Art is undeniably, the greater form of expression for the human soul. With many different and diverse movements through the ages (impressionism, realism, surrealism, etc) it never failed to satisfy the tendency of ‘speaking’ and inspiring people even though we’re referring to ‘lifeless’ objects. From Leonardo da Vinci to Gustav Klimt and from Pierre-Auguste Renoir to Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, art has surely changed and evolved in order to respond to the needs of the days.
But, what does it take for an aspiring artist, today, to become well-known or even to get the chance to show a part of his work? Well, maybe he should just be at the right place, at the right time. Or maybe not, and how easy it might be for him to present his work? Like every serious task a person can take, it won’t be easy, but that certainly doesn’t mean it is impossible.
The first place that comes to an artist’s mind when he thinks “Hmm, where could I present my work?”, is an art gallery. However, it takes a lot of struggle to get accepted in such a gallery as it highly depends on a series of factors, besides the quality of art. The more ‘fancy’ and famous a gallery is, the slightest the possibilities for an acceptance. Sad, but true.
There are, although, alternative galleries and collectives that always looking for ‘fresh’ art and new ideas. These galleries can be found anywhere around the world and are the best chance an artist has to expose his work.
There are, also, some different ‘places’ for exhibition where an artist can show his art.
An artist-run space is one of these places. It’s typically a gallery facility that’s operated by the artist himself, thus giving him the chance to overcome the obstacles that come with public and private galleries. The facility can be any place the artist wants and it can even receive funding assistance by local governments. Well, this is not too bad, is it? Such galleries operate succesfully in several places of the world such as New Zealand (The Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, The Physics Room and more), United Kingdom (FIVE YEARS, Studio 1.1, Hartslane and more), France (Immanence), Canada and in several places in the United States.
What more can he do if, for some reason, making his own gallery is not an option? There might be a solution to this too. In several European countries (like in Greece and the Netherlands) there are small rooms in quite central spots which are used for small exhibitions of unknown, new artists. These rooms are around 15 square meters (160 square feet) and are located at places that ‘gather’ a lot of people, like squares, parks and busy roads. The artist can hold his exhibition for a specific amount of time (usually for 10 days) and he might has to pay a very small rent. This might look strange, but it’s actually quite effective and helpful with the ‘first steps’ of an artist.
However, except for all the ‘types’ of galleries that were written above, there’s still another way for non-famous artists to show their work. And this, of course, involves the use of the ‘mighty power’ of the internet.
To begin with, an artist can pretty easily start an online gallery (by creating a website), showing digital samples of his original artwork and at the same time he can invite other artists with similar or even different styles, to join. In this way he exhibits his art and simultaneously, he builds connections that might be helpful in the future. So, it’s like killing two birds with one stone!
Moreover, the internet can be used and in a different way. It’s a common fact that, nowadays, there’s a mania around social media. So, the artist can use these ‘wild’ trend for his favour. Specifically, he can create accounts into different social media platforms, and try to make himself known. Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it is definitely worth trying as more and more people use them everyday. It might not be what a young, aspiring and talented artist has in mind, but it can be a good start.
It’s become obvious that although art is an important aspect of our every day life, it’s quite difficult for those who, primarily represent it to show their work to the public. There’s a number of solutions and it’ll need a lot of persistence and mental ‘stamina’, but the end result will totally worth it. Besides, sometimes all it may need is to be in the right place at the right time. Or maybe not?