Friday, March 21, 2014

a new look

I thought it might be time for a new look to the art blog I've had for the last few years - something a little cleaner and less busy to focus more on the art in each post.  Instead of the previous black background, I changed it to white - a subtle suggestion of the classic white walls of an art gallery.

I feel this year is going to be a critical one for myself and the many other professional artists whose work needs to address the dual imperatives of painting what personally speaks to them along with with the realities of the current art market - the most depressed in recent decades.  I have heard some artists say recently that only large size canvases are selling.  In contradiction, one of my galleries has started a strategic push to enroll a younger generation of art collectors by offering more smaller sized oil paintings at lower price points.  Additionally, there are many artists who are convinced that selling their work through their own art websites, Etsy or Daily Paintworks (rather than brick-and-mortar galleries) is the more efficient and profitable path.  Then there is the topic of subject matter - landscape, cityscape, still life, figurative - what is currently selling and what is "dead."

I believe these issues and comments are not much different from the challenges professional artists have been facing for a long time.  The demise of physical art galleries by internet art sellers has been predicted for many years, along with the threat of computer graphics replacing brushes and oil paint.  The fact is that hand crafted original fine art is timeless, irreplaceable and has maintained its value to society throughout history.

These are my predictions (for what it is worth):

  1. The art market will slowly recover this year and become more robust in 2015
  2. Brick and mortar galleries will NOT become obsolete because of internet selling competition.  Rather, "legitimate" galleries that focus on high quality professional artwork will be the ones left standing. 
  3. More artists, both amateur and professional, will be augmenting their sales with special (budget) priced art -  studies and sketches -  sold on the internet via their personal web sites as well as other art selling web services.  Artists will continue to place their more significant and higher priced works with galleries.
  4. Smaller, lower priced artwork will lead the art market's recovery as a new generation of younger collectors emerges.  New trends towards urban living in smaller apartments with limited wall space will additionally reduce the sales of large sized paintings in favor of smaller ones.
  5. Unconventional subject matter, such as cityscapes and modern figurative art, will be more popular with young collectors than conventional pastoral landscapes.  Landscape paintings will still remain popular with the overall public, but will represent a smaller percentage of total art sales.
terminus   6x8  o/p   (Confederate Museum, Charleston)

1 comment:

Plein Air Bob said...

this is a great and thought out piece and i agree with all these insightful points. The gallery business is tough in terms of artists having to look closely at the cost of selling on line vs the commissions galleries have to charge. Robin knowlton runs a successful gallery in Lodi, CA that combines a large workshop space with her gallery where her featured artists teach all the imd. her gallery is internet driven and her open house shows are always a hit with collectors. I like the small painting leading the way and focus on "young collectors" you mention. I am reading "Show your Work" which is the follow up to the author's bestseller, :Steal like An Artist". haven't had time to digest it but so far so good. I would like to see this published or expanded iso the public can see it in a wider format. Very weel done.