The artists who do stick it out and stick around the art world are the ones who go where they are loved. The gallery that wants to show you for the most part is the gallery you stick with. If things start rocking and rolling for you and other galleries want you, well, love from above almost always wins. It wins because there is love there, too.
But this artist was miserable because he "held out for a better gallery". He was wanted... but he did not go where he was loved. He held out for a better gallery, made great work, played the game but never got chosen (to hear him lament, to hear his sad words spoken).
But he HAD been chosen. A gallery he felt was beneath him had chosen him. That road not taken, though, doesn't really ever haunt him because his ego insists it was never even a consideration, never a possibility at all. The BEST was all this artist wanted, was all his ego would let him pursue. Of course, that "good" gallery he thought he was born to show in, well it is now closed, long gone. Actually the gallery that wanted him has closed too. But the hundred possibilities that a show there would have created are worse than dead, they are never-born.
So when you hear the miserable artists lamenting the absence of a career, you might dare ask them "Why didn't you go where you were loved?" I say "dare" because the uncorking of the unthinkable is something that takes courage to initiate.