Reflections on art and leadership

I use my art to reflect an artist and a senior manager in the financial services industry. I notice that the deeper I understand myself the more I succeed to impact others; in both art and work.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Preparations of my Barcelona exhibition July 2019

After having developed my new Decomplexify concept I have prepared for the July exhibition of ContemporaryArtStation. This takes place from 1 to 31 July 2019 and is situated in the subway station of Passeig de Gracia where some 2,5 million visitors pass each day.

The actual exhibition - First on the left my art work "With the tribeswomen"

A question I often get is - how did that all work? So sharing some background here.

Step 1 - applying, when and why

As I am frequently exhibiting and have a public artist profile I more frequently get approached for exhibitions. Always important to do some background check as nowadays it seems a good business model to play on the eagerness of arriving artists and earn loads of money.
For example, I get approached frequently for being part of books, at a certain cost. In general I do not feel these books play any role in getting seen as an artist. Some of these books ask you for a few hundred dollars to be featured; this is great money for them as printing of a book nowadays is not so expensive.
Also some people approach you with 'you have won a prize with your art'. Of course playing on the ego, yet in several cases turned out to be an expensive way to get into a book and a mediocre exhibition.
So, first step is to look at background of the event, look at previous years, look at which other artists were participating and how your art would look between these other art works.
Here you find the other exhibitors of the Barcelona exhibition.
Cost - If it seems a good way to exhibit, then look at the business model of the exhibition. Different types of galleries targeting different types of artists have their own model. Interesting read is The $12 million stuffed shark - The curious economics of Contemporary Art by Don Thompson.
In the end you shouldn't consider the cost in the light of direct sales and revenues, as sales are uncertain, especially for non-famous artists.

Of course the gallery will review entries based on quality, so if not selected good to compare with the people that got selected. What did they do better, does it look different, are there similar art works, etc.

Step 2 - Selecting art works and uploading
Having had limited art works yet from my new concept Decomplexify I just uploaded all. Yet, good to realise that within the concept I have already thrown away quite a few, so to keep the quality of a certain standard.
Although I do not make my art primarily for the viewers, I have considered which ones would be more suitable for that type of exhibition. Basically every art work gets displayed on a 2 by 1 meter surface, will be printed (as hanging delicate art in a subway station would not really work). It has to stand out and appeal to a broader public.
I actually asked my son Mart (18 years) which work he liked most and he chose "With the tribeswomen", which was already in my mind to pick for the exhibition.

The composition is nice and dark, yet has some good contrast and people should find it easy to recognize some forms or patterns in it.

In addition you have to provide information about yourself and about the paintings. This is a bit tricky when having just developed a new concept, as you haven't found the best words for it yet. Actually, exhibiting is a good way to force yourself putting words on your concept and make it 'simple'.
You can find my info on this part of their site.

Step 3 - Interviews
In general for these exhibitions you can opt for multiple types of exposure. I chose for interview as it would allow me to zoom in on my art in general and this theme in particular.
You can find the full interview here. As you can see I reused the profile picture that I created last year for The Global Art Awards.

Step 4 - The exhibition
Having little time I have just done the basics; sharing through social media and approaching specific friends that could be in Barcelona in July. Always good to see what kind of feedback you get...not to change your art, but see what others pick up around style, symbolism etc. And a good reason to explain others your concept and sharpen your story and the storytelling.

Well hope you enjoy watching it and let me know any feedback you have.
Now up for preparing the next exhibition 30-31 August in Amsterdam, more about that soon.

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