Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Currently the art and cultural production market accounts for 4.2% of America's G.D.P. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analytics estimated total market at 730 billion dollars in 2014. I'm not sure about any of you, but I know that I saw none of that money. So where does it all go? Why not to us?Let's think about it.
Of course there are multiple industry that are lumped into that total. Our contemporaries have figured it out leaving us as visual artists behind. Take the music industry for example. Musicians face many of the same hurdles are fine artists. The main one being the accessibility of content on the internet free of charge. When it became nearly impossible to sell songs due to illegal rips from the internet, the music industry pivoted to a new model that focused more on live events as the main revenue stream. We need to learn from the success they are experiencing.
It seems as though the gallery world just refuses to charge an admission fee. This lays all the economic strain on the dealing side of the business. It is hard to get people to buy when they can have a picture of the work on their phone and laptop whenever they want for free. I am always amazed when I enter a gallery and the entire experience is free of charge. Why? We are giving too much away, and still hoping to succeed. If we take note of music's success we should realize that we too are selling an experience and it is way easier to sell that then deal the work. Some galleries seem to get this, while others are just sitting in the fire with no solution to the financial problems. All I can think is that we are afraid that charging a fee at the door would deter the casual viewer. If that is true then the work your showing isn't worth showing at all. If someone will pay ten bucks to see a sound cloud rapper that no one has ever heard of, they would pay you. People are willing to pay for the experience. They prove it year after year, spending billions of dollars. We just aren't asking for a piece of it.