Visit an exhibition, experience contemporary art by well-known artists and newcomers and purchase your favorite pieces immediately afterwards. This is made possible by the largest exhibition organized by artists in Germany. The show under the title “THE GREAT ART EXHIBITION NRW Düsseldorf” opened on June 29th in the Düsseldorf Art Palace and Ehrenhof and can be seen for five weeks (until August 4th). Due to the enormous interest last year with 15,000 visitors in four weeks, the show was extended by a week and will take place for the first time in the summer months and also on the outdoor area.

This year, works by 121 artists , selected by a jury from 700 applications, can be seen. Including the well-known photographer Boris Becker, who was awarded this year’s Art Prize for Artists for his impressive photographic work. The young sculptor Philipp Röcker receives the sponsorship award 2019. The exhibition is organized and carried out by the Association for the Organization of Art Exhibitions.

Works from the fields of painting, photography, graphics, sculpture, installation and video will be presented. In addition to the selected artists, students from the Düsseldorf Art Academy, class Gostner, also show. The very young artists are also involved: Pupils from cooperating schools in Düsseldorf take part (vocational college Lore-Lorentz-Schule and Matthias-Claudius-Grundschule).

the big pictures

DIE GROSSE is considered a unique platform for the exchange of artists, art lovers and buyers. It is not only organized by artists, there are also artist tours offered and the works of art can be purchased directly without the mediation of a gallery. Under the title “The Small Format”, works are presented that are priced up to max. 450 euros can be purchased and taken directly home. As a special edition for DIE BIG, four different motifs by Boris Becker from the series “Fakes”, “Constructions”, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Artefacts” are offered as art prints.

In addition to the exhibition, the DONNERHALL events take place on Thursdays in cooperation with tanzhaus nrw. The kick-off is Reut Semesh with the Tanzgarde Düsseldorf (4 July, 7 p.m.). In the following weeks the collective Zoo shows the “Scutum Studies” a performance (July 11th, July 18th, 7pm). On Sundays at 11.55 a.m., matinee events with sound and dance performances enrich the visit to the exhibition (July 7th, Zo-On Slows; July 14th, MYEYE WHITE; July 21st, Sisterloops; July 28th, heirloom).

Ms. Augstburger, as an artist you work a lot with the coloring agent gouache. How does gouache painting differ from working with acrylic, watercolor or oil paint?

At first glance, the gouache paint looks just like oil or acrylic when fresh from the tube. But watercolor comes closest to it when it comes to processing. It is a mixture of pigments, chalk and a rubber glue binder
(gummi arbicum), which is processed with water. Gouache can be applied thinly with watercolors. But I use it with several layers of paint to cover it, and small areas can also be painted over with white. You don’t have to wait, as is the case with oil painting. But this also has the disadvantage that you hardly have time for seamless color transitions.

What is special about gouache painting for you?

Gouache painting is as if made for me, at least in the way I use brush and paint. I am a tinkerer through and through and love to solve tricky tasks. It gives me a lot of pleasure when the white painting pad is in front of me and I can finally project my creative thoughts onto it. The mostly accurate brushwork and the constant balancing of the individual parts require a lot of patience, which I am happy to invest. Turning a sheet of white paper into a colorful storyteller fascinates me again and again. And only the gouache colors give me the color effect I want.

You put your art under the motto “Bunt auf Bunt”. What do you want to express with it and are there also colors that you do not like to use or that do not go well together?

The fact that I chose “Bunt auf Bunt” for my first exhibition had several influences. I stayed with this motto because the backgrounds of my pictures are just as colorful as the objects in the foreground. In addition, this motto gives me even more freedom in my creativity. I choose the colors emotionally, they are mostly clear and strong. Pastel tones don’t have enough power for me. I don’t know whether it’s my intuition or the gouache color itself, I rarely have the feeling that the chosen colors do not go together.

You have now been active as an artist for around 30 years. How has your style changed since then?

I refined my painting style, which developed from the property of this quick-drying paint, in the technique. Although the forms have become livelier and more accurate, the complete works, in contrast to the earlier works, are more like patchwork. With the strong color scheme, I am no longer so hesitant. But I think that bigger changes come with the different topics. I’ve got used to painting twelve works on one topic. When I move on to a new series, a new desire to experiment has developed, which naturally affects the work.

In addition to your work as an artist, you have a “normal” job: What do you do for a living and why did you start painting?

I work in the public service, I am released from work as an administrative clerk and there I carry out the office of person of trust for the severely disabled. I have painted since my early childhood – without any notable talent. But I was always fascinated by what was possible in paintings. Until I started to paint pictures at a young age, which I managed surprisingly well. But I was full of imagination, so I wanted to create my own works and worked on them.

What kind of tip would you give beginners to paint?

I would advise beginners to paint to try many techniques. But when you’ve found something that suits you very well, you should stick with it and perfect it.

Where do you see yourself and your art in the future?

Now I see myself as an artist who is high time to make her art known. I leave my view of the future open, because I have already reached an age where you hope that your health will not play tricks on you.

You have learned the basics and techniques of glass blowing for three years. When did you decide to break with traditional glass blowing and become an artist?

The trigger was a change in my school. I had completed my 3 years at the Kosta School of Glass, where I only focused on technology, and switched to a design school on Bornholm, where the focus was on the result. I had resolved to be very open to the other approach to the craft that the school in Bornholm would offer me. In the beginning it was difficult for me to let go of my perfectionism and my fascination for classic glass blowing. But when I got there, when I understood what it meant to rediscover a material, there was no going back. I’ve always been curious about what’s possible with glass, and I think it was a very natural development for me. I always want to go one step further and I love to discover new things. That is probably also the reason

“Glass is a material that is still partially undiscovered”

Maria Bang Espersen

 

Why is glass such a fascinating material for you?

First, it is fascinating and challenging to work with glass in the molten state. I love the challenges that constant technical progress enables.

Second, it is a material that is still partially undiscovered. In contrast to clay, for example, glass has only been part of a studio movement since the 1960s. Before that it was only relevant in factory production. That means there is still so much to learn. Glass can still surprise us and reveal new aspects of itself. One example is my 2012 project called Craftformation. Here I use compressed air to explode glass, which turns it into superfine glass threads.

Thirdly, it is a material that, due to its transparency, offers space for many metaphors and thus differs from any other material. Glass has great artistic potential.

I found a very inspiring quote on your website: “Transparency is such a mess – it means both; that you look right through it and that something is clear. Please don’t look through it. Welcome to the present. ” (2017) Do you see glass as a symbol for our modern life? If yes why?

I don’t see glass as a metaphor for modern life, but I think it has the potential. Also, I find it fascinating that transparency and clarity are words that are used metaphorically in contradicting ways. To see things clearly means to know something, but at the same time transparency means invisibility, and therefore it becomes something that cannot be seen or is not known. I use this conceptual framework in some of my work.

“For me, art has become a political tool with so much potential.”

Many of your sculptures have political messages. For example, in the “National Costume” project you address questionable political decisions by the Danish government on refugee issues. Is your art often inspired by political events? 

Yes it will. I think it is important to be culturally and politically concerned with what is happening. Danish politics has been going in the wrong direction for some time, and that’s why I just can’t help but get involved in this discourse.

maria bang espersen national costume

National Costume

The bad treatment of foreigners, including refugees, by the Danish government seems to me just cruel. It is a discourse that we should never forget and that needs to be constantly addressed. Just because I’m an artist doesn’t mean I can’t act. For me, art has become a political tool with so much potential.

Do you see yourself as a political artist?

I do. I even consider the less obvious glasswork to be political. They are political in a different way than “National Costume”, for example, but I don’t think any act is entirely outside of politics. All we do is exchange with the world in which it exists. My abstract glass sculptures are gently political; they question conventions and traditional ideas about what glass is and can be, simply by offering an alternative. They try to push our limits and open our eyes to the possibility that things can always be different. My work seems to say, “There is always another way” and that fits very well into a larger political discussion of norms and traditions.

Maria Bang Espersen

Soon your work will be exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum London, one of the world’s leading art museums. How does that feel to you?

According to a friend of mine who was there recently, my art is already on display at the V&A. This recording makes me overly happy and honored that the museum decided to purchase two pieces from the Soft Series. It’s exciting to know that they will continue to be part of this collection and will be available for generations to come. The recognition at this level is breathtaking to me and I really appreciate it.

From November 14th to 17th, 2019, your work will be shown at the Affordable Art Fair in Hamburg. How important are art fairs for you as an artist?

Art fairs are important because of the large number of visitors and because of “unexpected” visitors. Individual galleries often have audiences of their own, but an art fair expands the group of people you reach. I always enjoy sharing my work with a new audience and making new buyers and admirers.

“Never think that your work is not good enough.”

What do you think is the most important skill to become a famous artist other than creating wonderful and inspiring works of art? 

I don’t know if I’m the right person to answer this question, but I’ll make a few notes on what has been important to me over the years of making glass sculptures.

An artist has to be really good at a lot of things, not just design. That is often difficult. In the beginning I applied for everything I could find. This often takes a long time, but it seems to be necessary in order to make one’s art known in the beginning. In addition, it is important to have good photos of the artwork, and it is often useful to be able to write and network well. The most important piece of advice I can give to others is to keep believing in yourself and not get discouraged by anything. Never think that your work is not good enough, just apply for anything. You never know when you will suddenly get an opportunity or a prize that you never thought would have been possible.

Maria Bang Espersen

On your homepage you write: “At the beginning the picture is empty, at the end it is empty. In between I painted. ” Where does your fascination for “the void” come from?

Sometimes that was a conscious decision during my painting studies. I grew up in the country and was very connected to nature. When I then studied in Vienna, I felt the need not to add something to the general flood of information and images in the form of painting. So I went the way inwards, of contemplation and silence. It was a constant search for what was left when there were no thoughts, concepts, ideas, ideas … etc. there are more. I have the following formulation: “What I allow myself to encounter a viewer with the power of a painting is the little that remains when everything is left out that leads somewhere.” Similar to a meditation I sat in front of the blank canvas until I saw the emptiness of the canvas.

margit hartnagel

What does emptiness mean to you? Is it death or a new beginning and the beginning of life?

Only when something is empty can it be refilled. In the emptiness there is the potential from which everything, the fullness, becomes possible. Facing the observer with a precise blurring of an empty center of the picture gives him the opportunity to “focus” himself and thus fill the center with himself.

“At some point the void was filled with an abundance of possibilities again”

For ten years you have been busy creating “empty pictures”. How did the development towards your current pictures go?

My painterly development began with the decision to limit myself to the colors black, white and gray and to use dots as a form. This resulted in shimmering point images as a primal chaos of tiny particles. More and more spatiality developed through overlays until the points were covered by horizontal stripes, which divided the picture more and more into a top and bottom. This space in between developed increasingly dense but also lighter. At some point this cleared space of potentiality, the emptiness, had to be filled again with an abundance of possibilities. For me that meant, after years of withdrawal and avoidance of gestures, to allow everything again. The courage to be fully alive. This step was extremely difficult for me. On the one hand I was looking for this moment for so long and then there were seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Nelson Mandela said in his inaugural address:“Everyone is destined to shine! Our deepest fear is not that we are insufficient, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond what is measurable ” . Initially, colored dots emerged hesitantly in the empty center of the picture, increasingly the whole picture was superimposed until they became independent and pulsed. This is my current process right now.

 

margit hartnagel

You write: “I understand each of my pictures as an attempt towards the“ ultimate picture ””. Could you explain what an ultimate image is for you?

I suspect a picture behind all pictures, the origin, original and from which everything, all pictures arise. An image that creates all images in the viewer. Perhaps such a picture cannot be painted at all, but it is about the approach and the “correct” distance.

Your picture series often consist of many similar pictures. Do you sell your pictures individually or only in certain arrangements or installations?

My pictures are approximations to a main theme. This creates variations that are often summarized in a series or belong to a cycle. The repetitions condense, circle the topic until it changes. Each picture should be able to stand for itself, but the dialogue with the other pictures enriches the individual. I sell both single pictures and series.

 

margit hartnagel

Where do you see yourself and your art in the future?

In painting, it gives me great pleasure to allow myself to do everything again after a long abstinence and asceticism. I like to be surprised where this process is leading me.
In the past few years I’ve been invited to a number of art in architecture projects. The challenge of dealing with real spaces, places and functions made my art a direct part of life. In the future I would like to shift my focus even more, besides painting.
My last spatial art project for the new institute building of the school for social professions in Ravensburg will be presented in the next issue of Entree 

 

margit hartnagel

In your works of art you work with found objects and materials from all over the world. According to a newspaper report, they have already used sand from 169 countries in their pictures. How did this passion start?

As a child, I spent a lot of time in nature. Leaves, water, stones or small finds … have always been something magical for me. The sea and the sand were my constant companions in the years that followed. In my first exhibition in 2003 I chose the theme “Sea and more”. I found the idea of ​​throwing real sand from my vacation onto the fresh paint where the beach was painted, very exciting. The beach therefore had something very lively and reminded me of my last vacation.

World clock

How important is travel to your art and inspiration? Are travel and wanderlust also subjects of your pictures?

Yes, traveling for me includes “being on the move”, like the Rhine, the river where I was born. For me, making new people or discovering involves an adventurous tension. In these trips I always find special materials such as stone dust from an old Parlazzo in Venice from the 13th century or lava sand from Italy. I find them, collect them, and they inspire me when I start a blank canvas. And, I love the subject of “time”. In my pictures you will find small pieces of old clocks almost everywhere in them. The time seems precious to me, especially to fill it with important people, wonderful countries or new discoveries. I found out through family research that my grandfathers also loved traveling.

“The materials of the earth are colorful”

Can you tell the difference between sand from the Caribbean and sand from the Mediterranean? Is there a country with – from an artistic point of view – particularly interesting earth, or interesting sand or stones?

I created a picture with the title “Sand of this Earth”. I spread the map of the world with texture flour. Then I let 69 types of sand “trickle” into the land where it belongs. Before I poured pigment water in white over it, my card was colored! There is red, black, gray, brown or almost white sand. It is the small particles of granite, brick, coral or shells in the sand types that make this sand unique. The sea has crushed all the materials at the site and made sand out of them. Even within a country there are different colors, grains or additional materials. This also applies to the earth. Rolandseck is a former volcanic crater. The earth is very dark. In Gran Canaria you can see at least 5 different colors of earth: deep red, clay red, almost black, brown, curry-colored.

Where did your last trip lead you and what did you take with you?

My last trip was a trip to different regions of Italy. My favorite place remains Venice and there a craftsman gave me an old brick from a palace that was being renovated. In the research it was a house from the 13th century. One finds rust finds, one does not look for them. I always have a few small bags with me and when I find something I wrap it up and label it. I was with my daughter in the Arena di Verona, where I was able to take a piece of stone from the old wall with me.

In addition to my travels, I know a couple who are friends and who travel all over the world in the pension. For years they have also left me small, labeled bags on my doorstep.annette

Do you already have an idea how to process the found objects in a picture?

Not always. When I find and collect it, the material that I find appeals to me at that moment. When I start with a picture, a specific topic or memory is often the beginning. Then I fetch the “box” with the collected item from this special place. For example, in Faro near Ilha Diserta I met an old fisherman who is the only one living on the island. 3 small fishermen’s houses make up his entire house. I spent a whole day there with my daughter, he cooked for us and talked about his life. I carried the small souvenirs home and in memory of this extraordinary fisherman with his 3 houses I structured the canvas with 3 square papers and in blue. This is exactly where the finds belonged and made sense and the right place for me.

The finds are archived with me and are waiting to be determined. When I immerse myself in a picture, I combine my passion for Venice with the old plaster stone dust or brick dust in a filler. But a rust bar from Grado also fits in and when I incorporate a piece of poetry from my grandfather I suddenly find the old leather strap from my grandfather’s ancient suitcase exciting. Often, materials come together in a picture that I have not planned beforehand, but rather put into it intuitively and passionately. You can compare it to the art of cooking. The ingredients of a great sauce are often not the same but experimentally passionate.

 

Casa Verde

Since 2014 she has also been working as a sculptor. How difficult was it to learn this craft again and where did the motivation come from?

Stones were exciting for me as a child. Pebbles that are collected like hand flatterers and disappear into the jacket pocket were always there. During a painting course on the Wildkogel in Austria at an altitude of 2500 meters, I watched the stone cutters and spontaneously booked a course in the same year. Carving my first stone was difficult at first because I didn’t know what to shape. The sculptor told me to trust my feelings and use a chisel and hammer to knock away what I think had to go. Then an exciting day began, on which I hardly spoke but chopped off this stone for hours. At the end of the course, I noticed that I structure my pictures. Sculpture is just the opposite. Here I tend to mine the material. But in the end the water connects them both. The final touches are when sculpting underwater and pigmented water flows over my canvases. But to get closer to the material stone and to work a stone from all sides was incredibly exciting.

In the end I collected my stone dust and thought… .this comes full circle. What I cut down there, I can collect and build on a picture again. I knew then that sculpting was also part of my art.

 

Search for clues

“For me, traveling includes being on the move”

What kind of tips would you give newcomers to sculpture?

Everyone in my class did something different. I think above all you should trust your feelings. No matter what you want to do, you should try that. If you love the representational, working on structure, form and proportion is just as important as it is with the abstract artist who relies on his feelings or his imagination. One should also try different types of stones. Some very hard stones such as marble are knocked off with other tools and very soft, almost soapy stones such as soapstone offer easy access.

Do you already have an idea where your next trip is going?

Yes. Every year for my birthday in January I try to celebrate it in Venice. I don’t need big parties or celebrations, I just love the color of the sky in Venice in January, the water buses “vaporettis” and the Italian food. This ancient city has stood still in time and has to be rediscovered for me again and again. You can find many places without many tourists and you can fully indulge yourself in the magic and magic of this exceptional city … and of course, as always, I have small bags in my handbag.

You have been dealing with the identity of Europe in your pictures for over 30 years. What is it that fascinates you as an artist about Europe?

Europe is a vital factor in order to maintain peace not only in Europe, between the European nation-states, but also to set an example for the world for developments without armed conflicts. Boundless togetherness, boundless thinking and boundless exchange are expressions of a culture of balance.
Europe is the continent of women’s emancipation. Europe stands for democracy, even if there are still dictatorial nation-states here. Right now Europe is very much at risk. Intolerance, xenophobia, reviving fascist ideas, economic wars, increasing inequality and redistribution through strong neoliberalism are factors that are shaking the foundations of European agreements. Europe must defend the credibility of its fundamental values, otherwise it has no future.
Culturally, we Europeans have been shaped for centuries by a will to form that arose from Christian iconography. We can only tell ourselves ethical and moral ideas with very specific images and figures, we can only develop visions from our history, our past shapes our present and our future. Art images and images of the future, documentaries about the present, always revolve around our European view of the world. I would like to support this continent, which bears the name of a woman, with my work in the search for identity. I deliberately refer to the tradition of painting and drawing, I trust my hands and very simple traditional handcrafted means, brushes and colors, align myself with the great masters of Europe (Goya, Cranach,

ANTOINETTE

“Many women shy away from bringing what they do to the public”

ANTOINETTE

On the occasion of 100 years of women’s suffrage in Germany, you have created a hundred life-size portraits of important European women since 2014. How did you choose the women and what is behind this project?

In order to fathom European identity, it was important to me to take a close look at the creative power of women, who have only been voting, exercising professions and participating in society on an equal footing for 100 years. Before they were underage wives, completely dependent on the decisions of the men, they had to put their own talents on hold. Until then, they were forbidden from developing their own public life. They were married and from then on all their creativity, all their courage, all of their individual vitality applied only to the family. More than a millennium of patriarchy had turned women and children into secondary beings that could be suppressed. To illustrate the outstanding positions that women in Europe have conquered in this short period of time, over the past 100 years, I came up with the idea of ​​painting life-size portraits of outstanding women. I got recommendations from various newspaper publishers. I have motivated teams of women to work in several countries, who have consulted with each other on which women have made a special contribution to social development. From this a special network of committed women has developed.

Which woman particularly impressed you and why?

All women impressed me. I myself have been constantly confronted with new perspectives and have always been able to look at female existence from a completely new perspective. It was an incredibly intense journey through being a woman. From a board member with personnel responsibility for more than 10,000 people, to a Catholic nun who saves young women and children in Africa from prostitution, from a famous Austrian actress to a scientist who is the greatest money laundering expert in the world and can give the courts instructions , from the first female politician in the Italian Tyrol to a woman who grew up in Poland and who now runs an American company, from a Jewish woman, who survived the concentration camp in Germany and is now one of the leading psychoanalysts in the USA, to a scientist who builds models that clearly show how the climate will change over the next few years, I am always up for it new ones emerged completely impressed from every encounter. I have now finished more than 60 of the life-size portraits. Many women shy away from bringing their exciting activities to the public themselves. Doing great work in the background is still a typically feminine attitude. What they do is stunningly impressive. I have now finished more than 60 of the life-size portraits. Many women shy away from bringing their exciting activities to the public themselves. Doing great work in the background is still a typically feminine attitude. What they do is stunningly impressive. I have now finished more than 60 of the life-size portraits. Many women shy away from bringing their exciting activities to the public themselves. Doing great work in the background is still a typically feminine attitude. What they do is stunningly impressive.

ANTOINETTE

How is her perception as an artist: What about equality in the art scene?

Is there equality in the fine arts? – I mean no. Especially not in my generation. Point.

You see yourself as a representative of the “Leipzig School”. What do you think are the most important characteristics of this trend in modern painting?

Personally, I describe the Leipzig School as a phase in which one has studied the fundamental craft of painting and drawing extensively. The prerequisites were highly interesting masters, Heisig, Tübke, Mattheuer, who were able to build up an enormous field of tension with different but well-founded doctrines, between which as a student you could not only orientate yourself, but also have to find yourself. In the 80s the dictatorial aspect had already faded a bit, and these “masters” were able to create an atmosphere, at least in Leipzig, which posed great challenges in terms of quality, but also not only allowed free and creative associations, but desired them. It wasn’t about marketing instead, one repeatedly questioned one’s artistic tasks and positions and was in close contact with the audience. There was a real public need for art, it was about identity and freedom. That was a challenge.
During this time I learned and started to conquer my current knowledge and resources. I got the master class from B. Heisig.

ANTOINETTE

From 7.2.2020 a soirèe for painting and drawing will start in your studio in Leipzig Plagwitz, followed by a school, which you can finish with a certificate at the end of the year. What do you want to teach aspiring artists – beyond handicrafts?

Get to know each other and use the exchange for your own development.
Get to know new aspects of viewing art.
To find support in one’s own abilities.
Develop talent, discover your own.
Train your eyes and sight in order to be able to use colors more consciously.
Intensify your own awareness.
Bringing sensation and color into relation.
Decipher messages from nature so that you can use them as messages yourself.
Study the laws of primal knowledge about beauty and relate them to the cosmic laws.
Understand connections.
To better understand art in general.
Investigate everyday conditioning such as “taste”.

ANTOINETTE

What are your artistic plans for the future? Will Europe and the role of women continue to be important themes in your work?

In addition to school, I of course continue to work on all subjects, very important: the
myth of Europe. About the identity of Europe.
Women will also remain extremely interesting for me, after all, it is also about my own identity. The face / portrait of the woman Europe developed from the theme of the myth of the continent of Europe. Then the big work on the altar began: huge drawings, only with pencil on paper, Madonnas, guardians of the seven days of the week, under which a 20 m long paper band of drawings, also only with pens, describes the alternative truths and above them a 20 m long Paper tape with pencil drawings: the solution to freedom. 4 more side panels are still in progress and are waiting for my ideas.

A huge oeuvre that could fill several museums, including the 20 m long and 6 m high altar made of pencil drawings are waiting for the public. That is why it will remain important to find new organizational partners with whom I can implement these projects.

ANTOINETTE

Many artists know many artists. And that’s a good thing – for the common network. In the case of artists who are not yet well established on the market, this often means that in addition to personal friends and relatives, only or at least predominantly other artists visit the vernissage. But how do you actually get to other target groups? And which target groups could that be?

What is a target audience?

Any kind of art automatically attracts a certain kind of people because of a certain common characteristic. For example, all new grandparents could be a target group for portrait artists. Because these grandparents might want to have a portrait of their new grandchild. Of course, that doesn’t mean that your own art is only aimed at a single target group. Nor does it mean that all members of this target group actually like your kind of art. After all, it doesn’t mean that completely different people outside of the targeted target groups don’t feel addressed by your art – or a certain work of art. In general, however, it is definitely worth looking outside the box.

Why are target groups important?

Once you have identified target groups for your art, you can also target your advertising. First, consider where you can find your target group and how you can reach them with your appropriately targeted advertising. You can then align your advertising both in terms of content and style. You can even consider which exhibition locations are suitable for addressing this target group personally.

How do I find my target groups?

This is not a trivial question, because many different factors play a role. The art you make may attract a lot of attention, but due to the format sizes it is not suitable for the living room. Or maybe you already had a small fan base who liked to buy from you, but now that you are establishing yourself more and more and the prices continue to rise, your previous fan base can no longer keep up financially. When you have found a gallery, it becomes a little easier, because the gallery itself already has specific target groups in mind or already has a fixed circle of buyers and thinks that you fit in quite well. If you are not represented by any gallery, you have no choice but to simply try out different approaches with possible target groups.

How do I do this?

A good tip on my part is always: Do research with other artists(who might do something similar to you). Take a look at their websites & social media accounts, talk to them personally and ask them how they do it. The artist network mentioned above is good for this! Also, listen carefully when you talk to others about your art. This can be exhibition visitors, but also friends and relatives. Their feedback can give you valuable information about how your art works, or also about what it does. You should also have at least a basic basic knowledge of successful marketing. Because the best tips are of no use to you if you don’t implement them in such a way that others become curious. You can find some helpful information about self-marketing here in the Sommer arts Blog, when you click on “Marketing & Organization” in the category menu on the homepage

Which art in which workplace?

Art not only has to hang in museums, galleries and living rooms, it can also play a role in the workplace. But there is no job. If we want to find out how art and everyday working life are related in the , we have to differentiate. Certainly, for example, no nude photographs should hang in doctors’ treatment rooms. Or in a hectic office corridor, it doesn’t make sense to exhibit highly sensitive paper works. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at the respective work environment.

How do I choose the right workplace for an exhibition?

The following criteria can play a role: Is the art seen primarily by employees or also by the company’s customers? Should the art rather enrich the everyday life of the employees or does the company create a higher attractiveness for existing and new customers through the exhibited art? In the first case it is important how big the company is, in the second case the composition of the company’s target group.

These simple preliminary considerations will help you decide whether or not to offer an exhibition of your paintings or sculptures to a company. (Yes, exactly, you read that right: YOU offer it to the company and not the other way around!) In any case, I strongly advise against applying wherever you see art in the workplace or you can see it. In countless doctor’s offices and cafes there are pictures of artists who wish to be noticed – but unfortunately the opposite is often the case. When visiting a doctor’s office, for example, most patients primarily have their illness in mind and they often do not notice the art on the wall more or less than the selection of magazines in the waiting room.

Study of art in German offices

Interesting information on the subject of art and the workplace provides a recently published study carried out on behalf of OnePoll for the office equipment company Viking. The aim here was to find out how much art objects are already represented in the workplace and what people might hope for from art in the workplace. A small area of ​​more or less general art knowledge was also asked to see to what extent these people had already dealt with art. In principle, the survey took place across all sectors, with a large proportion assigned to the education system or trade.

In summary, it can be said that most of the respondents do not find any art at work, but that the majority would definitely rate the presence of art there positively. In the opinion of the respondents, this could increase creativity and productivity and have a calming effect. A total of 72.9% explicitly want art in the workplace. The interviewers were “shocked” when they found that the majority of those questioned (especially the younger generations) could not assign a number of famous paintings to the respective creator (unfortunately no creator) despite their great interest in art. (As communicated to me in an email dated January 24th, 2019) Perhaps this also explains the fact that the majority of those questioned would prefer to see photo art or landscape paintings, because as a “non-art connoisseur” one is most likely to feel an emotional connection.

How can you use this knowledge for yourself?

Even where you don’t expect art experts to be, art unfolds its pleasant effect on people. So there are always new areas that you can tap into if you align your marketing to (d) a, perhaps new, target group. Do not hope for the passing customers of “just any” café, but rather exhibit on the walls of a larger company, where your works of art are seen every day by the same employees and superiors and maybe warm one or the other heart over the course of a few weeks. Of course, a café can also be a great exhibition space – if you don’t save time and money there, do proper advertising for yourself and organize a vernissage for you with a lot of regular customers.

Anyone who makes art must also be able to present themselves in writing. And if you write, you also have to think about language.In some cases, this can go far beyond simple questions of spelling and grammar. So today’s article is a little less about art itself than about linguistic questions. More precisely about inclusive language. Coincidentally, many years ago I completed a linguistic degree with a focus on linguistics. Even then, I was very interested in feminist linguistics and how women appear in language. I could never describe myself as a student, artist, resident, etc. It seems strange to me to use a masculine form for myself. I do not want to present the whole topic in detail at this point, nor do I want to discuss it in detail. Who is interested in I am happy to have a private exchange with me. Today I would just like to introduce you to a few possibilities how you can practice inclusive language – and I will partly evaluate these presented possibilities personally.

headlines

“For the sake of better readability, the use of male and female forms of speech is not used. All personal names apply to both genders. “

In this way or similar, I often read a note in front of longer texts in which the masculine form is used almost exclusively. Strangely enough, this option is also mostly used by male scribes. Personally, I consider this possibility to be the worst – if I want to accept it as such at all … It feels like a carelessly thrown note that resembles a legal disclaimer. To put it quickly, you don’t have to worry about it afterwards and you are fine. For me, this variant does not change anything in the subjective perception that I am missing feminine forms in the following and that I do not feel addressed.

Headings (1)

“I was very happy about the large number of visitors to my vernissage.”

Just as I am addressing the “ladies AND gentlemen” in the introduction to a speech, for reasons of courtesy I consider it appropriate to address both genders specifically in other contexts if I want to reach them emotionally as an artist. Disadvantage: It can make some texts or individual formulations appear cumbersome and drawn out a lot, especially if several personal names are piling up one after the other.

Headings (2)

“I was very happy about the many visitors at my vernissage.”

In the early phase of the discussion about the inclusive naming of both sexes, this form was found quite often. Today it is no longer really up-to-date, mainly because the women look like an appendage. I can therefore not recommend this option.

Headings (3)

“I was very happy about the large number of visitors to my vernissage.”

Next came the use of the large Inner-I . First of all at universities, it already caught on in the 1990s. Today you see it less, mainly because the intellectual development and with it the practice of inclusion has taken another step forward (see next possibility).

Headings (4)

“I was very happy about the many visitors at my vernissage.”

For some time this has Gender Gap (Engl. Gender = Gender Gap = gap) spread. One takes into account here that the terms “man” and “woman” are social genders, but alongside or in between there are many other possibilities for one’s own gender identity. If you want to find out more about it here:

Headings (5)

“I was very happy about the many visitors at my vernissage.”

Another variant, which is not only very similar to the previous one, but is more or less the same, is the Gender Star or Asterisk. Since I only found out about this spelling in the last few months, I asked the blogger Sabine Küster , who uses it, if she can tell me more about it. I received the following reason: “… because the star-dusted also want to be taken.” Well, I have to say, that is the best argument for me and I will switch to starlets in the future! 🙂 (But there are probably other good reasons too … 😉)

Headings (6)

“I was very happy about the many guests at my vernissage. There was a lot of laughter . Hilda Meier gave an engaging speech. Those who make art themselves (instead of “other artists”) could get a lot of ideas here. You felt good and stayed until midnight. “

After all, the German language offers a variety of completely different possibilities: “man”, possibly “woman”, generally formulated passive sentences, naming, paraphrasing, neutral formulations.) That requires – admittedly – a very conscious use of language and it may take time a little longer until the text is finished. If you want to be even more precise, you can turn “who” into “which”. There are many opportunities…

Headings (7)

A last option is to use different variants (I personally prefer 2, 3, 6 and 7) alternately and thus ensure a good mixture. However, one should not switch back and forth between variants 3, 4, 5 and 6; it looks better here if you decide on a variant. In general, however, good text work requires that sentence structure and formulations are used in a varied manner. The desired effect is when the text creates a reading flow that does not even tempt the reader to think big about the form, but when it simply works through strong content.

A guest contribution by Achim Schmacks

The corona crisis is bringing artists to their knees

The Corona crisis has brought quite a few artists to their knees. The omission of exhibitions, sponsoring, fees and customers let some artists in the independent scene run out of steam.

Emergency aid programs do not work or are distributed with the watering can, here too the dry spell is long.

In my producer gallery BLACKOFFICE in Düsseldorf I have had to cancel three exhibitions and postpone them until next year. Postponed is not canceled, but the artists planned for the first half of 2021 will continue to be postponed. We can push, but not make up for everything. Likewise, we cannot make up for the loss of sales, discussions and contacts; many things that are missing cannot be made up for. We don’t catch up, we have to tie on, pick up and continue knitting.

Who invests in art?

The 2009 economic crisis had already had a negative impact on the art scene. Even there, the money was no longer easy, it was saved and invested in other things. Who invests in art?

People invest in art who want to use it to increase money. You buy art that promises an increase in value because we live in times of constant increase, and there seems to be no turning back.

Now there is a turning back! The corona crisis not only has Germany firmly under control, the whole planet has been covered by a pandemic, but the consequences for free artists are only known to a limited extent.

How can I help? A call to museums in cities and districts

Freelance artists are the caregivers of the cultural scene, they turn the wheel day after day – both before, during and after the crisis. Free artists are indispensable in a free, modern society.

I call on the museums of the cities and districts to exhibit their artists. Show your artists, open up your rooms and create space.

Offers artists a platform, opens museums and municipal galleries for their own artists, opens a virtual umbrella, a rescue umbrella for artists, unconditionally, but also as an alternative to the marginal and one-off cash support currently being discussed, which is distributed completely aimlessly and for purposes other than intended.

Don’t leave your cultural workers out in the rain!

How is that supposed to be possible? Quite simply, lists are requested from the cultural offices and professional associations from artists who work freelance, are members or have artist IDs. These artists are invited to present their work publicly in rooms that are usually not accessible to the majority of the artists. Museums and municipal galleries show artists from the city, district or region throughout Germany for a set period of time. This first event is financed by cities, the federal government, the state and sponsors. All exhibitions are freely accessible and with free admission.

Artists are an important part of society

Artists do not live and work for one-off payments, artists are not petitioners in offices, artists are an important part of society, an open society that, without culture and art, loses most of its education, understanding, ethics and zest for life.

Artists working to show their work need a platform to generate new ideas. Artists work in and for society.

Artists deserve more credit

If the artists are to be helped, then my suggestion would be a first step. The first step can be so simple and effective. This step would be recognition of a profession and a calling. Artists, free artists, live in a constant prejudice of bohemian and work-shy. Today’s artists are far from it. Marketing tools, social media and a society that demands more and more and is less and less enthusiastic call for a complete reorientation of the artists. Today the artist deals more and more with self-marketing, time for his own art and ideas often fall by the wayside. Exhibition venues are hotly contested, own projects and work spaces are becoming too expensive.

Artists live in a hamster wheel

Very few protagonists in the independent art scene receive invitations to exhibitions and participation in presentations, usually they have to torment themselves through long application phases and often pay for them. Exhibition rooms are rented out, art agents and brokers offer themselves at top prices. Times in which artists bring their works to museums, purchases are made and the artist lives happily from patrons are long gone and rarely to be found. The artist fights for recognition, attention and exhibition opportunities, he fights for studio space, a place in society and also a place in the museum. The latter is only granted to a few, because the museums block themselves, exhibit highly endowed artists and works and want to offer spectacular,

A rescue parachute for art!

Art should stay on the carpet in our time, a time full of existential fear, uncertainty and a lack of visions for the future. Take the fear away from artists, roll out the red carpet for them, for a society that is valued and envied for its culture and artists worldwide. Open the umbrella, the reserve for art, make room in your houses, offer space for art, space for artists and space for a society that is interested in its artists again.

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