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Bombing Fields

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on september 30, 2010

“Don’t take away My Saturdays”, 60×80 cm, acrylic and permanent marker on canvas, 2010, 6000 kr.

The Internet is doing to galleries what a bomb would do to the Fields Mall.
Sure, some brick and mortar stores still have relevance – much in the same way real world art shows still make sense. But galleries are doomed to lose their role as gatekeeper for the artist as well as the collector. Artists will find ways to host their own shows as oneoffs with established galleries or in empty storefronts. Paying the rent creates a need for cash upfront, but control and sales income remain with the artist.

As an artist, it more and more looks like a losing deal to surrender 50% of sales in return for hapless marketing and real estate on a physical gallery wall. Smart artists around the globe are now using their tech skills to connect directly with collectors as well as establish a permanent online record of their artistic activities. Instead of leaving a printed resume in a pile of similar ones at the gallery, Blogging is a powerful tool for documenting and communicating the artistic journey.

The balance of power is shifting back towards the artist and the collector. In this relationship the brand of the artist becomes everything as he performs to the dispersed audience of thousands of individuals.

But about the painting above – this is the next one in the lineup from the series “War is Coming Home” featuring scenes of war in our home country. What happens in the aftermath of terror? People stay home… Denmark is increasingly finding itself in the top of the list when terrorists want to make a statement. Maybe it’s time to rethink our foreign policy…

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by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 13, 2010

Artwork by Hugh Macleod I was out walking with the twins yesterday and decided to swing by one of Copenhagens more upscale galleries. This place is not much different from the rest of the galleries here, but having the twins along gave me an opportunity to see things from a different perspective.

The Gatekeeper. The gallery is 4 steep steps up from street level. Very prohibitive when entering with a pram, but I managed somehow.
At the outset I am not saying that bringing 2 4-month-old toddlers to an art show is necessarily a good idea, but at least it got me thinking about the way traditional galleries approach their audience.

White floors, white walls, white ceiling. The traditional way of presenting art is to remove it from it’s context. This serves to enforce the notion that the item showed really IS art and eliminates any doubt in the eyes of the observer. This is one of the cornerstones of the “Found Objects” branch of art which claims anything can be art as long as it’s removed from it’s context. Think only of Damien Hirsts Sharks or Duchamps urinals.

Intimidating. The traditional art gallery is not for everyone. Whether this intimidating atmosphere is intended to discourage the observer from questioning the artistical quality of the items showed or simply to attract and repel certain segments of viewers is open for debate.
It’s probably a little bit of both though.

The traditional gallery is dying.
Like the cartoon? check Out Hugh Macleods work.

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