One thing I know for sure: art is a competition.
Oh, you say, it isn't? Then, what is it?
Don't artists have to do the same things any professional in any field has to do? Make connections? Hope the "right" people know who you are? Getting written or verbal recommendations are the equivalent of good reviews, right?
I think artists hope that having something that is compelling in your work is what propels artists forward to broader audiences and SUCCESS. I am not so sure.
WHAT SCENARIOS = SUCCESS?
If you exhibit at a local co-operative gallery you have made it!
If you get selected for a national juried exhibition curated by the former lead curator at MOMA, you have arrived!
If you are the featured artist for a major, though non-art event, then WOW!
If your work is published in a catalog? YES!
If, if, if....
What is your "if"? What is the thing that lets you know an artist is successful?
If you do __________then you have made it as an artist!
I forgot to mention money...lots of artists expect to sell their work at high prices. That, of course indicates their success, right?
And what about the locale of your exhibitions? "I have a show in New York!", I've been told by artists more than once. I ask, "Where?" If your auntie hangs your work during her garage sale, then so? Or you hang your art in the studio of a friend who lives in Brooklyn. That's nice, but...
I think most of us have goals.
I was in 3rd grade when I said I would become an artist and had no idea what that meant. I have concluded that being an artist means different things for each artist and I know I am still working at it.
When you get the M.F.A. from Yale, as I did, the expectation is that you teach at a university. I finally got around to doing that. And I have always produced art. But I have not always pursued exhibitions. I was an artist whether I had international name recognition or only my mother showed by work in her house. But that's me!
My goals were and are to make good art, and then make more good art and then make better art and show it as much as I can! Yes, I want the New York show beyond the Black Fine Arts show. Yes, I want international venues. NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium is great, (and the other countries where I have work now) but I would love to be included in international galleries and art expos.
So, the art is political. You have to get out there, and network, work the room, build relationships, contact the "right" people
and make the "right" friends to succeed in the art world. We already
know about the art "tiers": international artist, national artist, and
local artist are a few. It's hard when you don't run in those circles. Like getting into the segregated country club, we can't all infiltrate those closed rooms.
By the way, the new Venice Biennale artists have been revealed....
What does, "I have made it" mean for you?
The paintings are from the "Out of the Box" series by Joyce Owens.