“One Question” with Paul Klein – Klein Artist Works

Paul Klein has long been an art advocate and proponent for art in Chicago. In 2006 his long-term contributions were acknowledged by the Chicago Society of Artists when he was selected as their 2006 Man of the Year.

For the past 6 years Klein has championed Chicago by writing and distributing ArtLetter, an online examination of art in Chicago. He is constantly visiting artist studios, galleries and museums; speaking with artists, dealers and museum curators and directors. Like no one else, he knows and understands art in Chicago and beyond.

He is the Managing Director of The Briddge Group in Chicago, the premier Art Succession Planning Group in the country.

Klein was the Art Consultant/Curator for the recently completed 2.3 million square foot expansion of McCormick Place. It was his vision to use solely Chicago and Illinois artists at the new convention center, where all the content of the permanently installed art is Chicago and Illinois specific.

Klein owned and operated Klein Art Works from 1981 to 2004. When he first opened in River North he established the area as a new art center. After his gallery was destroyed by fire in 1989, his pioneering move to River West led to the development of the entire area.

In over 20 years as a leading Chicago art gallery he established friendships with artists, collectors and civic leaders. He has always participated in his community and is highly respected by Chicago artists since the days his numerous survey exhibitions first brought attention to broad and diverse segments of the art community.

In recent years, because of his Chicago focus at McCormick Place and his plain-speaking ArtLetter he has become the go-to guy in the expanding Chicago art scene, advising artists and cultural institutions daily. Paul has also started Klein Artist Works, a mostly online course to empower artists and deliver success on their terms. He lives in Chicago with his wife Amy Crum, and their children.

Neoteric Art: You teach a mostly online course, called Klein Artist Works, to empower artists and deliver success on their terms. What are the most important criteria for a successful career?

Paul Klein: Thanks for asking. There are 3 main factors to a successful art career. Since the art world is a place where quality, desirability and beauty are entirely subjective, there is no absolute that says one work of art is better than another. It is solely a question of what resonates.

Therefore an artist needs to make art that is distinguishable from (all) others. That’s Number One.

Second is that artists need to drive their own careers – get their ass in the game and the world.

And third is that the art should be good.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of numbers. If you get your art in front of 5,000 people it should not be difficult to get 25 people who love it. And those 25 people will take care of you and create more collectors.

My job is to demystify the artworld, make introductions, build relationships, generate opportunities and deliver personalized strategies so that artists may more easily navigate their path.

Next session starts September 13th.