Helping Professional Artists
After more than 20 years of writing about art for publications like ARTnews and the Wall Street Journal, I decided to launch a site where members can find information about building a life as a professional artist. The art press has tended to ignore the less glamorous but necessary aspects of this difficult calling—like:
- Should you have a contract with a dealer?
- How do you find a dealer in the first place?
- How do you keep your collectors happy?
- How do you balance family with a globe-trotting career?
- How do you handle a bad review?
Building Momentum with Indiegogo
As I mentioned in my campaign on Indiegogo, the art world has exploded in recent years, but art-related sites have scarcely kept pace with the possibilities for communication and idea sharing (what we get instead are overlapping reports on the same artists, the same art fairs, the same auctions, and the same biennials and museum shows).
Named for the great Renaissance chronicler and our present century, Vasari21 debuts with podcasts—M’Liz Keefe on building a career far from the “scene,” photographer Mona Kuhn on making the nude shamelessly beautiful again, and curator René Barilleaux on the enduring allure of Joan Miró and Andy Warhol—and a table of contents (“Articles” on the toolbar) that covers a wealth of subjects.
Features will include reports on how artists respond to reviews, how critics operate, why some galleries have contracts and others don’t, profiles of undersung figures in the art world, and how social networking benefits successful artists.
Under the Radar presents a changing gallery of artists and their works, dedicated people you probably won’t find in the mainstream press.
Did You Know? presents entertaining art-historical factoids, often linked to current museum shows.
And Artist Essays are firsthand accounts from artist members about turning points, influential mentors, unforgettable lessons, and other bulletins from the life of an artist.
No other internet website brings you the voices of the art world. In my two decades of reporting, I believe I’ve acquired some expert skills as an interviewer, and I plan to offer one-on-one podcasts with a variety of guests, such as:
- Peter Plagens on his career as an artist and critic
- Ellen Harvey on her life as a “conceptual realist”
- Individual artists on the quality of residencies worldwide (such as, Elisabeth Condon on a Swatch fellowship in Shanghai
- Karen Giusti on the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa)
- Irene Hofmann, director of Site Santa Fe, on biennial fatigue
- Cultural historian Arden Reed on “slow looking”
- Art dealer and scholar Francis Naumann on his years with Marcel Duchamp
- Critic Blake Gopnik on writing the official biography of Andy Warhol
- Yancey Richardson on her life as a photo dealer
- Nancy Princenthal on finding Agnes Martin
- Mona Kuhn on photographing the nude
- Eric Fischl on writing his autobiography
- Painter Deborah Brown on the art scene in Bushwick
- Individual curators–like Laura Hoptman at the Museum of Modern Art,Tricia Paik at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and
- Liz Armstrong of the Palm Springs Art Museum–on getting museum attention
- Photographer David Leaser on launching his successful photography career at the Architectural Digest home fair (yes, that’s right, a home-furnishings show)
In the early months of 2016, Vasari 21 will be adding a community “forum” where members can seek out advice and connect around the globe (“Help, my dealer just closed his doors and made off with five of my paintings! What should I do?” “Where can I learn about painting on copper?” “What does it mean when my best collector starts selling off my work?” “Where can I get tax advice for artists?”). There will also be individual member pages, much like Facebook’s, where you can keep a blog, offer information, and post photos and announcements of upcoming shows.
Start Connecting with Like Minded Artists
Art isn't easy. Going it alone doesn't make it any easier. Join a growing community of artists and get an insider's perspective on the professional art world today.