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Hollywood Talent Agency’s New Division to Manage Visual Artists’ Careers - WSJ
By KELLY CROW
Feb. 10, 2015
Should painters and sculptors be treated like movie stars? United Talent Agency thinks so.

The Beverly Hills, Calif., agency known for representing actors like Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie said Tuesday it has launched a division called UTA Fine Arts to manage the careers of contemporary visual artists.

The move marks the first time a Hollywood talent agency has stepped into a role traditionally played by art galleries, and it underscores the growing commercial appeal that top artists wield in the global, multibillion-dollar art market.

Jim Berkus, chairman, said the agency won’t broker art sales or show the art as galleries do, but he said the art division will help contemporary artists amass financing for their creative projects and sign potentially lucrative corporate sponsorships and merchandising deals. Mr. Berkus said the firm will also assist artists who want to get more involved in the moviemaking business....The agency’s arrival is likely to rattle the art establishment, particularly the growing list of mega-dealers who have opened gallery branches around the world and are known for transforming artists into museum-ready superstars.

Marc Glimcher, who oversees the New York powerhouse Pace Gallery, said he thinks talent agents could drive a divisive wedge between artists and their dealers, who have historically guided artists toward commissions or relationships that may secure them a lasting place in art history.

“It sounds like an interesting idea, but it’s going to be super hard to pull off,” Mr. Glimcher said. “If you’re going to be an artist’s agent, you need to know more about their work, their prices and their collectors than their own dealer does—and no dealer will be induced to share that kind of information.”

Beyond market intelligence, Mr. Glimcher said talent agents will need to discern how many commercial deals an artist can shoulder without looking like a sellout to art-world insiders: “Do too much, and you’re just not cool anymore,” he added.
Hollywood  talent_management  career  contemporary_art  artists  product_launches  galleries  lawyers  entertainment_industry  market_intelligence  talent_representation  superstars  art_market 
february 2015 by jerryking
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