So the other day I saw a tweet asking for LGBT artists for an exhibition in London. There was very little information, but there was an email address to find out more. So I send an email with a link to my website and asking what it’s all about, turns out it’s for a London Pride event run by Goldman Sachs.
The first sentence of their Wikipedia page:
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational investment banking firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients.
So at this point I’m already giving a massive side eye, but I continue messaging them. I become slightly less friendly and ask what would be expected from artists and what they would get from it. The response:
“It is an exhibition – not a gallery, so we will not be promoting sales etc. We will allow information on the artist to be there should someone be interested in contacting you further.”
I’ve never heard of the distinction between an exhibition and a gallery being whether the work is for sale (and all the exhibitions I’ve been in has allowed artists to sell work as well). I guess we should be thankful that they would “allow” artists to display information about themselves alongside the work they have spent time, energy and money creating.
I asked whether they would be paying artists separately. The response?
“No – at the moment that is not in the cards”
So to clarify – a multinational banking firm is organising an exhibition as part of London pride, and not only are they not planning on paying artists, they are also not allowing them to sell the work they exhibit. This is pretty disgusting, and makes it abundantly clear that they are only interested in corporate pink washing and making themselves look good rather than actually supporting LGBT/queer artists (not that I thought they would genuinely be interested in that but you might have thought that the Pride team would have got them to at least pretend better)
I was rather blunt in my response, but I did stop short of pointing out that they’re not exactly short of a bob or two which I felt was very restrained.