You don't have to be poor to be an artist: Rejecting the old ways of the London Art market, many artists are starting their own alternative business models

Masters Thesis

Carta-Manias, R. (2020). You don't have to be poor to be an artist: Rejecting the old ways of the London Art market, many artists are starting their own alternative business models. Masters Thesis London South Bank University School of Arts and Creative Industries
AuthorsCarta-Manias, R.
TypeMasters Thesis

The study for this MRes thesis investigates London’s contemporary art market as a form of enquiry about contemporary management practices in art environments (small galleries, artist studios, online galleries) covering the main aspects of the art leadership role and extending the enquiry into the interdependence between the traditional practices in the art market and contemporary changes in society (technological, economic, financial, social), also exploring new ways for positioning art works in the market and ways of engaging the public implemented by artists. The research thereby, responds to the question of to what extent the traditional model of gallery management is continuing to serve the artist or how it is being superseded by innovative approaches employed directly by the artist.
The research surveys the perspective of emerging artists on how to enter the contemporary art market, in order to evaluate if the traditional business model of commercial galleries is still current and valid. It investigates the extent to which the role of the artist is evolving and it aims towards an improved perception of the role of the art manager. First, it identifies the role of the art manager as perceived by practitioners and researchers. Secondly, it presents funding on how contemporary artists are increasingly developing an entrepreneurial perspective, employing innovative forms of business model approaches. Thirdly, it explores how art management practices are evolving and artists are employing new approaches in promoting and selling their art.
The following insights can be drawn from the research.
The London Art market is prolific and competitive, yet dominated by the traditional gallery model. Artists struggle to achieve recognition and support from galleries, yet their
endorsement remains essential. In response to this, a new figure of “artist entrepreneur” has emerged, challenging the tradition with new ways of working and selling art. Additionally, disruptive changes in technology are enabling artists to sell in innovative ways that bypass the system.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
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Publication dates
Print31 Mar 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Jul 2023
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February 2020 - Revised Thesis - Rita Carta Manias.pdf
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