I have no problem with competition, when it is with talented individuals. While it is interesting to see the praise being heaped on people like ???????? and the ???????? . I have no issue with it, other than I feel there are much better painters out there that should be getting similar praise. But that is not my issue.
Mine is with the teaming mass of absolute amateurs that have flooded galleries and museums. It is as if the barbarians have broken through the gates and have taken over. There is so much work out there that just kills my spirit. It is not just work being shown at simple art fairs, but work getting major gallery and even museum shows. I feel like I am in competition with crazy people. My work is judged on the same level as an untrained street person. I am not even talking about the porn art being made by Jeff Koons and his like, I am talking about the soccer mom that has a studio, and now is an artist.
I have been looking for galleries lately, and I take my work in to show them when I set down the art for them to look at, my work is by far the best in the room. It is better in composition, color and impression. The reaction I get is like I have just set a flaming bag of dog extrusions on the floor and asked, "what do you think?"
How does one deal with the fact that there seems to be little respect for ability, quality, and beauty? In fact it seems that today skill is looked at with suspicion, or even that it is an ego trip by the artist being self indulgent.
Basically, I am starting to feel like there is no hope for the art world, that my deciding to be an artists is not unlike me saying "I am going to be a medieval knight and promote chivalry throughout the kingdom!" Most people would be like, "what ever, idiot. "
No one really seems to care about the paintings other than whether or not they fit over their couch and match the color theme of the room. Or maybe I am deluding myself and the work I am doing is just not that good.
I suppose if I were selling I would have a different tune, but I have not sold a significant painting in over a year, and I feel I am doing the best work of my life, and the best work that I am capable of at the moment.
The following interview is with Wivi-Ann Weber owner of Lily Pad gallery in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Specializing in realism, naturalism and semi-abstraction. Twenty six years in the business Wivi-Anne,has a PHD in art from Columbia University. Her theses was about "How people choose works of art" Over the years Wivi-Anne has advised hundreds of clients on on works of art for their homes and collections. She is the areas best known expert.
- The artist needs to think about what the client might want. Everything is purchased on the basis of meaning to the client. Unless they are a collector filling a void in their holdings, it is all about them, and not the artist.
- Many times I have stood with a client before two paintings. One more professional than the other. The client then would choose the less well painted piece because there was something in it that had meaning to them. I have experienced that there would be nothing I could do to persuade them to purchase the better piece.
- It is important to listen to the sophisticated buyer. We need to remember it is about what THEY want to purchase. You always have to look beyond yourself as an artist, unless you are not interested in the commercial aspect of art.
- When a client purchases a work of art they are creating their own soul as a reflection outside themselves. Therefore their choices reflect their inner feelings and desires but now mirroed in the outside world. Who you are has to match what you put in your intimate place, your castle. It reflects the inner you.
- The artist need to think "how does the client recreate their inner life with your painting. What the artist needs to do is create something that completes the clients inner life.
- In other words, the client is looking for something that represents meaning for them. What has meaning for you, the artist, may not be meaningful to a buyer. The client may not know as much about art as you do, but they know what is important to them.
- Think about who buys the art. Usually it is a person between thirty and sixty years old. What is that age group looking for?
- The client wants art that is personal to them, and they are not concerned with what is personal to the artist.
- Every gallery experiences the individual who purchases art, that through well lived lives has come to know quality in a work of art. They search it out. They will purchase a work of art for its quality as well as its subject matter. But even they, want pieces that fit into their lives.
- My suggestion is to rethink what you paint and gear it towards a subject matter in which the art buyer can see beauty. Transfer that type of image to the canvas and that will ultimately enhance their lives.
- I tell people "take the art off your walls and see if you can still make that house into a home, it is not possible. The art completes you and your environment."