Awash in Photographs

One result of this blog is that I am constantly bombarded by offers to help sell my art. I receive several emails a day with offers. Most are crap. The most common scheme is a contest that results in a gallery show. Often the show is at a prestigious art fair, like the Venice Biennale. Yeah, right. An online contest is going to get you into that fair.

But on reading the fine print, it’s at the same time as the Venice Biennale and it might even be in Venice, in a gallery located on an alley on the mainland. Or maybe not. Sometimes it’s just an online gallery. Wow. A web site. What a prize. And it might be if they get results. But there’s never any mention of results and there is usually a hidden fee. Hinted at, never explicitly stated, and not revealed until after you win.

But the world is awash in photographs and it’s hard to get noticed. Are any of these outside web sites real?

I’ve had a portfolio at Art Photo Index for years. Billed as a serious art photography site and run by a reputable photography gallery, as far as I can tell no one uses it. While the quality of the art is generally high, the web site itself is hard to use. Many features don’t work. Their “contact the artist” function didn’t work for more than a year. Not going to get many sales that way. It works today. I just tried it.

Last week I made an account at Saatchi Art. A photographer friend told me she sold something there and the business model is correct for an organization trying to promote sales: they make their money on commissions on sales and there are no upfront fees. I posted a dozen prints there to test the waters.

Talk about being awash in photographs. There are 21,965 nude photographs on the site. Some general observations: prints are large, exorbitantly expensive, and there are a lot of attractive women out there.

If you are looking to buy art, how do you find what you want in that. The site has search functions based on categories and key terms and size and price and it goes on and on. Lots of filters to chose from.

I tried “abstract” and got lots of photos of cute nude women standing in a room or outside. Maybe I don’t understand the word. Here’s what I think abstract looks like:

I’ve become a grumpy, old man.

Another thing I don’t understand

Artist’s Statements. I mean why? If the artist has something to say, shouldn’t you see it in the art? And if not and you need an explanation, maybe the art isn’t very good. That’s what I always thought.

Or maybe I was just too lazy to write statements. Or maybe I just don’t know enough words. I certainly don’t pay attention to grammar rules.

And who reads the statements anyway? Just pretentious gallery denizens. (Look at that, a big word.) After reading some Artist’s Statements, my brain feels like mush for days. Well a few minutes anyway. If I even get through them.

But at the Portrait of America show at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, people kept asking me for one. Regular, normal people. Oops, I guess they’re a real thing. People want some sort of explanation for the art and it’s my job to supply it. So I posted the introduction to the book. People were happy.

I’ve gone wild. I now have Artist’s Statements on my web site. There’s one on the main page. Maybe it’s the start of my memoir. And there are some others throughout. For example, there’s one on the Dune page. You can read it there if you like. I’m going to look at the photographs.

Not mobile friendly?

Every now and then, Google sends me email telling me that they don’t like one of my pages. They said that this site had been down ranked in search results because it was not mobile friendly since three pages had content that appeared outside the boundaries of their simulated phone screen.

The pages on this site adapt to the size of the browser window so I was surprised. Wide like a laptop or tall and skinny like a phone, it’s all supposed to work. But you know, maybe I made a mistake, so I checked.

I looked at the pages as recorded by Google. I didn’t see anything wrong. Then I looked again. Still nothing. There’s no hint as to what they think is wrong.

But there is a button you can press to get your pages reevaluated after you have fixed the problem. I pushed the button. Google now says the pages are great! No, I didn’t change anything. Maybe they were lonely and just wanted me to talk to them.

So what was the problem? I don’t know. Maybe they were afraid she was going to slip and fall out of the frame.