Art galleries are gradually adapting to new technologies and emerging artists
The director of 555 Gallery in Boston, Susan Nalband, talks about how art galleries are adapting to modern technologies in an interview with LensCulture. With the popularity of social media, photographers can create their own identities by posting their work on Facebook or Instagram, questioning the validity of art galleries.
Susan has over 30 years of experience in the field
After studying photojournalism as an undergraduate, Susan went on to work in the fine art doing portfolio reviews and juror. Since 2013, she has been responsible for directing exhibitions at 555. She is also a member of the curator panel for LensCulture’s Project Review: Gallery Focus.
Susan has some good advice for rookie photographers
With the omnipresence of social media, photographers have the opportunity of promoting their work via the internet. “It’s important to think about what relationship works for the kind of person you are,” says Susan. However, when it comes to making money off the work you have done, it is still very difficult as there are multiple artists trying to break through.
Artists have to make a good first impression
“Make a good first impression by educating yourself about who you are approaching. To do that, familiarize yourself with that gallery’s current and past exhibitions,” advises Susan. Beginning photographers have to do their homework by checking the gallery’s website. Moreover, what you are proposing should be different from others. As per Susan, the artist must “have both an intellectual and physical perspective on the project.”
Susan is always looking for new artists
As a matter of fact, Susan continually searches for fresh photographers by keeping up-to-date on the latest trends in photography. Through exhibitions, events, and blogs, she tries to follow the work and progress of emerging talents. She also likes to meet artists in person and review their portfolios. Besides, this way, she also gets a chance to talk to the artist about his/her work and goals.
You should have your work reviewed by professionals
Indeed, emerging photographers should have a critical perspective on their work. They should get the help of professionals to review their work to tell them honestly what is good and what is not. It is the best way to know whether you are conveying the message that you intended. Susan warns photographers that “Too much explanation and a statement that is too convoluted is a killer for me. I want to see personal, meaningful work that has a reason for existing.”
How to demarcate yourself from other photographers on the net?
Susan believes that artists should clearly differentiate between their posts on social media and the work that is being exposed in a gallery. Sharing too much on the web may make people reluctant to come to galleries. Instead, you should give people bits and pieces and talk about your techniques and keep the good stuff for events and exhibitions. She would like to see “sincere projects that are within the photographers’ own personal experiences.” Susan prefers and is mostly drawn to work that tells the truth intelligently and sophisticatedly.