Everything changes continuously and the art world is no difference. I develop myself as an artist, my work evolves alongside and also the art world makes progress in a haphazard way.
At the beginning of my career I was an art school graduate visiting galleries with my portfolio. I studied the gallery advertisements and called them for an appointment when I thought my work would fit in. We would meet and when we felt a match we joined forces. This resulted in long-term contacts allowing me to present new work in the said gallery on a regular basis. I did not sell much, my work was considered the abstract note next to their more commercial items, the ones that did sell. I sometimes made a special piece for an art trail in a park of a public garden. At that very beginning I even received some money once for making and exhibiting my work. I was given a scholarship which allowed me a meagre sustenance while developing myself as an artist. I thought I had it made. Sales would start growing at some point, I worked hard and my reputation would grow. People just had to get to know me a little better before they would start buying my work.
Then I had children and disappeared off the face of the earth for a couple of years. The change in my personal life was so enormous that it also changed my work. Apart from that I was in a constant state of exhaustion due to the broken nights, I was just busy all day with my little ones. They were most important at that moment. But when my daughter was two years old I was crying out to exhibit again. I had made some things during those years but smaller and much more intimate than my previous work. And I no longer cared if people would like it or not, making accommodating things had become unbearable.
I woke up in a different world. Galleries had closed, not just one but lots of them. And that was only the beginning. I was no longer a bright young talent but a woman with children. And in this depleted world of art exhibition the galleries now asked me to pay them for exhibiting my work. I felt a strong rebellion against that. (In order to create my work I already have to make considerable investments and the making of an exhibition also costs money. The driving back and forth, materials needed to exhibit the work all cost money.) Artists had been declared Cultural Entrepreneur. Nowadays it’s completely normal to pay for the possibility to exhibit.
This change in art selling locations is still going on at the moment. Online galleries are rising. Artists are putting themselves on the market, literally. Galleries are still collapsing all the time, well-known places can’t manage it anymore. The way art is treated in this country is part of the problem. According to our government art is no longer valued. Therefore many artist escape abroad. To co operations and short-term exhibitions. To fairs. To new places that had never before been considered suitable for exhibitions.
Do you like art? There are numerous artist who would love to transform your living room into an exhibition area for a weekend. Just open up your house to guests and invite your network contacts. Throw a nice party! You will end up with an exclusive exhibition in your own home, helping out an artist and create an experience for your guests they will continue to talk about for a long time.
Art is a great gift.
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