I am artist who writes, and that’s what we tend to do – we write our own historical fiction.
3. I chose to talk about 47 in the article because it is such a positive and interesting place – it’s exactly the kind of place I wanted to impress when I moved here. It’s not a bad place at all. The people are super-nice. Any issues of communication I was citing are actually very common issues with all galleries across a wide spectrum of artistic models – part of my social media marketing expertise is email marketing and so I am always focusing in on critiquing that aspect of membership management and public relations. It is something I am guilty of as well, so that is important to know. I honestly was hoping it would have a positive exposure result for 47 (if any at all) because I was clearly stating how awesome they are. More on that on the below post:
4. My hopes with this post and any of the others I do is to be part of a larger dialogue pertinent to the things I write about. That post is a skewed look at the value of link backs to the blogging industry – it takes the form of a blogger, me, who has a crisis about a single link back that is expected but does not exist. Unless all of my readers are independent critics blogging about galleries and not getting the same recognition for it as established main stream media critics, then really should be no reason to become as indignant as I was the day I wrote it.
5. Just for the record, 47 follows my tumbler blog and has contacted me about a missing photo-credit once. But part of my point with the 47 post is while that is great, it is not the kind of acknowledgment as I was talking about as sometimes it is about the “who” and not the “what”. For example, the Guggenheim is following me on Twitter but I don’t believe for a second it is anyone but the intern or maybe a PR manager type who is running that account – no curator or administrator there has any idea who I am. Anything I do will not be “linked back” to me in any other way that generalized public relations and a token effort in the emerging social media channels. This is my criticism of 47 and most galleries at this point in time and it is a common issue. I hope that is clear.
6. The post created pause for thought on the relationships between galleries, media and the community. Where do independent bloggers fit in – as public or media? Art critic stars will say we are not as valuable as they are, and people like me will say that bloggers are replacing traditional art critics. Galleries are confused and caught in the middle as is clearly the case here.
7. Go visit 47 – especially their current exhibit which is brilliant. Remember that they are doing this for free and for anyone to enjoy. Whatever criticism us arts industry types make at each other, remember the significant amount of time, expense and love that goes into a place like this.

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