I’ve decided that I’m going to begin using my blog and social media to more regularly highlight important new artists that are emerging from the online world. I believe that the online medium represents one of the greatest new advances in the world of art. In the same way that Alfred Steiglitz sought out great contemporary artists in his day, and highlighted them in his important publication Camera Work and the 291 Art Gallery in New York City, I’m hoping to begin highlighting artists that I feel are important in today’s medium of photography on my blog by publishing 10 of their photos that I think exemplify their art here on my blog. I’m going to try and do this weekly.
So much of today’s great art is at odds with a deeply established, entrenched and commercial art community. The established contemporary art community today is largely no longer interested in finding and discovering great new artists. What is new and groundbreaking is typically seen by any established economic system as a threat and today’s contemporary art community is every bit an established economic system as was the world of art before contemporary art ever emerged on the scene.
In the same way that Rodin’s sketches were dismissed, Pablo Picasso’s paintings unsold and Warhol’s collection of Campbell’s soup cans mocked, today’s new “internet” artists are seen as unworthy amateurs. But from the amateur, not the professionals, is where the best new art always comes. The art that is made not for money, but that is made because something inside an artist requires it to be so.
Today’s contemporary art gatekeepers, a handful of select art dealers and museum curators around the world, determine what will be seen as the world’s great new art. This arrangement is largely about power and prestige, but especially in the past 20 years it has also become about commerce — big, big, big commerce. As the business titans of our day have decided to play in the contemporary art sandbox, the need to defend this community’s art becomes more than just ego and entitlement, it becomes about investment value. It becomes economically driven. While so many may dismiss a Richard Serra sculpture as the naked emperor of our day, as long as Don Fisher puts his larger than life sculpture Charlie Brown in the center of the Gap’s San Francisco headquarters, everyone falls in line in the same way that they do when Warren Buffet blesses the next great stock investment. And the prices go up up up accordingly.
The power of blogs or any other internet publication, the power of essentially free publication, is an important one and eventually will be one of the greatest democratizers of art as it continues to evolve in the world around us.
And with that I’d like to introduce you the first new artist I’m highlighting on my blog, Carlotta Fancypants AKA Extra Super Cutie on Flickr.
Below are 10 photographs that I’ve selected from Carlotta’s collection of images on Flickr. Her style is her own and it’s something that I hope you enjoy. I’ll continue highlighting important new photographers in the days, weeks and months ahead.