You may have heard of the 1998 Bestseller ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Spencer Johnson. It’s a cute but cautionary parable about two little mice called ‘Sniff’ & ‘Scurry’. They’re locked in a maze with two little people called ‘Hem’ & ‘Haw’.
‘Hem’ & ‘Haw’ are very complacent, indecisive little fellows. They sit back and happily enjoy the supply of cheese. Assuming it will always be the same, they get quite indignant when things change.
‘Sniff’ & ‘Scurry’ are quite different. They know that something will eventually move their cheese. So they keep moving, always looking for new cheese. Even when it feels scary they risk it all. They understanding that progress is their only true choice.
What’s this got to do with how we appreciate and collect art?
Here’s the surprising truth about the art business.
The Art Establishment (with a capital ‘A’) prides itself on appearing modern and cutting edge.
Yet even contemporary Curators, Art Dealers, Critics, Galleries and Museums are some of the most conservative people on the planet.
They are the art gatekeepers, hoarding their cheese like ‘Hem & Haw’.
The art business has vested interests in maintaining the status quo, mostly concerning money, influence and control over artists and collectors. Naturally, they have resisted the internet’s democratizing influence every inch of the way.
Until the internet came along and moved their cheese, curators, galleries and critics had the upper hand. Artists had nowhere else to exhibit their work. Collectors had nowhere else to see it.
But artists are a brave and adventurous bunch. They’re a bit like ‘Sniff & Scurry’.
Gradually as more artists broke away from the gallery system Artist Portfolio Websites began appearing by the late 90’s. A few brave souls even began posting prices. This drove galleries wild. But no amount of condemnation would stop the eventual addition of Shopping Carts on artist websites.
I just came across these surprising statistics from a recent Hiscox survey conducted for the gallery and museum industries. There’s no doubt the internet has radically changed how we look at and and consume art today.
- 71% of art collectors have bought art online sight unseen.
- Buyers of all ages are making art purchases online.
- Art buyers want to purchase art with little or no contact with the intermediary (the gallery).
- Artists selling directly to their fan base is a major trend.
- Online art sales have grown exponentially and are poised for even more growth.
- Online platforms are major incubators for emerging artists.
The genie is definitely out of the bottle.
I confess to being really slow looking for new cheese. The past twenty years of my art career has been focused on developing gallery relationships and now the world has turned.
So I’ve finally taken the plunge and posted prices for my paintings on my website.
Hopefully you’ll see something you can’t live without.
For your convenience you can contact me direct or purchase through the secure Shopping Cart system.
By the way, here are the Golden Nuggets in the book ‘Who Moved My Cheese’.
They keep moving the cheese
Get ready for the cheese to move
Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old
Adapt To Change Quickly
The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese
Move with the cheese
Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese!
Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again
They keep moving the cheese.