For several months now, a large part of my time has been spent exploring different ways to connect with buyers. Gone is the era of magazine advertising and other similar, traditional methods of informing people about a product or service, whatever that might be. The Art Market is no different, in this respect, to many other areas of life which are forever changed by technology, notably the Internet.
For artists, the traditional gallery with an experienced, knowledgeable owner who would actively match clients with a particular artist or style of work is, sadly, also largely a thing of the past, with very few art dealers running a bricks and mortar gallery. There are now shops selling pictures, instead. Often, these are providing decorators’ pieces, intended to fit in with the curtains, as opposed to quality art, intended to stand the test of time.
Online, there are many so called galleries, awash with offerings as diverse as rip-off Andy Warhols, Jackson Pollocks and portraits of Marilyn Monroe or Jimi Hendrix with paint streaks running down the canvas.
Everyone can now become an “artist”. They knock something out, without any skill or experience, place it on an unvetted online website and then declare, “I’m an artist”. Pathetic, I know, but the same can be said of someone who has music recording software on their laptop, sings some la la lyrics & presents the resulting music video on Youtube. Yet another “musician” is born.
Where, now, amongst all this, does a serious art buyer go to find a professional artist producing high quality work and which, hopefully, will hold its value? Can’t answer that, I’m afraid. It’s a minefield into which many ill-informed buyers are drawn. How can they separate the wheat from the chaff
I am fortunate in that, after being a professional artist for some 53 years, I have a few notches on my belt with some very longstanding, loyal and supportive collectors, of which many of you reading this are numbered. Some very well known, famous names, institutions and individuals have my works in their collections. An artist with such credentials might be said to have “form”.
So, my advice is simply this. Don’t be afraid to explore new ideas and works by young artists. Visit art fairs, despite the fact that many of the galleries showing do not have actual premises that you can visit & view works at any time, other than by appointment. Be careful, though, for such “pop-up” galleries may not be in business for very long. Try to contact an artist directly. This way, you can determine to a certain degree, whether they are serious and dedicated or simply playing at being “an artist”. Do they have “form”?
It is easy to follow an artist online, through their website and on Social Media, such as Instagram and Facebook. On Facebook, you can find me at Derek Hare Seascape Paintings.
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