The New York Times has a good article today on Felice Frankel, an artist who is the head of the Envisioning Science program at Harvard. She uses “cameras, microscopes and other tools to display the beauty of science.” It’s wonderful stuff. Part of me has always wanted to pursue this type of career: combining art, design, education and science. I think that my work dabbles a little on the edge of this kind of stuff, looking at organic world in a novel way, but I’ve always been intrigued at the idea of diving more fully in, and seeing where it would take me.
In the article, Ms. Frankel says that she doesn’t consider her work to be art, in part because when she showed it to some galleries, “nobody wanted to bother looking.” I’m sorry she feels that way, because she is definitely an artist. The fact that her art was not desired by a few galleries… feh, doesn’t matter a hill of beans. In fact, the response she received doesn’t surprise me, since her work does not really fit into one of the small number of styles that is currently in vogue. The gallery scene doesn’t have a lot of room for work that doesn’t fit in, since galleries need stuff that they know is gonna sell so that they can pay the rent. But that shouldn’t stop any artist. I know that my first reaction on reading this article was: “where can I buy a print of this art?” And I bet there were a lot of other people like me, interested in her art, gallery acceptance or not.
Unfortunately, her website had no way to buy any prints, so the story ends there. But it doesn’t need to. The internet is giving artists a new way to reach an audience and sell their art outside the of the gallery scene. It’s a young market for sure, and tough to figure out. But my gut tells me that it is the future. I think a lot of people never buy art because until now, there was no user-friendly way to do it. You either bought a cheap poster at Target, or you fended for yourself in the jungle of attitude that is most galleries. The internet is beginning to give people a way to bypass all this, buying good, quality art in a friendly, direct way. I think that in a few years, people who used to never buy art will start doing so, and doing it directly from artists’ website. In fact, I’m betting my career on it.
- She Calls It “Phenomena” Everyone Else Calls It Art. (NY Times login req’d)
- I just found that Edward Winkleman has some similar thoughts on this
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It would be nice if her site showed more work. I tend to agree with you about people buying more over the internet. I think once they take that initial leap of faith that the artwork is going to look like they are expecting, it becomes a little easier. I think a lot of artists also need to put on the ‘customer’ hat for awhile and navigate their own sites to see how accessible or easy the ordering process is.