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
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 exposure 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.
She walked away from her group awkwardly for her portrait. Her feet were not designed for walking on the ground but rather swinging through the trees. As she came to a halt, she started to look around and then she looked right up at me. The second I saw her eyes I clicked the shutter release and captured the shot.
I did everything I knew to make sure of the correct camera placement and that the exposure was right before hand. Yet, I was still worried about that shot. She had stopped in a photographer’s nightmare. She had placed half of her body in the direct rays of the harsh late morning sun and the other half in a dark cool shadow. The other issue was that she was modeling for me according to her own mood. I had about half a second to make the shot and I couldn’t ask her to pose again if I didn’t get it.
While there is nothing you can really do to get an animal to cooperate with you 100% of the time, I concentrated on the 1st problem of lighting. The photographic trick is to get the dark areas in the shadow to show their hidden detail all the while coaxing the same from the bright light of the sun. To compound the issue, her hair was a brilliant reddish-orange brown that reflected the light in a swath of color that was overpowering in the sunlight.
As I snapped the shutter on what would be her portrait, I wasn’t as concerned about the dark areas as I was about the stark white of the sun and getting her eyes into focus. When you use animals as your subject it is so very important to make sure that you get the eyes in focus.
The result was a photograph with a white spot under her chin that simply made her chin hairs glare in pure white. Meanwhile, the reflective light on her already bright orange coat produced a jarring look that simply overpowered the feel of the portrait. I wanted those eyes. So, I went to black and white to make my last image of her portrait.
I’ve learned that while many great photographers exist in the fields of color and black and white photography, you cannot be afraid to cross the line from one to another to show the vision you had as an artist to create it. This is the painters equivalent of using a brush or a palette knife.
Depending on your subject material, and what you want to express you should always choose the best instrument for the job. My artistic vision of her portrait wanted to see the meaning behind her expression and the feeling in those eyes. Thus, black and white became the tool for the job.
Humans have an uncanny psychological dependence for face recognition. We depend on faces for non-verbal communication almost as much as the sound of a voice for language. By looking at the eyes and facial expressions of another person or animal we can determine things such as intelligence, feelings, and even predicting behavior.
Great news! The Dallas Museum of Art has announced on 11/27/12 that they are doing away with admission and membership fees on January 27th 2013. More here. This is a fabulous development. Why?
1. Convenience – Money is a serious consideration in doing anything and admission fees play a huge role in what people want to do and what they actually do. There are now 2 museums in downtown Dallas, The DMA and The Crow Collection of Asian Art. Both are within easy walking distance of each other and both will be free. They are top quality museums that allow you to spend hours in admiring both ancient and modern art.
2. Opportunity – For many people, no fees mean a chance to go see forms of culture and history that they would not ordinarily get a chance to see. More people walking through an exhibit mean a greater chance for donations and volunteers to the museum. It also provides an opportunity for people to give donations according to what they can afford and get a feeling that they belong to a special organization. This will stimulate the need for more exhibitions and even more art. When that art exhibition is photography, it means more demand for photographs.
3. Exposure– What photographer doesn’t like excellent exposure? The lack of admission and membership fees is good for new converts to the modern art world. This includes people seeing photography as an art. I find it likely, as photography becomes more and more accepted as an art form, free admission will result in more viewers seeing more photos in a form recognized as fine art. Over time, more viewers lead to more patrons and patrons mean more business. This encourages a greater understanding and acceptance of photography as a fine art.
This is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Museums get more members and donations, more people see and get education in the arts, and more people get to see photography as a fine art form that leads to business opportunities for all photographers. It’s a good day for photographic art.