Be Smart About Art

Marcus McAllister

Marcus McAllister

Years in Industry:  20+

Marcus McAllister is a full-time painter with over 20 years of experience in the industry.  He has participated in multiple one-man and collective shows in France, the United States, England, and elsewhere in Europe and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University in the US. Marcus currently lives and works in Paris.           

You can read more about Marcus on his website or his Facebook page.

Excerpt from The Artist, 1st November 2012: 

Case Study: An American Artist in Paris 

Marcus McAllister is a full-time professional artist who had lived and worked in Paris for 16 years. His first experience of exhibiting highlights the importance of artists' general networks. Marcus's first show, a restaurant show, was secured because the Parisian restaurateur was a friend of a friend. A problem arose at the private view, because whilst Marcus viewed the occasion as an art preview, the restaurateur saw it as an opportunity for increased trade and was not amused when Marcus's friends, and friends of friends, packed out the venue. When Marcus returned a few days later, all paintings had been taken down. The show abruptly ended and Marcus and the restaurateur fell out. 

Thus Marcus learned an important element of exhibition preparation: set expectations and communicate with the exhibition partner. Find out what the other party wants. Ask the question: 'Can our goals meet in the middle?' Be willing to compromise, but only if each party's aim will still generally be met. This applies to shows throughout an artist's career, no matter how green or established they are. 

Despite all this Marcus got one fundamental right, which led to his next opportunity. He had presented a clearly defined body of paintings and, as a consequence, was invited to exhibit at the Art Lovers' Association.

Here, Marcus met the curator of the Parsons School of Design, who subsequently visited Marcus's studio event (note point: regularly exhibit) and, on seeing that artist's commitment to his practice alongside presentation of strong bodies of work, offered a solo exhibition. 

By the time of the Parsons show Marcus was well on his way to being able to make a full-time living from his art. In the gap between the open studio and solo exhibition, he was picked up by agents who sold his pieces to private clients. Art consultants, curators and consultants recognised that this young American in Paris was committed to his career. Furthermore, that artist's positive attitude made him an easy, enjoyable collaborator. Marcus sold a number of pieces at the Parsons show, and some of the fellow arts professionals that he met at those early events are still associates today.  

Profession : Artist

Business Name : Marcus McAllister Art

Website :