Why it's important for the art world to be more inclusive?
Art schools teach artists to serve an elite
When I was at art school, it was difficult for me to talk about my artistic practise the way teachers wanted me to. I painted girls because I wanted to paint girls. I painted symbolic massacre scenes because I thought it was fun to play with this contrast. Obviously, I was depicting the reality of our society, where women are still associated with beauty and weakness, and at the same time they’re being persecuted.
I never wanted to develop a complex and conceptual critique of my artworks. It never seemed natural to me. Would other people understand if I started talking about philosophical concepts? After graduating, I noticed that people my age (Millenials) were barely interested in fine arts, and it was very difficult for me to reach the “wealthy educated” audience without getting gallery representation.
Artists need to connect with a new audience
When I look back on these years, I feel like teachers taught us to speak to one small audience: educated and wealthy people with an interest in arts and culture. If young artists aren’t able to make a living from their works it’s because the art world is so outdated, and it isn’t relevant for new buyers: Millenials and Gen-Z. This new audience spends a lot of time online looking for inspiring and meaningful content. Therefore, it is important that visual artists share their artworks and visions through social media, and interact with their audience. What art galleries and museums are offering on online channels, such as Instagram, is still not accessible for this underserved audience.
Social networks give the opportunity for young artists to showcase their artworks independently in a global market. However, with more than a billion subscriptions on Instagram, their content isn’t nearly visible at all. And while plenty of choices exist, there is almost too much available for buyers and it becomes very confusing.
I believe that young artists should look for new business models that are using digital marketing strategies to promote and sell their works. It is important that visual artists understand that the world is changing, and selling their artworks to art collectors only may be a bad idea. This audience is getting older and soon there won’t be anyone to purchase their art anymore.
Finally, I believe that it’s our job as artists, art curators, museum directors, to make the art world more equal and inclusive: if more people have access to the art world, more artists will be able to live from their works.
Let’s create a new art world together.
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