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The $12 Million Stuffed Shark
by Don Thompson
"Without a wealthy patron, a new gallery has a precarious future. Conventional wisdom in the art world is that four out of five new contemporary art galleries will fail within five years. Ten percent of galleries established for more than five years also close each year. Few dealers survive the first few years on primary market sales alone. The dealer may have previously made a living on secondary market sales and will continue to do so."
"The need to be represented by a mainstream gallery explains why so many successful contemporary artists choose to work in New York, London, Los Angeles, or Berlin, or at the margin, in Paris, Rome, or Zurich. Artists living anywhere else need to be represented by a gallery that takes their work to international art fairs, leading to exchange representation with a mainstream gallery in one of these cities."