A few years ago I was called by the architect for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel of Boston as the hotel was soon to be open and one of the final details was art work for the walls of the hotel, condominium corridors and interior public resting spaces. He had seen my pictures from a Kyoto series of prints I did previously and that were part of the Boston Public Library permanent collection.
I referred the architect to Ron of Rolly-Michaux Gallery to make the transaction. The architect implied he was looking for “a deal” in exchange for the prestige of my work being hung on the hallowed halls of Boston’s elite property. He urged we work together directly and started talking of a large number of prints to be ordered. I declined and sent him to the gallery as they were contracted as my agent. The deal went sour as their offer was quite low.
At first I was upset at the missed opportunity. But after some thought came to the conclusion that values should trump sales. When one considers the high prices paid for a room or a meal, one should expect appropriate compensation for the artists adorning the walls and providing the sight-lines for all the patrons as an almost permanent installation. But unfortunately this is not the case, even in one of Boston’s “best” properties. So I am proudly NOT in the art collection of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel of Boston.