|Lucrezia by Francisco Benitez, 30 x 30, encaustic on panel.
I recently had a conversation with an artist about how she
is struggling to get her drawings and oil paintings
noticed by the "art world" and her frustration that she
can't seem to get her work out there in front of a wider audience.
I thought to myself, I never want my work to be seen by a
wider audience (shudder, shudder), but if I did, here's what I'd do.
Find a trend and jump on it. This flies in the face of doing
your work out of passion or curiosity, but the art world is full of trends that
might speak to you. If there is one that you can identify with, you can steer
your work in that direction and maybe just ride that "what's hot" wave.
Signature style--what holds your work together? It may be the
thing that gets you noticed, so suss out what it is for you and accentuate it.
Maybe even devote a series of works to exploring "it." And this could be
anything: your process, subject matter, painting style, or chosen narrative.
Whatever it is--emphasize it. The art world is saturated with work, so if you
want to stand out, you have do
something that stands out.
Chatter, hype, or just the right conversation at the right
time--when it comes to getting on the radar, you definitely have to be willing
to talk about your work or have someone do it for you. This isn't about being
obnoxious or cocky, but it is about knowing what you and your work are about
and getting the word out.
||Venus Pregnant by Steven Assael, 72 x 48,
oil on canvas, 2002.
Looking at this list, I want to cry out, "Is it really worth
it?" I'm not always so sure. Because when it comes down to it there are so many
artists out there that deserve recognition on their own merits. At Artist Daily
we do our best to showcase artists who have something to say for themselves and
who really care about their work.
And the same goes for the artists you'll find in American Artist magazine. Artists like
Francisco "Paco" Benitez (featured in our January 2011 issue), who creates thoughtful
figure paintings steeped in history and created with encaustic paints--a medium that goes back
to the days of the Egyptian pharaohs but has been all but forgotten. Or Steven
Assael, profiled in the December 2010 issue, whose subject matter pushes the
envelope far past conventionality and makes paintings that are both intimate
So steer your artistic career in a way that feels right to
you. Because no one can predict what is going to happen tomorrow let alone over
the course of a lifetime. The only thing that matters is
doing what you love and making art that you care about. And the only person you
have to answer to is yourself. What do you think about the "art world?" Is it worth getting noticed? Leave a comment and let me know,