Or, how to get millennials to buy art

There is no doubt that art is as relevant to the millennial generation as it has been to generations past, if not more so. Art is more accessible than ever before, partly thanks to the explosion of Instagram-friendly contemporary art shows. As the world changes, so too must the art-world.

Galleries can no longer rely on being exclusive and intimidating, the preserve of the wealthy, in an era where we consume art daily on our phones and are inspired to go to exhibitions by other people’s selfies.

When I was a child, a trip to an art gallery meant wandering…


Documenting the world’s last remaining communities of nomads

Tat — a member of the nomadic Moken tribe — wearing hand-made Moken goggles while catching fish.

Cat Vinton is a leading British adventure and ethnographic photographer, blazing a trail in a world dominated by male adventurers. She is also, on a personal level, someone I admire beyond words and who I want to celebrate here.

From the High Himalaya to the Arctic Circle to the Andaman Sea (and many more places in between!) Cat has followed her passion of documenting the world’s remaining nomadic communities before they disappear altogether. She says that she has always felt a connection with people who move, whose wealth is not measured in possessions.

To speak to her is an education…


How online platforms are changing — and yes, disrupting — traditional art-world models.

Image: Ian Williams

The established art-world players may raise an elegant eyebrow when online galleries are mentioned, but they cannot deny their success. Online art platforms speak to a generation that grew up with the Internet and social media, and that sees nothing wrong in buying everything from food to fashion online . Most commentators believe that the market will continue to grow as more and more of these young customers gain the confidence and disposable income to buy art.

People have been surprised by the popularity of online art platforms but who would have predicted the success of Net-A-Porter when we were…


It all began with the fight for a woman’s right to vote

Margaret Scott, Rachel Peace, May McFarlane and Olive Hodgkin exercising in the yard of Holloway prison, 1913. (From the archives of the Museum of London)

Modern day surveillance photography started in Britain in 1913 with an unassuming prison van parked in the exercise yard of Holloway Prison. We only know the occupant of the van as Mr. Barrett, a professional photographer who had been employed by Scotland Yard to snap paparazzi-style shots of the women in the yard. His long-lens photography equipment — the purchase of which was authorised by the then Home Secretary — was rudimentary, but effective.

And who were these women Barrett was photographing? Members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), also, and perhaps better, known as the suffragettes. Suffrage…


A New York that no longer exists

Times Square | NY in the 80s 38 | Steven Siegel |

“1980s-era New York was an edgier, riskier, dirtier, tenser, more dangerous and chaotic place” says Steven Siegel, a photographer who has been chronicling New York City for over forty years. Siegel grew up in the shadow of the New York skyline, just over the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey. The city was a part of his earliest memories: its presence was inescapable. In the mid-1970s, he began the first of many teenage trips across the bridge — with his camera.

His work from the late 1970s, throughout the 1980s, chronicles a city that we simply don’t see anymore. There…


For the first time ever, art truly is for everyone

Part of the fabric of our lives | Image: Kaeli Justus

I have to make a confession at the start of this article: I am a big fan of Instagram. A HUGE fan. I love the way this platform can connect artists and art-lovers all around the world, without even trying.

And you’ll find fewer and fewer raised eyebrows now in the art-world when people talk about Instagram. The blue-chip galleries have thousands of followers, and artists such as Amalia Ulman and Richard Prince use and appropriate the medium in order to create works of art.

Cindy Sherman set the platform buzzing in the summer of 2017 when she made her…


How technology helps women artists, art-buyers and gallerists.

Guerrilla Girls, The Advantages Of Being A Woman Artist, 1988

Just as in other areas of life, the art-world is also having its Time’s Up moment, and not before time. A general exploitation of artists is pretty standard in the art-world, a story that no-one likes but everyone has heard. There probably isn’t a single artist on the planet who hasn’t had to work for free at some point, just to please an influential curator, or gallerist, or even collector.

But sexual exploitation and abuse has always remained a darker and more hidden secret. …


Welcome to a lifelong love affair…

Image of Rita Konig’s house, taken by Kristin Perers, courtesy of Partnership Editions

The art-world can often seem mystifying, slightly daunting and full of a cast of characters that are in turn both bizarre and terrifying. But that doesn’t have to be the case: trust us, this world is populated with so many amazing people — be they artists, curators, or gallerists — all involved with beautiful and inspiring projects. Let us give you the inside scoop on how to build your dream art-collection, with joy (!) and on a budget.

Do your research

This is so much fun! Start by visiting local museums and galleries. Remember, commercial galleries are open to the public, whether you…


The key terms you need to know when looking at a work of art.

“A pineapple covered in duotone paint.” by Cody Davis on Unsplash

Abstract — A term to describe anything that is not stereotypically true to nature or reality but instead uses shapes, colours and forms to achieve its effect.

Appraisal — The value given to a piece of artwork that an auction house believes it will reach at sale.

Appropriation — The intentional borrowing, copying or reusing of an existing object, image or culture within a new work. A great example of appropriation is Andy Warhol’s Campbells Soup Cans from 1962.


Tip: it involves hard work, tenacity and smart thinking

Running | Genevieve Leong | Disrupt, RCA x Subject Matter

When you’re an art student, you’ll never lack for crits. But what you might lack is a touch of real world savvy, the info that now-established artists learnt the hard way, the insider tips on how to make a career out of your work.

The Subject Matter team are now in the third year of a professional practice collaboration with the Royal College of Art in London and last week we hosted a public lecture with two of our favourite mid-career artists, Rana Begum and Gordon Cheung. …

Kitty Dinshaw

Artist Director of subjectmatterart.com. I write here about what interests me: art, culture, history and the world I am surrounded by.

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