Beverly Hills talent agency to manage artists careers

Wikimedia Commons: Sörn

The Beverly Hills-based United Talent Agency, which represents actors such as Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Harrison Ford, has launched a new division called UTA Fine Arts, extending their expertise to the careers of visual artists, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the agency’s chief executive Jeremy Zimmer and its chairman Jim Berkus (both art collectors), the agents will not seek to step on the traditional role of galleries by showing or brokering sales of the artists’ work. Instead, they will help the artists to source financing for their creative projects and sign corporate partnerships, as well as offering them opportunities such as digital distribution platforms and access to the film industry, on a basis of a 10% commission for each project they initiate.

Pace director Marc Glimcher interviewed by the WSJ, said he was worried about how this Hollywood incursion into the artworld will affect the artists’ relationship with their dealers, and warned the agents against the temptation to ‘sell-out’ the artists: “Do too much, and you’re just not cool anymore”.

Although UTA Fine Arts hasn’t signed any artists yet, art lawyer and head of the division Joshua Roth said his ambition is to represent ‘the best names in the industry’. 

12 February 2015.