Discovering talented artists

 July 17, 2019

Photo: The Other Art Fair

Artists are often struggling with recognition and their options might seem limited. However there are a few platforms offering talented artists the possibility to be discovered.

8 years and 34 editions ago The Other Art Fair was born in London, UK thanks to the visionary art lover Ryan Stanier. The success of the initial visionary idea has paid off as The Other Art Fair is the UK's leading artist fair to discover and buy art directly from the very best emerging artistic talents. Looking at it closely the fair is more than that.

“I think one of the biggest things that moves the contemporary art world, and something that we have taken into consideration when planning recent editions of the fair is technology and the rate at which it’s advancing today. The industry as a result has become more accessible to a wider audience thanks to these technological advancements.” explains Ryan Stanier, founder of The Other art Fair.

As it is today, the fair is not just a local attraction but a highly anticipated global fair, attracting art lovers in Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Chicago and Dallas.

One of its booster was its partnership with the Los Angeles, USA based Saatchi Art platform which already offered a digital home for thousands of artists. Many people declare Saatchi Art as one of the leading online gallery in the World, therefore Stanier ́s co-operation quickly proved as a remarkable strategic decision.

“Our partnership with Saatchi Art in 2016, the world’s leading online art gallery, demonstrates how we are keeping up with these changes as we provide an online platform for emerging artists to reach an even wider audience, alongside the fair.” Ryan Stanier, founder of The Other Art Fair continues.

The Other Art Fair is undoubtedly the next big thing in the art world. Eight years and 34 editions and the effects of the fair's growing reputation are not only visible through the support of leading individuals in the art world but also through the frequency of success stories from past exhibitors.

Femmebit / Photo: The Other Art Fair

„It’s been an inspiration to help curate this year’s fair and exciting to see so many wonderful artists come together to make this such a dynamic fair.“
says Rebecca Wilson
vice president of Art Advisory at Saatchi Art

The fair brings a breath of fresh air in to the art world, creating a platform for artists, instead of galleries. Its focus point is to offer the needed attention for struggling but talented artists.

The Other Art Fair basically enables independent artists to show their work and gives people the chance not only to discover a stimulating range of art under one roof but also to meet the artists in person.

In the recent London edition of The Other Art Fair, one of the fair ́s features was Analogue/Digital, presented by Creative Giants, a collective featuring a range of VR and interactive digital art. In the fair ́s upcoming edition in Los Angeles they will be welcoming Femmebit a female collective, which promotes women in digital art.

Creative Giants / Photo: The Other Art Fair

„Artists just need to use every opportunity they are given to make new contacts, acquire new collectors and to just grow their databases as much as possible.“
says Ryan Stanier
founder of The Other Art Fair

Obviously the question remains what the most important thing a contemporary artist would need to follow as his/her first steps into the art world.

It’s also important for artists to not under-represent them- selves explains Stanier. Based on his belief self-representation equals almost similar effort from the artist just as the creation itself.

“Using social media and building up a database of contacts and buyers is so important when it comes to establishing oneself in this industry, and not using all the resources available could be the difference between ‘making it’ and not making it in the current contemporary art world.“ continues Stanier.

So when we are talking about diversification there is a lot of pressure on artists to break the mould.

Historically speaking artists are always going to be influenced by their predecessors so sometimes it is not entirely possible to achieve diversification.

“It is important in terms of standing out, especially in an industry where it’s difficult to gain individual recognition. But an artist’s success is based on a lot more than diversification.” shares his opinion Stanier.

In today ́s world gender equality and the same level of opportunities play a significantly important role. In the world of art where the majority of the successful and well-known artists are men one can raise the questions whether there is any difference between the representation of contemporary women and men artists around the world? Or whether the old rules still apply.

The unique thing about The Other Art Fair is that it is first and foremost an artist-led fair, meaning the artists participating are representing themselves.

“So from my personal experience men and women are equally represented. The Selection Committee handpicks artists based purely on meritocracy and who present a strong body of work which will sit well within the fair, nothing to do with gender.” - highlights Stanier

However despite the common belief of many art lovers, an exhibition itself is not a guaranteed living for an artist. Ryan Stanier explains that art is obviously quite a subjective experience.

Photo: The Other Art Fair

The world of art might seem reasonable, however in most cases collectors have a very subjective taste and the values they look in contemporary artists and their works are not predictable by numbers and charts.

“Each collector has their own tastes and ultimately needs to follow his or her own gut instinct when it comes to buying art.” says Ryan Stanier.

Contradictory to the common belief it is interesting to observe that a huge part of the buying-experience, especially when buying art face-to-face, is how the artist connects with the collector. If you are at an art fair the art draws you in first visually and then you get chatting to the artists, explains Stanier, and more often than not, if you get on well with the artist it can easily sway your decision whether or not to buy one of their pieces.

“Digital Networks have opened the gateway to a whole alternative collection of Artists today who perhaps don’t fit the mould; live in remote areas, aren’t great at self-promotion, and are unrepresented.” comments Stanier.

Stanier also highlights that understanding the importance of having an online presence is crucial to expanding an artist’s network of followers and subsequently the more opportunities they will have to promote themselves and their work.

“Make the most of your local art scene - there are some amazing new opportunities springing up in cities around the world.” advices Stanier to contemporary artists.

“Also by utilizing the social media - not only is it free, but it can give you direct access to some influential people in the art world.” concludes Stanier.

Therefore possibilities are open for talented and persistent contemporary artists. Utilizing your existing network and social media is free, however it might be also a highly considerable choice for contemporary artists to look for art fairs with open minded curators such as The Other Art Fair and its team behind it.

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