• Monday, July 15, 2024
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What to look out for in an artist

What to look out for in an artist

“You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.” — Amanda Palmer

Art is an expression or a means by which one can apply imagination and creative skill in a visual form. It would certainly be out of place to criticise anyone who calls her/himself an Artist. Anyone is an artist if (s)he says what they create is art, be it a painting, a woodwork, a sculpture, a photograph, or performing art. However, just by self proclamation, or being called an Artist by others does not translate to mean that such an artist is considered good or great.

The latter part of Amanda Palmer’s quote aptly captures it all; “You’re…a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.” One can recognise a good or great artist by how her/his art makes them feel. A great artist will by means of her/his art evoke emotions in you. Through its complexity or simplicity, or whatever form (s)he employs, a great artist will use her/his art to communicate a message to you in an effortless manner.

However, should a good or great artist be measured only by how her/his art makes one feel? Absolutely not. There are other things that make up the secret sauce of what makes an artist good or great. Here are 5 qualities to look out for in an artist you’re courting/looking to collect.

The Artist’s Background
While this is not a one size fits all as some artists are self taught, attendance at a formal and good art school is very relevant. This is because it is indicative that an artist has developed and is deeply invested in her/his creative passion, and so knows the ins and outs of the craft. Dig a little deeper and you would find that a lot of great artists today and in time’s past, began making art at a very young age and developed their craft during art school. An artist’s background forms her/his perception, her/his perception affects her/his creativity, her/his creativity defines her/his technique and style, which then defines the quality of work and messaging. When put together, these elements create an aura around the artist and her/his work is effortlessly formed. Truth be told, this aura is not necessarily taught in school. It resides in the heart and soul of the artist. A formal art school enables an artist to have the ability not only to paint with her/his hands, but with the heart. When an artist reaches this point, it shows that (s)he has reached the height of her/his creativity and has mastered that blend of knowing the craft and infusing soul into every piece.

The Authenticity of the Art
Anyone can make a beautiful painting. Not everyone can put their soul into it. The style, complexity or simplicity, the medium, the narrative, all contribute to what makes great art. A piece of art needs to connect with the viewer and the viewer, the art. An Artist who can make art that leaves people asking questions, teaching them something, or showing them something that they didn’t know they knew, is someone to look out for. The artist will employ the use of textures, rhythms, detailing, and repetition in creating her/his art to successfully reach the hearts of the audience. Oftentimes, an artist’s greatest works come from being challenged in life, be it in finances, time, concept, or materials. An artist’s ability to create art even abstractly, in such a way that it’s artistic narrative tells a story that pulls the viewer inwards to wonder what was going on in the artist’s mind, is a great catch.

The Collecting Community
This community includes, but not limited to, museums, curators, art critics, galleries, and institutions. The collecting community’s demand and views on the artist is often a good determinant of an artist’s value and appreciation. The community can stir up a craze for an artist. When the community finds a particular artist striking, it’s worth looking into, and certainly worth considering for collecting. The community thrives when the arts and artists are thriving.

The Sales
Who did (s)he do her/his tutelage under? Who is representing the artist? Who’s collecting the artist? What’s the current market value of the artist? Where has (s)he exhibited? How many solos and group exhibitions has (s)he done? Did (s)he sell out? The current market value of an artist can in many ways foretell how good or great this artist may become. If there is a high
demand for the artist’s works, and the market justifies the value placed on her/his art, then that’s an artist to keep close watch of and to collect.

Read also: Mega products fashion expo begins in Aba

The Consistency of the Creation
A notable quality is consistency. A serious artist will for whatever reason never stop making art. Consistency in practice, comes with compelling passion and will be evident in what is created. In consistency, the collecting community and patrons of the art should be able to tell which art belongs to what artist. This will be visibly evident because the said artist’s personal voice will transcend into how (s)he visually expresses thoughts, feelings, concepts, narrative, positions. This differentiates a contending artist from others who may tend to dabble around inconsistent styles.

Art Index Top 5 monthly – April 2021
Art Index Africa’s jury presents Art Index top 5; a showdown of the top 5 well researched and curated art pieces every collector should want to purchase based on strong technique, message, style, and medium.

Artist: Oladimeji Alabi | Title: Beyond thoughts and theories 1 | Medium: Acrylic on textured canvas | Dimension: 24” x 21” ea. | Year: 2020 | Estimate: $1500 – $1670 | Status: Available

Artist: Abinoro Akporode Collins | Title: The warrior queen | Medium: Stain steel spoons | Dimension: 85” x 44” x 34” | Year: 2020 | Estimate: $16,000 – $17,500 | Status: Available

Artist: Bankole Olabode | Title: E go better | Medium: Oil on canvas | Dimension: 2ft x 2ft | Year: 2021 | Estimate: $1,400 – $1,600 | Status: Available

Artist: Dare Adenuga | Title: Panic Landing | Medium: Rope sculpture on terrazzo base | Dimension: H-51″, L-30″, B-20. stool:- H-20”, L-30″ B-20” | Year: 2020 | Estimate: $2,200 – $3,000 | Status: Available

Artist: Victor Ehikhamenor | Title: Cardinal Ifada | Medium: Mixed media | Dimension: 67” x 86” | Year: 2017 – 2019 | Available on request
In Conclusion, art should be enjoyed by everyone in whatever form it comes in. However, when collecting art, you’re making a long term investment. It is therefore important to place the right bet on a potentially high yielding artist. At the very core, an artist’s expressions of art should make you feel something. That is how to truly identify an artist that has “staying power”.
Until next month,