Art Comment Quarterly
Eoin's Aphorisms and Exhortations for the Artist - No. 3
"A shallow age has a cold heart and clothes itself in verbiage."
- Eoin de Leastar
Questions of Exposure for Artists
It just makes common sense that the more exposure an artist's work gets, the better his chances are of being 'discovered', and therefore able to make a living from the income of the sales of his artwork. A fair measure of a successful artist is one who earns a decent living from his art.
Let us take an example from recent history of an artist who became successful due to good exposure. Norman Rockwell the famous artist of mid-20th century Americana soared to fame because his art was viewed by hundreds of thousands on the covers of the extremely popular magazine 'The Saturday Evening Post'.
However, by far the most common route to success for the artist has traditionally been the 'one-stop' solution afforded by the art galleries.
Art galleries contribute certain elemental ingredients necessary to the achievement of a successful career for an artist: exposure, validation, and buyers.
They provide exposure by providing for the artist a venue in which to exhibit a selection of her work during a given period of time.
The mere act of selection of an artist to be exhibited by a gallery is in itself a form of validation of the worth of that artist. Galleries also involve the press who could provide more validation via a favourable critical review.
And, of course, commercial galleries also invite those all-important buyers.
However, commercial galleries are constrained by limitations of space and time to select only a few artists from a very large pool of talented artists. As a result most artists could be termed: the 'hidden majority'.
With the dawning of the age of information technology, where images, words, and even sales transactions are accessible to billions of viewers in measures of nanoseconds, is the traditional gallery system still essential to an artist's success?
Are there other means besides the traditional gallery system that can give an artist the necessary exposure, validation, and buyers?
Art Comment would like your opinion
Are galleries are still essential for an artist to find success?
If you are an artist who has become successful outside of the gallery system, please email us to let us know how you did it by writing to us at: My Comment. Our readers would like to know.
What means can talented artists not currently exhibiting in a commercial gallery use to get their needed exposure?
And how can buyers find those 'hidden gems'?
One alternative is artist directories. They are available in various formats and provide artists and buyers certain advantages not available in galleries, such as
24-hour availability and listings of artists' contact information. (In fact, many gallery artists augment their exposure by also listing themselves in artist directories.)
One very good (and economical) way to enhance any artist's exposure is to place a portfolio of his work on the internet via a professionally prepared directory of artists like the one at ArtVitae.com.
There are also various hardcopy directories of artists that have their own unique advantages such as more detailed images, and indisputably great coffee-table-ability. Additionally, the published hardcopy directory becomes part of the permanent record for future researchers.
The new Artist Area Directories for Ireland is one such hardcopy directory that has just hit the bookshelves.
Please take a look at our look at Artist Area Directories for Ireland.
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