Tag Archives: galleries

The Art Show Curator: A Glimpse Into the Future? Part 2

In our last post we discussed some of the problems curators deal with finding that perfect combination of artwork thus creating the perfect art show for both their clients and their gallery.

Currently, gallerists/curators  rely on the old-fashioned methods of data collection through sales reports, customer feedback, and various marketing campaigns to address the need for understanding what clients want to see. But often, these collection methods are slow, ponderous and often open to interpretation.

However, in the past decade the computer industry has improved the artificial intelligence of computers to the point where they may take over many of the tasks of trying to curate the perfect show. Advances with interactive technology such as Siri or sensor based data programs such as Nest allow for a possible look into the future.

Imagine walking into an art show and stepping in front of a blank panel. The computer sensors scan your face and using expression recognition software deduces what mood you’re in. Other sensors can detect the cologne or perfume you’re wearing, posture, tension in voice and respond by calculating out what piece of artwork would statistically offer you the most comfort.

It sounds rather cold and calculating doesn’t it?  But all the data processing would be done behind the scenes. All you would know is that suddenly a work of art with the greatest chance of improving your mood and providing the best experience would appear for your enjoyment.

So, our collector that loves sepia and sepia type formatted artwork will, with a single spoken sentence, enjoy work after work of art tailored to his particular desire.

Cargo
Cargo

What if you don’t like a particular form of art?  Imagine saying a simple sentence that you did not like abstract oil painting, and afterwards the computer makes sure you would never see one. It would be a custom tailored art experience for each person.

Names would not need to be collected and data not stored on individuals thus guaranteeing a person’s privacy. It could become a wonderful system to drive sales for the artist and the collector’s enjoyment.  While the actual system does not exist yet, the technology to create such a system either already exists or is in the development stage now.  Sci-fi technology and art working together to create the perfect show.

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Art Show Curating: A Glimpse Into the Future? Part I

Imagine a collector of art going to a new art show featuring the latest photographic art.  This collector loves to buy art, but his absolute favorite kind of art is old-fashioned sepia filtered photography like in our work Old Farm House.   Envision what would happen if he could see an entire show of sepia photography done by several artists.  You don’t need to know a lot about marketing to realize the chances of his purchasing a work just increased exponentially.

Old Farm House
Old Farm House

The result is a happy collector, a happy artist, and a happy gallery owner.  The perfect combination for a successful art show.

However, one of the more difficult aspects of art gallery work is the curating of the works that you present. The art of curating is fraught with peril. So much of your chance for success as an artist and a gallery owner depends upon this task.

Curation of your artwork means looking critically at your work or the work of others and come to satisfactory decision as to what art pieces you will display to the public. But it’s not only what you show, it’s also where in the gallery you show a particular piece and of course how you will do it.   Further, for success it necessary to have a rudimentary understanding as to why those particular answers will work.

Yet, I’m not just referring to finding one’s own satisfaction. It’s more about the audience, or hopefully the collectors that are perusing your works. This is when the difficulty truly creeps in.

Unless you were born as a psychic empathy, your ability to determine whether a person likes a particular piece or what piece a particular individual may like is completely driven by data. This data is, at the moment, captured using surveys, sales reports, and endless tomes of marketing research.

But what if it wasn’t so. What if through the advances of technology we could do away with that collection of endless data and almost, statistically speaking, guarantee you will love the next art show you walk into.   It sounds incredulous doesn’t it?

In our next post I will give a glimpse into the possible future of the art show and the huge difference computer technology will bring to our collective experiences.

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The Price of Art Explained: Insight That You Can Benefit From Starting Today

“Ignore the price. In fact, don’t look at the price tag.” If you said that this is the kind of statement a salesperson would say, you’re about half right.   But this is the best advice when shopping in an art gallery. Galleries are tricky mysterious locations that artists have salespeople sell their art in their name.

Well, salesperson is a negative connotation in this example. Gallerists prefer titles like art director or consultant. The title of salesperson does not go with the mystique and pleasure of selling and buying art. A salesperson sells retail goods. No one ever got $300 million worth of excited buying a tie.

In any case, the price tag placed upon an artwork is both a curse and a blessing. A blessing because it puts food on the artist’s table and allows the gallery to operate. It’s a curse because when we discuss price we are trying to take a subjective subject, the art, and assign an objective worth, the price.  There has to be a bridge connecting  both sides of this subjective vs objective issue.

How then can a gallery actually come up with a price

Japanese Foot Bridge
Japanese Foot Bridge

for a work of art? How does one piece of photographic art cost more than another piece even though they may look very similar in style? The reasons often boggle the mind as well as cause proverbial sticker shock to both the average gallery buyer and even the artists themselves.  That bridge mentioned earlier is value.  Each work of art has 2 values.  One is an artistic value, the other a financial one.

Indeed, for the financial value, it mainly comes down to is the perceived value of the photograph or work in question. The leading generator according to The Globe and Mail is

 “The sale price is really determined only by previous sale prices; in other words they are valuable only because someone paid a lot for them in the past. It’s a logical Moebius strip: They are valuable because they are valuable. These values are controlled by dealers and collectors who conspire to inflate the prices and keep them where they are.”

 

That last sentence about a conspiracy to keep and raise prices is quite important to our understanding of high art prices. Art is not just about a pretty picture hanging on the wall. It has much more power and influence in the financial world than that. A recent comment found in the New Yorker explains why a painting sells for $300 million or a photograph for $6.2 Million.

 

“Art is transportable, unregulated, glamorous, arcane, beautiful, difficult. It is easier to store than oil, more esoteric than diamonds, more durable than political influence. Its elusive valuation makes it conducive to extremely creative tax accounting.”

 

So what motivates a collector to buy and therefore increase the value and worth of a particular photograph? Alas, once again it’s not an easy question to answer. In fact:

“Motivation is also impossible to answer: Do they do it out of a love of art, a desire to provide an educational experience for their populace, as economic investment or as simple competition – out of a primal desire to own the best of everything so that no one else can?” – The Globe

Those personal motivations, coupled with the right amount of money, cause the prices on the art market to reach ever higher in the record books. If anything, it’s a reason to buy art when you find it. Like the salesperson’s quote, don’t concentrate on the price tag. It’s a fluid creature that lives and breathes by the whim of the person willing to pay the money.

But, as I’ve seen too often, I have started collecting an artist work to soon discover that their new work prices are out of my reach. While part of me is sad that I can no longer afford to buy their art, I understand that the art I have already collected has also just increased in value.  So, not only is the artwork making my walls look good, it’s providing an interesting avenue for a return on investment.  I love win-win scenarios.

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What do Art Galleries and Sports Have in Common?

The world of art galleries is like the world of professional sports. That’s a pretty bold statement.  Let’s see how.

Imagine each gallery as a team in your favorite sports league. Each artist represents the players. The type of artists like sculptors, photographers, painters, and such, all represent the various positions that players play.   The gallery, acting as a team, wants to field the best artists for the best result, in this case sales.

Now we should mention that this is not easy. Just like in sports, the gallery can only hope that they pick the winning combination that allows their team to succeed. Just like in sports, there are no guarantees

One that Got Away
Sometimes our best players don’t work out…

the artists or players you pick will perform the way you want.

Now imagine if you start in sports in middle school. Schools encourage everyone to join in and play. But when you get to high school only about 10% of the players in middle school can actually try to make the team. Of those, less than 10% can make it to the college level, and of those chosen at colleges, only 1-2% makes it to the pros.   How much talent is being left on the wayside?

What if you were a really good player but there was a large number of equally good players at your position and as luck would have it, you’re just not chosen for the pros? There are only so many positions to fill and too many people to fill it.   Does that make your talent weaker?

No, of course not. This is what it’s like for an artist trying to get into a large gallery. There are only so many galleries, and unlike sports teams, they don’t always travel scouting for players.   An artist living in the middle of rural Alaska has the potential to become the next Picasso, but you’ll never see him or hear about him. Why?

There are no major international galleries near her. She can’t get to the special events at the galleries. This is a real problem in that galleries are very specific and very skittish about whom they display and whom they ignore. What are her chances of finding true gallery love?

The online gallery changes this equation. Everyone can have a website or a webpage that shows their work. Online art galleries allow for artists to display and even sell their work to the world.   There are no limits to the type of art or the number of pieces displayed.  Further, In the fine art world the goal of any artist is to have exposure. Being online allows for not only local Calling the Faithfulexposure but international also.

With the use of the Internet and its international reach, art is no longer a selective club to be enjoyed by the privileged few. Oh sure, there will always be large galleries and institutions that are by invitation only. You will always have detractors and naysayers of the online art movement. But that is how opportunity works.

Speaking of opportunity.  Remember to download your Christmas card catalog today!  Time is running out on your chance to order these fine cards.

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