Art pushes us to see beyond the confine of our homes and ourselves.
The news from the art world is mainly grim these days. Most major art institutions are closed and have either laid off or furloughed the majority of their staff. Galleries have gone to extraordinary lengths to showcase artists’ work online. Online viewing rooms, virtual tours and Instagram in particular are keeping the art community and the artists connected to the rest of the world, in what some see a shift in how art will be experienced over the long run.
As an art advisor, I am eager to explore and embrace this new online life as a way to continue bringing art into people’s life, while holding strong to the belief that nothing will fully replace viewing and experiencing art in person. On days when we feel our life has shrunk, art pushes us to see beyond the confines of our homes and ourselves.
Art gives us hope and is central to our wellbeing
It would be devastating to all of us, who are now spending 99% of our time home, not to have access to art. Our life at home would be a shadow of its current sanctuary status without access to books, music, and all the performing and visual arts. We would be emotionally and intellectually starved. German artist Gehard Richter once said “Art is the highest form of hope.” That statement has never felt so true.
Art is our oxygen and art is sustaining us during these uncertain times. Art is how we connect as people and art gives us the hope that is central to our mental wellbeing.
Supporting the arts as an act of solidarity
Whereas the art we consume online is mostly free, artists still need to earn a living and sell art. It is vital that during this global pandemic we continue to find ways to support the arts and the artists that sustain and inspire us while socially isolating at home. Supporting the arts or buying art in a time fraught with anxiety, loss, and financial uncertainties can be perceived as a frivolous act. But it can also be viewed as an act of solidarity, a way to support artists and acknowledge the true value of the artistic content that we freely consume online.
While our world has been turned upside down, artists continue to work in their studio, more often than not alone, day in and day out. This is not a new phenomenon. This is what artists do. Artist Carmen Herrera comes to mind. Now a world renowned and celebrated hard-edge artist, Herrera was mostly unknown well into her 80’s and was overlooked for years as a woman and an artist. She steadfastly continued to make art. As a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, countless artists have seen their long awaited exhibitions and museum shows cancelled or postponed.
Yet we know that artists will be there for us, when life resumes. I invite you to explore ways to support the art community in a fashion that is meaningful to you; continuing to collect and buy art is one way to support artists.
I am offering a limited number of free virtual art consultations to new clients.
[Originally published on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/art-time-coronavirus-estelle-fournier/]