Self-serving, part III | AspenTimes.com

Self-serving, part III

Dear Editor:

My two recent letters to the editor (Aug. 25, Aug. 28) have my phone ringing and my e-mail box filled with responses, mostly complimentary, I am happy to write. Several have been negative accusing me of picking on prolific, hardworking Stewart, and I am motivated to respond.

This town relies upon tourists. Aspen is not known out there in the real world as a “fine art” town. It is known for many other things, but not fine art in its truest sense. I do several major art fairs a year: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and, this year, Miami where hordes of people attend. When people come to my booth and see my sign indicating I am located in Aspen the first response is often, “I didn’t know Aspen had a gallery with such fabulous work.” In effect, I am an ambassador for the art scene here, and the response is always positive because I show great work and this contributes to the perception by art collectors of Aspen as a worthwhile place to visit. There are not many galleries in this town that can be accepted in these venues. That’s a fact.

In my opinion, the arts editor should be particularly supportive of those galleries which show work that is more than mere decoration, work that brings kudos out there in the real world to this town. There ARE a few of us. It’s hard to survive in the art business in this town, even with great material, locals not being particularly supportive (with a few major exceptions; thank you JS, RS).

Many galleries have come and gone in the last 15 years, and the newspaper should be more supportive of what we do. It’s good for the town, and if the arts editor writes about important shows, it reflects well on him, too. I don’t think I have to be kissing butt to get him in here. He should be waiting for me to arrive in the morning. Beatrice Helg, one of my artists (to repeat) is represented in Europe by a gallery that has the Picasso estate. The real paintings, not lithos. I’ve sold her work to seven major museums and her work has been here in Aspen for 14 years! I couldn’t get her work if I met her today. She’s become much too prestigious for my little venue, but I had the good fortune and sense to have taken on her work 14 years ago. Now she’s with Picasso and thankfully still here in Aspen.

Doesn’t that deserve the two-thirds page article with huge headlines that the arts editor’s show received?

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Joel Soroka

Aspen

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