Ever read the poem “Black Art” by Amiri Baraka? It’s very powerful and moving.
In the poem, Baraka describes Black art as living beings and current events. They’re tools and weapons, voices and records. Political statements.
In today’s society, there has been a resurgence within the art community, particularly among Black artists. That’s not to say that there hasn’t always been Black art and artists, but people are now starting to pay attention more and spend more money.
In fact, governments are now commissioning more artists to paint murals for public spaces and erect artistic figures in parks, in front of buildings and wherever else they see the need.
And while that does add value to the art community its only a small portion of the pie.
Art is a business like all others and in this business, the big dogs are the dealers and brokers. These are the main people who sell and buy art, bringing pieces from galleries and private collectors to people willing to pay top dollars, such as investors and other galleries and private collectors.
These are the people who know the business better than their social security number and can get any piece in front of the right eyes or wallet.
So, what does all of this have to do with Black artists and Black galleries? It seems the solution here is to have more Black art brokers and dealers.
Most art galleries don’t make a lot of money. They show artists for free in hopes that the artists’ work will be profitable to their clientele. The money is only made when a sale is made, which the gallery only gets a percentage of. Other ways that they make money is by having events or charging admission prices, but that’s still pennies to an elephant.
And if a gallery can’t bring in a loyal, paying clientele, it will most likely go out of business.
That’s why the brokers and dealers are important. They not only find the art and the artists, but they also find the buyers.
The best in the business keep hundreds, if not thousands, of profitable contacts. Important people who are just waiting to sink their dollars into a good piece.
So, if the number of Black art brokers and dealers were to increase, we could have people who specialized in only Black art, bringing attention to new Black artists for wealthy Black investors and profitable Black-owned businesses.
When we talk about support Black businesses, there goes more into it than just buying a couple of products. In order to create and sustain these Black businesses, we need Black