Sunday, March 01, 2009

Economic crisis and art - Uniqueness and quality

I'm still doing well in creating and selling art (through the galleries I work with). But I'm sure I will also be confronted with the consequences of the world wide economic crisis.
Of course this crisis has its impact on art sales all over the world. It even has its impact on making art too, but that can have a possitive effect, depending on the artist. Crisis and poverty make creative!

I think it's the same as in a lot of other sections.... The strongest/best will survive. Regrettably there's also money involved. If you've got enough, you do not have to worry and/or work your ass off. You will survive anyway... but that has nothing to do with the quality and uniqueness of the art you create or sell.

The last decade we've been overloaded with art. Everyone is an artist these days... at least that's what they claim to be. And if you're a famous actor, deejay or tv-personality and you start to create art, your name is your brand and you sell. Even if the art is bad.

I find this quite disturbing. My vision on art is that you have to fall in love with a piece of art.. not with the name of the artist who created it. That comes second (when you discover that you'd like to have more of the artists work because you adore it). Maybe now (and as long as the crisis lasts) is the time to make the difference and show what you are worth as an artist, but also as a gallery owner.

During the last years I visited a lot of art fairs, musea and galleries to broaden my horizon. I read everything I can about contemporary art, exhibitions etc.. in magazines, books and on art websites from all over the world. Unfortunately I must conclude that there are a lot of copycats. Not exact copies, but stealing styles... Most of the time the 'artists' who work like that are not the best ones. They do not have enough imagination of themselves. Of course, when you're a student and you need to learn the techniques, you look at wellknown contemporary artists and the range of famous historical artists. You learn a lot by trying to peer with them. But in order to become a real artist you have to develop yourself and create your own unique style. Not one that already has been done by a lot of other 'artists'.

Sadly I often run into this not-unique-art.... a lot of galleries who try to play it safe, offer their clients those "ready-to-eat chunks"/"consumption-art", and the 'brand' art of already famous actors/singers/tv-
personalities. Persons who were (often) never trained as a visual artist or even have the talent for it. You can say: 'but that's what the people want'.... on the other hand.. it's what the galleries show and if there is nothing else to choose from... ??

But... there are no solid rules about what is art and what is not, and who am I to judge ones taste?
So... the more I try to analyze this and seek for answers, the more I realize that there are no right solutions. In the end it's all about money... anyway... most of the time it is! I'm glad there are still people who really go for the piece of art itself.

Economic crisis or not, I think it's best to do your own thing, on your own way but with an open vision and all of your heart. That way you can never have regrets, even when you don't make it as an artist or as a gallery owner. You can never say that you never tried...

1 comment:

  1. This was wonderfully said, Esther. You have a very realistic and positive view on the crisis in regards to the art world. As we've discussed before- one must go with their heart. I feel the same way about not regretting anything. I'm going to just push through and not worry too much-- because worrying is a waste of energy and won't help. It would be nice to see the "fake" artists fade away now.