Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

I'm loosing count of the number of profiles I've set up on the internet in the past year... maybe about 14... Artfind.co.nz, CreativeNZ, Fuel4arts, Dripbook, Virb, Facebook, Artelista, Issuu, WOW, IntrusiveArt, AniOman, Saatchi... That's not including the multiple profiles on Myspace. Is it a good thing I'm doing to promote my paintings? Or is it just one big bout of procrastination when I would be better off unplugging the computer and focussing on the paint, the canvas, the brushes? At least it becomes easier each time as I have images ready-prepared...

I've never sold a painting through the internet (tempting fate there) but occassionally I've met people who knew my work from seeing it online. It is a form of publicity which is out there for anyone to stumble across and you never know when chance will strike. But maybe I'm not using the internet in the best way? Or maybe the digital image is not the best way to show paintings?

Where are all the artists on the internet? I remember asking myself that when I first opened a Myspace page just over a year ago. It seemed it was all about bands and scoring dates and when I came across another artist it was like an exciting discovery. There were other sites which you had to pay for and they were full of artists chasing the dream of selling work but I was pretty skint and didn't want to fork out on a site that could probably live off the income from the artists and not worry too much about promoting me as an individual. So I jumped into the messy community of Myspace head first. I think it is because it is such a jumble of tacky images, glittery text, layout codes to make the techies ill... it's like a poor suburb with seedy backstreets, music blasting from every window, not a safe place to walk alone, you have your cheap flat and there is a great mixture of cultures, immigrants from the world over, you write with someone and she mentions a gallery you want to see and so you arrange to meet at the entrance to the underground station and she turns out to be someone different from the photo, even a different name, but she is involved with art... I think this is why it is attractive to artists. It's not about separating yourself from the rest - of being in a gallery or art magazine or website - but of being in there with everyone else. Everyone has a chance to show who they are and what they do and to share it with people who may never enter a gallery and the audience is potentially huge. It's not surprising that at least four of the finalists in the first Saatchi Showdown are active on Myspace.

An immigrant myself to Madrid, I guess that was in part the motivation to seek out other artists in Spain and I decided to create a webpage to gather artists together: Artistas de España. Luckily Spain has been slower than the UK in taking to Myspace so I was starting with something manageable. And now I have over 100 artists from all over the country and am starting to apply for funding for projects for everyone to get involved in and getting offers of help from the artists involved. Today I received a message from one of the artists, "Un hombre que viene de nueva zelanda se mueve más que cien españoles" (A man from New Zealand gets more done than a hundred Spanish!) I did it for free and have spent many hours on it and sometimes wonder if it is worth it all and that motivates me to make something of it. It's not unique - there are other artists collectives who have formed through myspace and there are individuals who have initiated participatory projects in their page. But there is a sense in which it is something untried, unstable, unchecked...

I like to think that the internet can be used as a creative tool, not just for promoting work but for initiating new work; for stimulating creativity. It's not just about showing what you do. The internet should be a place where you can feel at home, walk about in your underpants, pop down the pub with a friend and discuss the day to day things. We have to get away from marketing, and away from hoping to get noticed, and turn it into a tool for our own creativity.

So I guess well over half the sites I'm on have failed in this respect; in that they are just about having a presence and showing work. They are not about creativity. But we learn as we go along, no? I'd be interested in your reactions and ideas ;-)

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funny, I was thinking that just yesterday. Same thing today, uploading more photos. But I did get a video group show in Italy (having seen me on the Saatchi site) and I have sold three paintings to people on MySpace (blows my mind) so things do happen. Tim
I've snubbed my nose at myspace and all of a sudden, there are so many artists on it.
Maybe it's a NYC thing, but every NYC artist I know have a blastin site there. And they get on it themselves.
As a curator, I've connected to artists there. Unbelievably. Good artists. Since these we're local NYers we meet and start working together. That's what happens there, so myspace is great.

Chris DeWolfe, the co-founder of myspace was talking on the telly today and said myspace was created for bands. So us as an art community are honing in on their territory. Really. I used to get all uppity when a band would ask to be my friend. Huh. They're just doing their thing. They don't scream and yell that the artists and celebs are all coming on. They just do their thing.

About staying on the internet loads, I would get back to doing my work. Not have multiple profiles and
tons of different sites. Too time consuming. And it shows in your writing. You are becoming a professional
writer. You're excellent. But then that's okay too, you can explain your work better than most and that's half the battle. Good on ya for having a group in Spain. But I would really get back to work.
Me too. I might not come here again. It's too small and I fear, a waste of time. Myspace, emails, and then my work. Not more internet.

I don't know anyone that has sold anything on the Saatchi site either.
hello william, thanks for input.. i think that although the true connection is within, the internet is here to be the final country for the planet and therefore we need to be apart of that, if not for standard commercial applications, but special connection. that might lead to significant realisations and manifestations. the main thin i think is to be patient and stay very creative< i love myspace, but i see artreview to transcend by far myspace iin just a few years, if not in terms of volume, but in quality members as far as art and the art world is concened. i am not an expert in video art, but i know that the art world is very political. i think it will shift soon from a mind focuss direction to a heart focuss direction in general, that is how i see the changes for the next five to ten years. it is all good..
Hello Gilles,

I agree with your comparrison of MySspace and ArtReview.

One thing that ArtReview has that MySpace does not is a focus on a specific community. MySpace is a social networking site for everything and everyone which means that one has to search a bit harder for people with the same interests.

I have to say that I really really love ArtReview. I get to see art that I would not normally have seen and I get direct access to people whom I might not have met at a show, or may not have met because they are out of the Los Angeles area.
Hello Cherish and welcome :) i agree, myspace is a big melting pot, but it has its charmes and it is by far superior to facebook that i find to be a complet non sense. mypsace is very conviviale and i feel that art review will grow rather rapidely to become comparable, but geared toward fines arts rather then directed toward music and musicians.

i use to run a gallery in the mid 80's in LA end we were no more then a couple of handful of important galleries at that time. i have not been back there in many years, but it seems that the gallery circles have widely expanded. looking forward to be doing something there again in the near future, hope all is great for you there...
Best regards, Gilles
I think that William, you are great like the accuracy of your views, and the fact you turn down projects taht don t interrest you. I realised that most of us are comong from myspace, so artreview with a simple post on myspace got most os us and created a succesful network. I m still very naive and like Charles got myspace one year ago and saatchi showdown in the same time and jumped to the same conclusions, i still put my work on showdown even if i know that it is not a fair competition and many votes of mine were cancelled arbitrary. From zero presence online except the shows i was doing i got many sites, and found very difficult to handle it sometimes. From myspace found contacts for a shows and published my work in a magazine, The real thing I found positive is that being naive and shy, forcing myself to show to everyone it helped myself terrifically, also because i had zero pr skills and got a little better, and found out what people think about my work, and what i should do if i wanted to be a trendy artist, and not persevere with my retro art. Plus after living in london a big art scene i live in udine close to Slovenia and found very isolated from the civilised world, and found great people like you, so i don t feel like a lady in the country. Found great artist exchange ideas i think this is the only good thing about internet, the rest is just bullshit... OOps sorry for my french
Gilles i found Facebook terribly annoying i even found a hated cousin that made a post against gay marriage, i m gay and not much in to marriage: i almost wanted to delete him, and to delete this fascist family of mine with whom i lost most of my contacts. I hate all this stupid games on facebook but at least found all my friends from all over the world, because went to international school and my friends are everywhere. So internet is good mainly for friends, and myspace motto is a place for friends, well a place of million acquaintances and some friends. But it is sure that aserioius gallery will never ask for you to ve a show in their gallery if contacted throught Myspace. Charles I really like your artistas de espana
don't worry about such people, they mean very little, the soul family is far more important. i did not make any research on facebook and have only four friends, so it is easy to manage. i trust that those who need to find me will, but i hope they use myspace rather then facebook. of course, myspace is only a "vitriine" and the true opportunities will most likely come from deep personal connection through the inner connection to all that is. that is what i feel, but to be opne to the world is also important. a lot of important collectors will wait to jump into the trainto see that it is already in motion and very few dealers have the vision to go out on the limb to promote something ready unique and different from the main stream or politicaly correct. to me the main thinkg is to create grat art and harvest ever increasing octaves of love into my life. i know that all else will follow :)
For sure .
But real contact en feelings must be a important thing .So , activity of art needs space .Not only on the web .Buildings and open space can be multi-functional .
Because nurds and a good link can not be the through thing .Making a own exposition is a possibility or a group to share .The people that are no artist ,have no gallerie or no job in the art-world , seems to be outsiders .Now , in this time is art a big issue (hype) and there is a lot of good art .It goes verry good in the art-world .And here in Holland ; art like's a own society that looks around at each other .Fear for the public opion ?
That's why here on the moment are starting many free space's , to let art-people come out wich are not settled .When there is a bottom there is a top .
The life of a origanal artist with vision is mostly strugle .The statement of work can be so a contradistinction to fit in the picture .
On the web are enough people that enjoy art work . That's cool .It's good that there is choice .
And qaulity say's not how much enjoy .It can be only a few that have a wauwie feeling .And even than it's important .Arty greatzzzz...
Esdalevideo, had already solo and group show i even quite successful for a desert like udine my aim with internei is to have a more international exposure, especially because lived in london and would like go there more often. Here i sell quite a lot but need gallery representation because i m very bad to sell my work, maybe my lack of sucess on internet is due my incapacity to promote myself . I have an agent on real life maybe i should have the same on internet. Maybe it is only my fault , i m gonnave alook on the site you sent me but very slow
Yes i agree with u Robert ,too many artist. The reason why idid not wanted to be an artist, i thought it was better not to be a mediocre artist. Thought about being a diplomat like my granfather father uncle cousins, it would have been easier, knowing languages and environment . Tried to stop doing art at all but it came out so strongly that could not avoid it. So instead of a bad rich dipomat i will be a mediocre artist. went to study at middlessex uni london, and the tutors were very bad, found the quality of teaching in england very bad, and realised in that very uni that even if i m medocre, very bad artistist can make it with good managerial skills. There i realised that i got something to say, maybe not so interresting to many,but will persevere and from lacking confidence at all things are devellopping as my confi dence is.can only give my little experience, sorry to talk about myself
Hello Charles,

Thank you for your nice reflection on the importance of web sites to artists and nice work on the Artistas de Espana web site. I have had an art web site for a few years now. It is fascinating to view the international interest in contemporary art by viewing where people are coming from to see my web site. At the same time, it's a bit like having work in an art fair. Many people passing by and taking a look, but not much in terms of engagement.

I participated in two Saatchi showdowns and found it fascinating to figure out what was driving some works up in popularity. The criteria of what was worth 10 stars was all wrong in my opinion. I never thought of the MySpace Connection. So, perhaps it was good for exposure, but who knows?

I have to admit that I am enjoying watching this Art Review web site roll out and being able to see what other artists are doing and thinking.

Best of luck with your work and your online adventures!

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