Art Online: How the Internet Has Changed the Art World
It never ceases to amaze me how the internet has transformed virtually every industry. Art is no exception. Today, we accept buying and selling art online as something that comes quite naturally. Only a decade ago, many of us were afraid to trust our credit cards to the lurking predators waiting to steal our identities online.
There is a natural progression in every industry, even when centuries old, to gravitate towards newly accepted forms of media. For the starving artist, the story is more about a chance at exposure than gaining more exposure. Rather than wait to be discovered, artists now take their own destiny into their hands, with tools that allow them to market themselves.
But, the story of how the internet changed the art world has a definite monetary value to the starving artist. Artists who do display their works in brick and mortar galleries do so with the hope of selling work, but not with any guarantee. Depending on the situation, this entails the cost of travel, food and lodging, plus the physical labor of transporting art work. When that art work is within the gallery walls, it is protected in cases of damage by the gallery's insurance policy. But, a heavy piece damaged in transit is the artist's burden.
No doubt physical galleries will always carry the prestige they have in the past, but for practical purposes, the internet provides artists with a means to display their works free of charge and to viewers worldwide. Art enthusiasts can enjoy buying art online with security and a great variety to choose from without limitation.
Who knows where the internet will take the art world tomorrow. One thing we know for sure is that it is bound to open up more doors for artists worldwide.