Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Who is an art agent?

The concept of 'Agency' originated in Roman law as represented by the maxim 'Qui facit per alium, facit per se'  or 'He who acts through another, acts as if directly himself'. 
Agency law is based on the Principal-Agent relationship, in which the Agent is authorized to act on behalf of the Principal in order to create legal relations with a third party. An Agent is, thus, required to negotiate on behalf of a Principal or bring a Principal and third parties into contractual relationship. 
When the Principal-Agent relationship is created, the Principal owes the Agent a number of duties, including a duty to undertake the tasks specified by the term of the Agency, and a duty to discharge her duties with care and due diligence. In return, the Principal must make a full disclosure of all information relevant to the transactions that the Agent is authorized to negotiate.
Examples of Agency relationships are:
- A literary agent, who acts as the business representative of the prospective author in regards to a manuscript.
- A sports agent, who acts as business manager for athletes and represents them in contract negotiations, as well handling public relations issues and managing their finances.
And finally, the most pertinent question - who is the art agent?
An art agent, like literary or sports agent, acts as business manager. An art agent represents artists in dealings with private or institutional art collectors, art galleries and other entities. Having an agent has many benefits.  An agent can assist with finding a client, negotiate a commission and promote the artist's artwork using a variety of platforms. An agent can intervene if an artist has difficulty with a third party and, thus, help avoid uncomfortable situations. An artist, in turn, is expected to uphold her end of the relationship.  When you have an agent, you are expected to work hard, continually add new work to your portfolio, and act in a professional manner with all the parties involved. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

What is Art Law?

Opinions vary on what exactly is ‘art law.’  For the most part, it is not a separate jurisprudence and there are just a very few laws, some of them international in scope, that specifically cover art, cultural property, or artist's rights.  Art law consists of a number of disciplines, that protects, regulates and facilitates the creation, use and marketing of art. Art law involves a variety of legal issues such as intellectual property, contract, constitutional, tort, tax, commercial and international law.  And just like any practice of law it aims to protect the interests of the clients.

This blog aims to address the legal issues that may be encountered by an artist, a private art collector or a legal entity. The primary focus is on the visual arts and the practical matters that may concern those who are involved in creating, acquiring, selling, preserving and marketing artworks.