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Go Big or Go Home - Succeeding in the Art World

My friend Joshua Spodek was kind enough to write about his experiences building out public art exhibitions. One of the lessons he has is counterintuitive - that it can be a faster path to success to get large art projects off the ground than it is to work your way slowly through the art world. Here's Josh -

Art can be an insular field and breaking in is a common challenge, so I'd like to share it with a community that values success and victory. I hope there are insights others can use and share too.

My background is in science and entrepreneurship, but I've developed a passion for making art. I'm not content with just creating it -- like any artist I want exposure and recognition (sales aren't bad either).

The challenge is that New York's art world is notoriously xenophobic and tends to promote from within. My credentials -- a PhD in astrophysics and a company running for over a decade -- mean little to them. Even making great art only gives a foot in the door.

I have a huge challenge that my work doesn't photograph at all and video doesn't capture it that well. When galleries take an interest in my work, a version this conversation happens:

Become a Producer

On No Status Quo

Think of someone who has had a positive impact on your life. Someone you admire and respect, but don't know personally.

Some of you will pick a renowned writer or businessman. Others will pick an artist, businessman, scientist or movie star. Some of you may even pick a hard-working blogger. At least I would. But do you know what all these people have in common?

They are all producers.

I bet you didn't think of a person who spends most of his time watching TV shows, browsing the web or playing computer games. Because that person is a consumer, not a producer.

Consumption can be a lot of fun. We're all consumers from time to time. We enjoy the time we spend watching TV shows or playing computer games. However, the moment we turn off the TV, all the happiness is gone. Until we turn the TV back on, that is.

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