Everything in the art world is shifting. The most obvious trend is the move toward a virtual marketplace for showing and selling art. This has been happening gradually, but now we have new evidence that collectors will pay top prices for art they purchase online. Recently Frieze, the first major art fair in New York to happen virtually, reported strong “attendance” and sales.
This is just what is happening at the top. Galleries are also moving exhibitions online, artist/ teachers are offering classes on Zoom, everyone is adapting to an online marketplace. Yet I worry about what may get lost in this process.
When all of our information comes from screens our senses are limited to sight and hearing. We are cut off from the other senses: touch, taste, and smell. Together the five senses provide information that is crucial for artists. They are the source of intuition, a way of knowing that is just as powerful as logic.
Intuition is often described as a feeling, a “sixth sense” or “gut reaction,” a speeded up understanding that skips over cognitive processes yet still arrives at an accurate perception. For artists, much of your knowledge comes from intuition.
The flat screen flattens our experience because we miss all the sensory information that deepens our connection to the world. Think of the difference between the weather prediction on your telephone vs. the actual weather. “Partly cloudy, 58 degrees” may be true, yet when you go outside you feel the wind, see the changing shapes of the clouds, and enjoy brief rays of the sun.
So, my advice? Adapt to the virtual world as best you can, but never forget that the real world is the source of your art and inspiration.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.