The paintings of Michael Ward, self taught artist. Michael paints primarily urban landscapes, in acrylic on canvas, based on photographs he has taken over the years.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Pay to Play; the New Normal
You won't be seeing my urban landscapes, such as Wonder Shops, above, in Southwest Art magazine, because, even though I was selected to be part of a group feature on urban landscapes, I did not elect to pay the $2000 advertising fee that would have guaranteed my inclusion. This seems to be a growing trend, as publications seek to replace declining ad revenue by soaking aspiring artists. There are plenty out there, so this vein may be recession-proof. But it calls into question any editorial integrity these publications may have had. Cheap digital publishing has made survey annuals ("The World's Most Wonderful Artists of 2013", etc.) feasible, so that anyone can get in those by buying a page. And at least one gallery in my area has adopted the model, charging artists for the privilege of hanging on their walls (or being stacked in the back racks).
One wonders, will the day come when artists are like political candidates: the only ones we get to see are those with deep pockets? When money becomes the final arbiter, whither art?