In my opinion, galleries just don’t get it, and I dare say galleries are thinking, “Generally speaking, artists just don’t get it.” Perspective is everything. Please don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a rant about galleries. Instead, I’d like to tighten up the focus and delve into the Artist/New Media relationship.
I admit that I was a latecomer in jumping on this train, but the importance of this new direction hit me squarely between the eyes, when I took a critical look at the music industry.
For years, the major labels, just like in Vegas, held all the cards and owned the dealer. Then seemingly overnight, the customer could go to Itunes and pay $1 to get the one good song that had previously cost him $19, when he had to buy the whole album or CD. And now you could skip the other 14 songs on the CD that you never listened to anyway.
I believe that very soon the musical Artists will detour the Music Label Machine altogether. Check out Kid Rock’s marketing savvy. He’s even bypassing Itunes and selling his music himself!
So where do we fit in? Well, using the internet and our websites seem pretty much unchanged. However, we now have ways to drive or funnel art appreciators to our website images without magazines or galleries.
Facebook allows an inquiry to become a “Friend” and allows the artist to converse in a very casual manner with appreciators of your work, your lifestyle and your vision. They are very serious about deterring the hocking of your wares, so you need to get out of a business model and into a casual conversation model. Facebook is for meeting new people and introducing yourself. They will find their way to your website, where your work will speak for itself.
So what’s the future? I’m sure it will change many times in the coming years. Google ate Yahoo, and Facebook ate MySpace. YouTube is the second largest search engine, behind Google. Things change fast in the New Media. Keep your eyes open and look for the next thing. It will come at some point and you need to be prepared to jump aboard.
But I think the galleries need to rethink their business model. It’s showing signs of becoming antiquated and I see no indication that gallery owners or art magazines are aware of the paradigm shift that has taken place. This New Media train is coming fast. Figure out how to get on!
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