Negative Energy

Today I went to go drop off some paintings to a small new gallery up in Ringwood NJ. About a month ago I went to meet the gallery owner and check out the place. I got the worst impression possible. The gallery was away from everything on an out of the way road, but I tried to be open minded. I walked in and there was music blasting and no one in site. I finally found this troll of a man hiding behind his PC (not a mac which was a strike against him since he’s supposed to be an artist) munching on a sandwich and chips in a corner. Again I tried  to be open minded, since he seemed VERY young.  After looking at my art he informed me that I should be using oil and not acrylics since he tells all his students that (keep in mind he’s like 25).  Oh and I should varnish these paintings so they look like oil. Not that I mind advice but his was presented with such vile arrogance that I was almost speechless. After 4 years of art school in NYC, 10 years of working in advertising in NYC and 5 or 6 more in retail design I have NEVER come across someone I so instantly disliked more. I left the gallery thinking, I wish I had told him forget it but I figured I could just suck it up to get the show on my resume. After he added me to facebook, twitter etc, the more I learned about him and more repulsive he became. His support of Sarah Palin and blathering on about how terrible artists where who wanted to make money were almost as bad as his abhorrent interpersonal skills.  I think I’d rather have to spend an hour with Dick Cheney then a minute with this guy.  But still I was attempting to just push past my revulsion and have my two paintings possible three that he had selected in his show.  That brings us back to today and my dropping off my paintings,  So I am dreading going there and meeting with him since I am put off by my the last experience, but I press on and have the paintings ready to go. I drive all the way up into the boonies of Ringwood NJ. Of course he’s in the bathroom or the slop sink or whatever and unavailable when I arrive. There’s this sweet young guy waiting around for him as well. Poor kid. Anyway he emerges and wants to look at my work. I take a deep breath and then he says “If I can give you some advice, you shouldn’t sign your work in the front, it takes away from the painting” I am silent because I’m in no mood and he’s so damned arrogant. He then tells this poor hapless kid how he told me to varnish my paintings and how they now looked like oil. After agreeing to take two paintings, possibly all three he changes his mind and says he’ll just take one since he needs to give all the work space. Ok I’m still calm, whatever, I really don’t care since I don’t think this place is all that and it smells heavily of turpentine. So I say fine, let me get the price list. I cross off the two paintings he’s not taking and I ask him to sign the price list with the one paintings he is taking just to verify that he does indeed have it in his possession. He refuses and throws the price lists on the ground. I ask why he won’t sign it and he says I sign the agreement with him, he shouldn’t sign an agreement with me and says I can take my work and I don’t need to be in his show. I take the work and say that’s fine with me since he’s not professional anyway and I storm out. I guess I’m more angry with myself because he was such a jerk on day one and I didn’t just walk away then. Live and learn I suppose. I’m so irritated that his negativity is still bothering me. I want to just let it go since it’s so insignificant in the big picture. I’ve got to let this negative energy go and focus on all the good and bright things that are coming my way. But I still wish I could have knocked him down a few notches, JERK.



  1. Well, they are out there and sometimes there it’s hard to avoid them. As a kind person, you tend to be reasonable and give them time to prove themselves.

    You already know that his nastiness in no way reflects on you! He is a bully, terrified of losing control.

    When you are very famous and wealthy, he will sidle up to you like an old friend and try to convince you to put your work in his gallery.

    You can just smile at him then turn and talk to someone else.

    We want to see more of your work and know you won’t let that nasty bully slow you down!

    All the best! Carol & Phil

  2. I think I came across your work through facebook…and just read this post. i am very sorry for your experience and can say I have been there more than once. For me, it is always nice to show your work but I decided that I did not want to compromise anymore and if it did not feel right then to leave that “opportunity” behind…hard to do but for me it is important to remind myself that I am not powerless and the gallery owner does not have all the power. Your work comes from your heart so it should be in place where there is not negative energy, otherwise it will come across in the show. Hope this is a bit helpful.

    • Thanks for your kind post. You really hit the nail on the head when you said that sometimes you have to “leave the opportunity behind”. It was a good lesson for me to learn and I’m glad I learned it early on. If it doesn’t feel right I have to follow my gut. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. You are very kind. Thank you Rita.

  3. wow, what a complete twit ! Imagine life from his perspective.. at least you only had to see it once. yuck!

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