Art Marketing

The missing element in the art market discourse is the artist

The missing element in the art market discourse is the artist

I am constantly following the art market news and reading articles about the changing art market.

There is a lot of debate how it is changing, not many are sure how the art market will develop and what will happen to it's participants in the future, but everyone agrees that changes are fast and unavoidable.

Art experts and journalists are discussing the "gallery crisis" and the shift of the art fairs. You would probably read and hear about various survival techniques the art world is using:

  • closing brick-and-mortar gallery spaces;
  • reducing participation in art fairs;
  • organising pop-up exhibitions;
  • focusing on Instagram;
  • pursuing sales via e-commerce channels, etc.

However, nobody mentions those without whom the art market would not even exist - the creators of art, THE ARTISTS. How are they affected by the changes in the art world? How is their life changing and how do these changes affect their creative work?

Well I think more and more artists will have to rely more on themselves in the future rather than art galleries, especially those who are just starting out.

Artists will have to extend their knowledge and learn new skills - sales, marketing and PR. They will have to become efficient communicators, knowing how to talk, write about their art and reach their target collectors.

The artists of today must master social media and build a strong online presence. All this means, they will be (are) independent, fully in charge of their careers and income.

Some of them are doing very well already, building a strong following online and ensuring steady flow of income from their art - and that is yet another challenge for the galleries no one talks about.

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Photo credits: artist Aurelija Šimkutė and her sculpture "Hypocrite", photo by Elaine Pringle.



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