ART DEALER
 

 

 

 


 

 
 
               Antonio Pessoa
 
                   Art Dealer
 

It's no big surprise,actually it's no surprise whatsoever that Antonio Pessoa comes up with this watercolor entitled ART DEALER. It might sound funny that I put it this way,but fact is,they had it coming. Ever since his fine art first steps in Amsterdam up to now,his relation-chemistry with art dealers has always been an immense display of funny,even shocking episodes marked by enough glaringly vivid sensationalism,to become an excellent movie script and consequently a very probable worldwide successful motion picture. Along the past ten years,throughout our punctual ( off the record ) late evening,sometimes all night long pleasurable conversations,I've become more and more familiarized with the artist's rich content memories,particularly concerning this behavior pattern of the art merchants he has been stumbling upon along the way. The harassed petty annoying process of transforming them into business partners,in spite of always having provided him with interesting,handy,global promotional and specifically financial facilities,there was always the other side of the coin,so very often growing up in the form of politely disguised suspicion,generally ending up with a mutual resigned attitude based upon "if you can't beat them,why not join them" sort of idea,if you get my drift. Antonio Pessoa's strategy of using the art dealers passion for fast profitable income,has increased in quality and know-how expertise,systematically provoking raised eyebrows and cold shoulders,a situation sometimes rather difficult to fit well into the general décor,thereby issuing no guarantee to both one-of- a-kind parties that the Grand Pipe of Peace smoking session was about to be the next step of the almost take it or leave it negotiations meeting. Thanks to this year-after-year educational intensive experience and real-life tutorials,a considerable immunological tolerance has been remarkably developed as time went by,gradually providing the artist with a rather cool shoulder- shrugging indifference towards ruthless art market soul destroying tricky ways. No wonder Pessoa's impressive healthy detachment toward the worldwide art scene racing struggle,keeps him psychologically safe and sound,basically neutral to all different forms of pressure,such as silent treatment,hard to get playing,pseudo-snobbery high fevers,curriculum vitae obsessed go-betweens,you name it... Thereby it's only natural that the extent of the artist's evasive give me break attitude has indeed by now reached an effortless degree of pure automatism in which the "no pain no gain" old recipe sounds rather like a senseless,useless outmoded quotation. However,in spite of all these mysterious slippery shadows of the past,on the whole,Antonio Pessoa should have no reasons to be complaining about. As a matter of fact,let alone his reputable working capacity,talent,skills,technical level and prolific gifted imagination,he actually got pretty lucky along the way by coming across real gentlemen in the art business who managed his art career with absolute transparency,vision and punctuality,furthermore managing to establish a truly lifetime friendship relation with the artist. Thanks to these highly ethical and efficient art mediators and gallery owners,Pessoa became a premature wealthy artist and next thing he knew he was climbing fast up the hill,provided with the proper stimulation,at the right place and at the right time,feeding him with the dynamic incentive for super art action,and consequently moving his technical improvement process forward with such a force,to indeed such an extent of burning creativity and passionate working combustion that a whole lot sooner than it was to be expected,Antonio Pessoa had become a true art studio wizard and his brand-name an unquestionable contemporary visual arts phenomenon. As confident as can be,from then on,the painting machine magic had a sponsored one way ticket to the exciting life of a successful young professional artist. Overcoming the inevitable series of up and down momentum shifts,Pessoa increasing faith and belief in his oeuvre and project,was obviously sustained by his public,clients,family,close friends and very particularly by those exception to the rule distinguished art mediators. Antonio Pessoa today recalls all his endless collection of cinematic episodes with art dealers,with a contagious smile on his face,definitely not a bitter smile but actually a smile of cool retrospective amusement,taking this with the right measure of healthy detachment,all out in the open,no hard feelings whatsoever,and absolutely not like things one would rather have left unsaid. I'm not going to mention names obviously to ensure my genuine respect for individuals right to privacy,neither is Pessoa particularly interested in stain on whoever's reputation and public image. However,the general image and prototypical pattern of the average art dealers,those who have become the backstage actors of Antonio Pessoa - Fine Art productions play,after all these years turned out to become a rather hazy in outline cartoon-like caricature representing a cross- between something like a raptorial bird,card shark,buoyant bluffer,wishy-washy salesman,tricky wily,small-time streetwise,slimy schemer,tricky Dik,foxy-sly wiseguy... The eighteen years old young artist for the first time experiencing back in the 80's,downtown Amsterdam,Holland,the standard territory of weekly appoitments with veteran art dealers,soon finds out that ironically his strong spot ( super art production speedy capacity and artistic quality ),turns out to be his fragile weak spot as well.How come? Even back then,any art dealer entering Antonio Pessoa's Damstraat Studio for the very flashy first time,knew right away he had just found a gold mine and that the priority number one was to show no special interest whatsoever. On the other hand the art dealer also knew that the option of letting the bird fly away ...or shall we say,letting the gold slip through his fingers was totally out of question.Period. Thereby,after a short while of morbid pondering,the edgy agressiveness was on aiming at making the artist feel helplessly puzzled and most important of all,slippery insecure and anxious across the nail-biting business meeting. The young artist's huge art production let alone his naive good-hearted innocence were the main substantial ingredients for him to have to go through this short-term although painfully hard art marketing empirical apprenticeship. The art dealer's eyes were by then already glittering with the Overstocked and Underpriced smiley emotions greedy scintillant gleam. Nevertheless,the smart young artist sooner than they expected,learned the tweaks and tricks of the art business secrets.More than enough talent was available in order to cover both art production and art dealers fast efficient taming operation. Furthermore,there was extra bad news for all of them small-time artist's soul corrupters.Antonio Pessoa at the age of eighteen was already a full-swing professional musicien,if not a millionaire at least definitely already making a pretty decent living out of playing solo or with local dutch bands. This and that plus all the other gifted resources systematically pushing the creative sharp young man back on the right track,turned out to be a flash splash surprise for the mistaken victory assuming art dealers suddenly in a wink of an eye all at once switching from business meetings conductors to passive resigned restless spectators. Throughout the years Pessoa indeed meets a diversity of art dealers each and everyone of them from different backgrounds,from various cultures,perspectives and inevitable with different personal attitudes specifically when it comes to deal with an artist,obviously aiming at the essential motivation.Achieve fast profitable right on the spot financial goals. Always in the process of improving his ability to previsualize any art dealer's profile before shooting,the artist's judgment accuracy and precision became gradually more and more in tune,like a super efficient detecting radar on the look out for those red light warning signals of fraudulent intentions,abusive behavior and that obnoxiously disgusting greedy ruthlessness of the mediocre kind. Once passed the Trial by Fire test,in the very early nineties,Pessoa has become unquestionably an experienced soldier in the art business "battlefield".A true surviver,ready for the tough going,a real-life academy graduate ready to step on the art stage."Fait accompli"! However,before he actually comes to meet Mr.Doright,he still has to deal with another one of the nasty kind. Antonio Pessoa in his late twenties is willing to drop music for good,at least professionally and get fully commited with fine art,switching from noisy smoky,crowded wild night life to more suitable lifestyle in which he feels a whole lot more well-fit for his concentration enhancement and decreasing after midnight distractions therefore get down to an intensive experimental period through which he is indeed going to do his very best in order to make his art performance consolidate into a rather mature,impactful and enduring style. Once again in a few months his art production bacomes an awe eliciting colossal canvases,watercolors and drawings collection,the result of yet another prodigious storm of feverish creative art action. Obviously,after a short period he reaches that stand by point in which the artist wishes to get rid of his average quality oeuvre in the process of making a wise quality art selection.He always did it and still does it this way.However,not for any price,and most importantly not giving in by surrendering to no art dealer's whimsical,capricious and at the art business time sensible to no other passion but avarice. Easier said than done! In spite of the artist's doctorial how to deal with art dealers master diploma,this one proved to be a raging lion in the art business Coliseum. Pessoa actually bullfights him during almost one year the best way he knows how. Every business meeting turns out to be a Sergio Leone like movie,maybe "once upon a time in hell" or "run,art dealer,run". These play and rewind heated sessions indeed might have looked like a truly surrealistic two- players no card deck required Poker Game,where in this particular comedy-drama situation the general rules were "mix a lot of skill with a lucky charm spell" and maybe...you'll get out alive well! The artist had long assumed that if you take art business too seriously besides the possibility of end up getting an overnight headache you might as well wake up mid afternoon with one of those reality twisted smiling hangovers just to find out you're on your own with no art stock whatsoever and just a few bucks in your unpatched-hole pockets. This stressful period's happy ending was when the artist finally met Mr.Moreira,with whom he was about to have definitely the biggest break of the nineties. As time goes by and his grand piano gradually becomes an untouched abandoned dusty Steinway at the south end of his living room,Antonio Pessoa throws himself into his most striking art production odyssey up to then. The Golden Period great adventure had just begun.During these super creative smashing times the reciprocal link between the artist and his new art agent-gallery owner and friend,couldn't possibly have been better indeed. Not only the gallerist provided him with a rather impressive substantial financial punctual assistence,for the artist to have become almost overnight a wealthy young art maker,but also Antonio Pessoa knew how to make the best out of this only once in a lifetime opportunity,by becoming a fully commited eight days a week fine art professional,furthermore improving at light speed,technically,aesthetically and conceptually.Indeed an amazing combination of motivation,positive energy,innovation,intensive studio action,let alone his ever-present incandescent imagination. Nevertheless,on the whole,I wouldn't dare try to make you believe that from the early nineties on,the beating around the bush art dealers eventual negotiations were over and out for good in the hill climbing artist's life. Not quite just yet,I'm afraid.However, the past likewise situations quantity were severely minimized in equal proportion to Antonio Pessoa's increasing success,financial status and oeuvre sales rates. One way or another this specific idea of the streetwise wiseguy art dealer,far from having traumatized him,whatsoever,on the contrary it provided the artist's imagination with that spicy something which over the years,now and then,actually managed to ignite his inspiration just enough to come up with a reasonable amount of artworks representing his own light-hearted( almoust hilarious ) interpretation of this art market small-timers who unfortunately never seem to successfully grab the intelligent dynamic context of what a long-term profitable business relationship between artist and mediator is actually all about.What a shame,if you ask me! Anyway...