Brave New On-Line World

Ok. I’ll admit it, I’m old-fashioned. I like Art on Walls. Paintings. Drawings. Photographs. Frankly life is way too short to care about Art that does nothing for me. If someone comes up to me and tells me that I should open my mind and give it a chance, let them read their text and go to the performance at 6 p.m. sharp; like I said, Life’s too short.

Give me painting any day. Photography is a very close second but it’s the paint…

But in this brave new on-line world of ours, the fact that the painter puts his or her all into the work and it might take weeks or even months to complete would apparently mean nothing. The painting must get photographed for the obligatory social media channels and it is this which is now truly important. (It’s alright when the artist is a Hockney or a Tuymans; the exhibition has been planned before they even put brush to canvas. The up-to-the-minute photograph is not so necessary. It’s when the artist is young or unrepresented. The photograph/web-site/social-media has become everything).

The Photograph Becomes The Star

And if the artist has no money, the artist themselves often takes the photograph and after all that blood, sweat and tears going into the original painting, it is the photograph of the painting and not the painting itself that becomes the star.

And a rubbish, pixelated, and often badly-cropped photograph of the hard fought-for painting shows up on Instagram and a slightly less pixelated photograph shows up on the web-site and it is by these measures that Joe or Josephine Public judge the work, and often curators, fellow-artists, judges and potential collectors also.

A Chance At The Big Lights

But awful as these things may be, thousands of artists are getting a greater chance to be seen as a result. The cities with an Art Market of Note around the world can probably be counted on two hands. If you live outside of New York, London or Hong Kong you might make a living as an artist, but you probably won’t get a chance at the Big Lights. However with the advent of those inadequate, pixelated and badly-cropped images everyone gets a chance.

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