Way back when… in the early nineties, I remember a gallerist refusing to exhibit my work as long as I had an online presence. His gallery’s policy, and he wasn’t alone, was that their artists would not have web sites of their own. Basically these galleries didn’t want artists selling direct and cutting them out of the loop – which was more of a judgment on the gallerist’s level of trust than the artist (all artists understand the importance of galleries). Well, twenty years or more on, it is clear that the internet has hugely benefited both artists and galleries. Artists who previously found their work difficult to get accepted by commercial galleries were at least able to show it online; I think it’s probably one of the driving forces behind the ongoing popularity of Urban Art. As the tools of e-commerce became freely available to those without web and programming skills the market place broadened and opened the doors to the benefit of both artist and audience.
When I was a kid my parents were always buying me art books for birthdays and christmas presents; it was a simple choice for them and if I received an art book for a gift then I was a happy bunny. I have kept every art book I was given and I now have a personal library of near 500 titles on art alone. One of the main reasons for this love of art books was that it enabled me to study the work of artists when I would never be in the financial position to ever see the works in the flesh, at the world’s public museums and galleries.
So putting my work online also performs the same function. Not everybody is in the position to be able to drop everything and financially prioritise visiting galleries over feeding a family. For some people even art books are a luxury, but the internet is a far more democratic beast in that regard. So, over the next couple of weeks, I am going to start posting some more ‘exhibition sets’. Most of them are sets of work from past gallery exhibitions. Some are just sets of work that worked under a common theme or idea that interested me for a while.
There’s been a lot of theoretical art-bollocks written on the subject of “The Work of Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (Walter Benjamin), suggesting the idea of the loss of the ‘aura’ of the authenticity of viewing original art by reproduction. But for the greater number of people who love the visual arts, it’s the gallery catalogues, published monographs and now the internet that make the pursuit so easy (and affordable) to maintain.
So I hope those that want to see my work are now able to see a little bit more.
3 thoughts on “Online art”
Great post! Looking forward to it!
i like it !!!
I discovered you, Mr Denning, doing precisely what you describe: viewing the works of artists, studying those works, using them as ‘models’ in lieu of life models…and all online. I have traveled in Europe and seen many of the great originals in France, Italy, and Spain, but that was a once in a lifetime event. Thank you for sharing your work online. It helps keep me sane as I draw, and draw.