Times they are a changing …

The end of summer, probably too early for an annual review but nevertheless it feels like a watershed this year. As of 2008 the financial crisis has driven the art scene into a new ice age for a few years; many established galleries vanished, art fairs were called off, sales came under heavy pressure … Just like the dinosaurs, high-threshold galleries and old school dealers seemed to have difficulties to adapt to the changing environment. In renowned art centers such as London’s Mayfair, galleries were almost entirely swept away by Gucci, Prada, A&F and other luxury brands … But as the famous Ian Malcolm quote from Jurassic Park says: “(Art-) Life will find a way”!

For myself and many of my colleagues, it took a while to realize that this was not a crisis like the previous ones. Fortunately artists are tough and flexible, accustomed to deal with uncertainty and doubt. In the solitude of our studios we work steadily and stubbornly, not burdened by skyrocketing rents and representation expenses. The artistic landscape has forever changed and once you realize this, you’ll discover new pathways.

Since we first organized the annual “Open Studio Weekends” in 2012, the number of visitors and general interest have increased every year. Through the website, the newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. … friends, clients and interested followers remain well informed. My valued trusted galleries are still exhibiting my work and there is room for new and less obvious initiatives and crossover projects.

2016 is already an exceptional year, one to remember. At the end of September when the last few paintings will leave for an exhibition in the Netherlands, the walls of my studio will be nearly empty. It’s been since way before 2008 that this type of “total sell out” experience happened to me.

Of course this is not an endpoint, rather the contrary. Besides the comfort and confirmation that an artist desperately needs, much like everyone else, it also creates momentum and drive. The walls are empty … room for new creations, surprising (re-) discoveries, refreshing experiments … I’m looking forward to an exciting 2017, more on this will follow later …

Dear friends, trusted and new clients, patrons and art lovers, gallery owners and dealers … everyone … thanks again very much for your continued support

 

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~ by Stefaan Eyckmans on October 8, 2016.

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