the Industry: Daniel Cooney

This week for the Industry, we talk with Daniel Cooney of Daniel Cooney Fine Art who talks about his experiences with online auctions, his gallery and photography. His newest exhibition by Tim Roda, entitled Family Matters, opens today, September 10th, and runs through October 31st.

timrodaApril 08SM

Tim Roda, April

Please describe the art and artists that you expose in your gallery.

It has been my mission since I opened the gallery just over five years a go to consistently show the best in emerging and under recognized artwork including lesser known bodies of work from established artists. Most of the shows I have are debut exhibitions or by artists that I was the first to show.

How do you feel about the various barriers of inclusion that exists between galleries and emerging new artists?

I know it can seem like an impossible feat to find the right gallery for an emerging artist but artists often don’t understand that a gallery is a business and taking on an emerging artist is a big risk. This is part of the reason that I and 4 of my colleagues have started an organization called Project 5. One of the benefits we offer to emerging artists is a portfolio review with New York City dealers. Our website is

timrodaUntitled # 172

Tim Roda, Untitled #172

Do you see any paradoxes between the marketing industry and the promotional/networking side of the art industry?

Well, I don’t know a lot about the marketing industry but I imagine the basics are the same. You need to promote your gallery and your artists as best you can within the budget you have.

What advice would you give artist’s younger than 40?

As with any artist I always say that putting your work before everything is the key. If you spend your time making work the shows and exposure will follow. Unfortunately, many artists spend much of their time promoting themselves and not making the work.

How do you use auctions to sell photography?

I’ve been working with since they started over 6 years a go. We have been very successful in creating a niche in the photographic market that many of the live houses ignore. That is the under $5000 market. There is a lot of incredible photography in that range. This past fall I started the Emerging Artists Auctions which have also been very successful. All reserves are set at $200 and the work is really amazing. Many high end collectors have caught on to the auctions and we have successfully placed many emerging artists in very prestigous collections.


Tim Roda, Centaur

What are the upsides and downsides to selling online?

There is mostly just upsides. It widens my audience beyond what I would ever reach here at the gallery. I have clients in China, Belgium, England, Alabama, Iowa and Florida that never visit New York but I have solid relationships with due to the auctions. There is also a lot of cross over between my auction clients and my gallery clients. Many people find out about the gallery because they find the auctions and then start to buy the artists I represent in addition to the material I sell online.

How do you allow art to appreciate in the current economic climate?

If you can, it is a great time to buy and invest. There is less competition and just as much material available. Dealers are more likely to give more generous discounts now than a year and a half ago.

Do you find that with collectors who mainly focus on photography are interested in different mediums for collecting purposes?

I also show drawings here at the gallery and sell them in my online auctions. I find that photography collectors generally have no problem collecting drawings in addition to the main focus of their collection.

How do you know that a photo or painting is "beautiful"?

I only know what I like. I have often had other people tell me they thought something was beautiful that I just didn’t like. I’m sure I have thought something was beautiful and might have been the only one who thought so…


Grant Willing, Tree

What problems do you see with in the art world?

There are a lot of problems but there are also many wonderful aspects of the art world. One problem that has always bothered me is the people who are in it for the wrong reasons. People that don’t really love art but love the "scene." That can be artists, dealers, collectors etc.

How would you go about fixing these problems?

I think this is an issue that we have to live with.

How do you move along (or past) current art market trends to display new styles (or undiscovered styles)?

I keep looking. One of the best parts of my job is finding work that is unusual and fresh. It barely ever happens but when it does it is exhilerating. For example, I think that my fall show by Tim Roda is exceptional. He handles the medium of photography unlike any photograher I know. Additionally, the work is conceptually and emotionally strong. Perfect!

:: All images courtesy of Daniel Cooney Fine Art


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Posted: September 10th, 2009
at 1:22pm by Koookiecrumbles

Tagged with , , ,

Categories: photo,the industry

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