TORONTO.- Toronto art dealers collect 30-60% in commission from all artwork sold leaving very little for the artist. A lack of professional status, in the form of an art organization makes artists easy prey for art dealers, who are not governed by any controlling body. Without professional status there is no way to ensure fair treatment, so art dealers become more aggressive and artists more accepting of any offer that comes their way.
Toronto artist, Viktor Mitic, describes a visit by a local art dealer: "He came into my studio talking on his cell trying to sell a painting by Pistolleto to someone in New York. Without even pausing, he just said that my paintings need to be more penetrating and left. That same day I drove down to a gun range in Buffalo N.Y.; I rented an assault rifle and blasted a "more penetrating" painting, a portrait of Christ named Hole Jesus."
Currently no formal criteria exists separating professional artists from amateurs and no legislation to implement strict penalties for organizations that hire non-certified artists. According to Mitic, this degrades the quality of the artwork that Canadians are getting.
Viktor Mitic's painting "Hole Jesus" will be on display at Trias Gallery Nov. 27- Dec. 18. 2008, 80 Spadina Ave Suite 403 Toronto ON M5V 2J4.