Sunday, March 14, 2010

Art and Money

Much discussion has been generated about the status of art in the current economy. Ripples caused by the burst of the contemporary art bubble have pervaded the pages of art magazines and newspapers for the past three years - and yet seldom do hear about the status of practicing artists, specifically those outside the nepotistic inner circles of the NY/LA/Miami gallery scene.

Earlier this week Time Out’s senior art critic Howard Halle said over Facebook that “there’s a lot young artists out there who were promised superstar careers in art school, and now, thanks to the shitty economy, they’ve got bubkis.”

With less art selling, opportunities for young artists are becoming fewer and farther between. As galleries become more conservative in the wake of a broken economy, can young artists be expected to sustain any progressive or radical energy, or does the selectivity produce a homogenized litany of intellectually congruous Post-Minimalist bourgeois ornamentation?

Or perhaps the opposite - Damien Hirst at one point suggested that less money circulating the art market encourages art for art's sake rather than art for money's sake. While it's difficult to take Hirst's statement seriously given his billionaire status, there might be a grain of truth to it, that traditionally artists have been motivated more by a love for the creation of artwork rather than the creation of capital. Nevertheless, when oil painters can't afford oil paint, where do artists turn to support their labor of love?

A few opportunities remain. For the past three years MYARTSPACE.COM has awarded $16,000 in cash scholarships to six artists currently matriculated in either an undergraduate or graduated university degree program for visual art. The scholarship, which is open to students worldwide and juried by first-class curators, is based on artistic merit rather than art-scene connections; on originality and clarity rather than decorous marketability. Unlike most competitions for young artists, there is no entry fee.

MYARTSACE.COM provides free visibility and networking opportunities to artists outside of a traditional gallery context. At the same time, it allows millions of art appreciators every day to access unique artworks by over 100,000 artists from around the world. While an economy in decay and a conservative and insular art-market can have a stifling affects on young artists, MYARTSPACE.COM provides opportunities and encouragement not found elsewhere on today's scene.


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