Tag Archives: online art

Online Art Galleries

In the late 1990s, before the Internet bubble burst, I worked for an international web indexing directory (#2 after Yahoo!). Part of my job included indexing online art galleries, so I saw a lot then and I have seen a lot of online galleries since. I have listed my paintings in online art galleries and I have even sold a painting through one online gallery.

The internet has proved useful for artist communicating and building communities. Street art would not be such a major international movement without the Internet record of images (for more on this see my blog post Street Art, Digital Cameras and the Internet). The Internet is a great educational resource for artists to learn new techniques from online videos. Art museums have had great developments online; there are some incredible virtual tours of major art museums available. For more read “Why the Google Art Project is Important” by Beth Harris, Ph.D. and Steven Zucker, Ph.D., Deans, Art and History, Khan Academy.

However, the Internet has not yet created any important or significant online commercial art galleries. There are lots of commercial art and very ordinary and amateur paintings for sale online. This is part of the cottage industry model of the Internet where everyone has an online arts and craft gallery selling around the world. Maybe it is possible to have a successful commercial online art gallery, something that made an impact on the art world, but it would need to do more than just connect sellers and buyers, like Ebay, Redbubble or Etsey already does. Jason Farago in “ and the Myth of the Online Art Market” (The New Republic, 22/10/2012) argues that not only do digital galleries not work and that art world is shutting them out.

Why hasn’t there been a notable or important online art gallery? Online art galleries reveal the ignorance of what is involved in actually running a commercial gallery, it is not just about providing a venue for the buyer to see the art. Although the gallery space is important as art is a tangible object and the art gallery is a tangible space something that cannot be reproduced in the virtual environment. It is about establishing a reputation with buyers, art critics and curators at major institutional galleries. It is about representing artists fully, providing them with assistance in getting commissions and promoting their art. The mediation and selection involved in a commercial gallery is the opposite of the unmediated access provided by the Internet.

(This post is part of my series about Types of Galleries.)



Thanks to everyone who has been commenting on the blog or sending me invites to exhibition. Sorry that I haven’t been able to see all the exhibitions that I have been invited to. Here is some news from my inbox about some artists that I have mentioned in this blog.

Alisa Teletovic has a painting featured in House and Garden magazine (MAY 2008 on p.71) See my interview with Alisa Teletovic. The painting is one of many illustrating the article, “Picture this”, by Betty Baboujon. The article is the consumer’s perspective of buying original medium-priced art from online art galleries.

Melbourne-based sculptor Daniel Dorall is crossing the Tasman to exhibiting Lemmings at The Kiosk/The Physics Room in Christchurch, New Zealand. The sculpture series Lemmings was previously exhibited at Mailbox 141

In my review of Lemmings I wrote:  The small space perfectly suits Daniel Dorall’s miniatures and he has used the separate mailboxes like panels in a comic strip. Soldiers walk through the grass on increasingly tall plinths with Dorall’s typical architectural foundation layout. In the final panel they fall down a pit with other dead soldiers. There is a red cross amongst the subterranean labyrinthine complex connected to the pit but none of the soldiers have made it, not even close.” Read my interview with Daniel Dorall

I’m not sure what to do about the viral advertising from Adidas; I was taken in by the humor, I did update my posting as soon as I became aware that the Zero-Tag campaign is advertising. Kano172 posted an excellent comment on my posting, Lex Injusta – please read it. Boycotting Adidas would be an appropriate response to their exploitation of the current popularity of street art. There is a lot of commercial use of street art, some of it by the artists themselves, some in respectful commercial partnership that benefits the artist, and the worst that simply exploits street artists.

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