post mass media art markets

The most expensive paintings were made during a brief period. Most of them in Paris. If you were an Artist in those days you better rent in and around the Montparnasse. Even though back in the day the money was not flowing their way, a handful of artists seem now to make up the quintessential olymp of the fine arts. A show of them will raw big crowds only matched by sports events.

Pop stars. Big freaking Madonna like box office hits.

All along during the times of mass society there was this big and scary void below the mega stars. Nobody would have want to be caught during the travels to fame. The rise of the Popstar needs to be instant, overnight. The uncanny valley between nobody and stardom had to be passed instantly. It was the nowhere land of mediocrity. Where those not so good artists dwelled. Who wants to buy a painting from a ‘not so good’ artist?

Mass media made those Pop stars by putting the massive firehose gush of its attention on specific individuals. It was and is a hit or miss game. Mass media as it developed in industrial societies means that few outlets serve to millions of minds.

Along came the internet. And the thing happened almost unnoticed that would fill the gap between unknown knitting grandma and Picasso. It is filled with content. Decent great content. Lot’s of it. The cost to publish it, allows for an revolutionary amount of diversity.

An example. While window shopping in Hamburgs ‘Stilwerk’, more or less an Ikea for the rich, I came across David Steets “Australia”. I liked it allot. Lumas has a shop in the former Coffee factory, and it seems to do well. Their concept is not to build and sell few popstars, they have maybe a hundred Photographer’s to pick from.
The actual framing is done very well. So well that I used Sander myself, and they have been great. Only complaint is that they don’t have an LA office. So my large prints will probably remain in Europe.

The Lumas concept works well. Based on technological break throughs it allows the content to broaden: Steets sells his images for a couple of hundred Euros. Both sides do well in this transaction. The digital prints make beautiful images. Thirty years ago the alternative would have been a mass produced poster or an original that was unaffordable.

The middle grounds between nobody and pop star artist is now filled with a range of great work that fits all tastes. Other examples of this new art economy could be Etsy but also Flickr qualifies. There is no ‘lower boarder’: Back in the day the Pop Stars clinging on to the
arts Olymp had to defend the few square feet in the spotlight. “That’s not art, that’s amateur stuff” used to be one of their pump guns to defend it. The middle range art market that is emerging does not share this problem. It allows for growth around demand.

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