My Space for Art
“Being an artist is a solo endeavor, and this is a
safe way to see what others are doing,” says
Denise Parsons, an art student in San Francisco
who shows her work, above, on the Saatchi site.
I Like Ur Art: Saatchi Creates an Online Hangout for Artists
By CAROL VOGEL
Published: December 18, 2006
Julie Ann Travis , 23, a graduate student at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, is curious to see what her peers are up to and to share some of her latest work. So recently she posted a self-portrait in which her head is buried in a pile of dirt at Stuart (saatchi-gallery.co.uk/stuart)
The brainchild of the London-based advertising magnate and collector Charles Saatchi, this social networking outlet — a kind of MySpace knockoff for artists — is causing something of a sensation, boosting traffic at the gallery’s Web site overall to more than three million hits a day.
In May Mr. Saatchi, famed for spotting young unknowns and turning them into art-world superstars, created a section on his Web site for artists of all ages to post their work at no charge. It is called Your Gallery, and now boasts contributions by about 20,700 artists, including 2,000 pieces of video art.
Everything there is for sale, with neither the buyer nor the seller paying a cent to any dealer or other middleman. About 800 new artists have been signing up each week.
And since Stuart (shorthand for “student art”) went online last month, some 1,300 students (including 450 in the United States) have created Web pages there. No one vets the quality or style of the art.
With dealers and collectors scouring student shows for undiscovered talent and students hunting for dealers to represent them, Mr. Saatchi has tapped a vein that can’t stop gushing. If Stuart gains anything like the cachet of MySpace, it has the potential to morph from a nonprofit venture into a gold mine for Mr. Saatchi.
For now, he said, he is simply enjoying the role of spectator. “When I launched the site, I took the view that the best thing was to leave it alone for the first year and purposely not buy anything, because I didn’t want to compromise what the site was supposed to do: appeal to a wide group of students,” he said.
His office, meanwhile, is fielding e-mail messages and calls from dealers, museum curators and directors, and collectors around the world who have discovered new work at the site and want to meet some of the artists in their studios. (Of the 20,700 or so artists at Your Gallery, roughly 6,000 are from Britain and 6,000 from the United States, with the rest scattered across the world.)
But for students visiting Stuart, the main attraction for now is linking up with their peers.
In addition to lists of her favorite artists, books, films and television shows, Ms. Travis has posted the name of a new friend on her page at Stuart: Erhan Ozturk, a photography student at T. C. Maltepe University in Istanbul whose work she viewed at the site.
When I saw this story, I was semi-interested, but after playing around on it, I realized it had a kid's section which you could do your own paintings with. Since my niece is a budding artist, I found that fascinating.
Keep it handy for your kids over Christmas week, so they can use them on their new boxes.
posted by Steve @ 7:19:00 AM