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There's an art revolution coming and it will be online


There's an art revolution coming and it will be online

Barbara Graham


Once every few decades the art world sees a seismic shift in the way art is perceived, bought and sold. The last radical change was in the 90s with the emergence of the YBA's spearheaded by Damien Hirst which saw a rise in sensationalism and popularism. There was a move away from the establishment artists who had worked for decades to achieve recognition and were passed around in hushed tones among the blue-chip galleries. Helped by forward-thinking dealers and collectors like Jay Jopling and Charles Saatchi, the art that was being talked about and shown at exhibitions like the Royal Academy’s Sensation had an instant impact and wow factor. Tracy Emin's Unmade Bed and Marcus Harvey's painting of Moores Murderer Myra Hindley were front page news on the tabloids and love it or hate it, you had an opinion on it.

Marcus Harvey,  Myra , 1997

Marcus Harvey, Myra, 1997

Now those YBAs are themselves the establishment, as Damien Hirst's Sotherby's auction of works at earth-shattering prices in 2008 confirmed.

There is a growing cynicism about the Art Market and the prices that modern art is changing hand for. The recent documentary "The Price of Everything" highlights the relationship between art and money, as many prime works are traded purely as assets with no regard to their artistic merit - the clear implication is there is a lot of rubbish that sells for millions that will be artistically disregarded in the future, and a lot of work of great merit that is totally unseen because the art market has ignored it.

It feels like a sea change due, one that disrupts the way art is seen and consumed. One of the tools to implement that change is social media.

While there are plenty of limitations to experiencing art online as a primary resource, there are still huge advantages that make it a great tool for artists. It is easier more than ever for artists to find their tribe - whatever creative niche they inhabit. As a single mum living in the country, I would be totally cut off from the London art scene if it were not for Instagram. Now I'm able to at least in part, experience what new ideas and work is being produced and talked about.

Social media has also democratised the art world. Anyone can be an artist, make work and show it in an online forum. The traditional route of going to art college and hopefully finding a gallery to represent you on graduation is no longer required. This has given a creative voice to 1000s of artists and creatives who might be making work from their bedrooms or kitchen tables and sharing ideas online.

If we are looking for where the next art movement is going to come from, it won't be a small group of art students from Goldsmiths, it will be a revolution of the people spearheaded by 1000s.

Come and be part of the revolution.



Part of my recent paintings done in my spare bedroom and available to buy online

Part of my recent paintings done in my spare bedroom and available to buy online