Of course you know there is money to be made on any kind of person's struggle, but especially on bruised ego, that's why there is so many companies who will give you this feeling of accomplishment for relatively modest price.
I first encounter it when I was still working mainly doing model tests. I reached out to dozens of agencies, from dozen to hundreds of models each and I listened to the models to see what predicts their success. I saw that some galleries give models work each week while others can leave them for months without even one casting. I understood that sometimes it's model's fault because she doesn't do anything to help promote herself or to keep in contact with her agent, but for some agencies the problem was much bigger: they ask a model to pay for their course, head-shots specifically by in-house photographer and "their representation on agency's website" and then model hears nothing since. Some of them could still take some advantage from being "agency represented", but most never started to seriously model. It was vanity title that agency supplied.
Moving on with my career and working with a lot of magazines, I started to see there were some who reached a few thousand viewers and then start to take money for "guaranteed submission" - when your work will be shown on the website or in print no-matter what quality of work you will supply. Ok, so they will be in magazine, but among which other work? The quality of such magazine is very uneven and it's not what you want your name to be associated with.
Finally, if you really want to be in a gallery in New York...well, just pay $250 per foot of wall space and use the space in any way you want. But before you do, just see if there is one serious art critic, who said anything about this gallery ever, I mean anything positive - maybe an artist got recognized from there or any art was actually sold.
What I am saying is, guys, you shouldn't have to buy your way up, I wouldn't, but even if you do, think of return on investment, not only of this sweet illusion of success at the expanse of your hard earn money.