American Painter moving to Paris
I am a 26 year old emerging American painter who would like to move to Paris as soon as possible. As far as you know, are there many galleries in Paris who would consider looking at my portfolio? Would it be completely necessary to speak French fluently? Is there any chance of making a living until a prospective gallery could show my paintings? I want to move to Paris, but am afraid I will not be able to get my foot in the door.
Aside from the fact that the art market in Paris is not all that vibrant, much depends on you and, especially, your work. The up-side of the story is that Paris has at least 200 art galleries ranging from the highly-established and terribly traditional ones in the 8th arrondissement to the more experimental art spaces in the 11th, 20th, and elsewhere.
Between the extremes you´ll find lots of potential doors to knock on in the St. Germain des Près and the Bastille areas. Speaking French will not be an issue; who you are, who you know, where you´ve shown, and what your work is like -- will be.
If you know any Paris artists, ask them to introduce you to their gallerist. Put together a highly-professional "dossier" of top-quality slides and photos, a list of your shows, and maybe some past catalogs, come to Paris, research the scene, and set up appointments. It won´t be easy, but it´s not easy anywhere for artists. In terms of making a living...what do you do back home?