When art goes to war: a new approach to the art world crash
A new approach is needed to address the growing art world crisis, says the Art World Federation, which represents a network of artists.
“It’s time for a fresh approach,” says the Federation’s managing director, David Williams.
“Artists are being told by some to ‘stay the hell out of the world’,” he says.
Artworld’s executive director, Ben Stammers, says he has been told by his colleagues that they’re being “shamed” for criticising the “sick” world of the arts. “
We need to make it clear to them that they can’t be out of touch with the world.”
Artworld’s executive director, Ben Stammers, says he has been told by his colleagues that they’re being “shamed” for criticising the “sick” world of the arts.
“We’re not here to be a laughing stock, but we’re not there to be smug about our job,” he says, referring to critics like the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.
“People are getting fed up with the art community being out of step with the times.”
The World Crisis in Art World Australia is facing a crisis of sorts, according to its latest World Crisis Index report.
The index found the industry is in a crisis in terms of both sales and profitability, with the report showing sales are down 10 per cent in 2016.
The report found that the sector has lost $1.5 billion in the last 12 months, or $1 billion in gross value added.
The sector has seen a drop in revenue of 15 per cent, or in terms the same amount as the entire Australian economy.
“There is a lack of trust in the profession,” says Mr Stammers.
“If we don’t have a world view, then we’re all in trouble.”
The sector faces challenges including a decline in international visitors to Australia, the fact that many artists have moved to countries like China and India, and the declining popularity of traditional art forms such as painting and sculpture.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that Australia’s population is expected to grow by a third over the next 20 years.
But it’s not just artists who are facing challenges.
The number of international students studying in Australia has been falling for the last few years.
“Australia is a place that loves its arts and is proud of its art heritage,” says Professor Stammers of the University of Sydney.
“But the world is changing, and there’s a lot of pressure on artists and on institutions like art schools and universities.”
The Australian Art Museum is the only arts and cultural institution in Australia that does not have an accredited art school.
Mr Williams says there’s still room for improvement in the industry.
“The world is moving towards art and the arts need to be in a position to adapt,” he said.
“That’s why it’s important to get back on the horse and get artists back on board.”
What you need to know about the Artworld Crisis: