This week at The L Magazine, I give a few tips to those just graduating art school.
I got a solo show two years out of grad school. Time to conquer the world!
Not so fast. There are only about 300 spaces for A-list art professionals—whether writers, curators, or artists—and that’s the only list with any job security. Once a large enough number of collectors have bought an artist’s work, they tend to protect their investment by buying more.
Everyone else who sees any kind of success gets the type of “up-and-comer” fame that has the half-life of a passing YouTube meme, so expect your career gains to be part of that turnover. Managing a life in the arts means coming to terms with the reality that what you do may be very popular one year, and completely out of vogue the next.
I’ve been in New York two years and have nothing to show for it.
Suck it up. Critics, artists, curators and dealers should all expect to spend no less than 10 years working independently before receiving any kind of recognition. Yes, that means most New York artists won’t land a solo show for a very long time. This is usually a good thing, as it gives an artist the time to mature. (A note to collectors: yes, believe it or not, this can occur outside the gallery system.)
There’s more where this comes from over at The L.