Single and no one needs
Leaving Wall alma mater, the young artist is given to himself. Nobody is forcing, as in the past, go to the godforsaken hinterland to teach drawing at school, but the venerable gallery owners are not plowing their embrace of yet another young talent to a generous desire to pay tribute to him. He is not interested in them until they make the talking about himself. How? Modalities are many, but only two basic strategies: either to catch, where the wind blows, and offered him their sails to try to become the most pressing topical, or take a chance and try to pave his own course in the stormy sea of the art market. In the nature of this difficult choice, we decided to deal with the artist Semyon Kozhin. Choosing the interlocutor was not accidental. "N" several years ago opened it. The artist's works are in many famous private collections in Russia and abroad, and one of the paintings was purchased for the collection of Buckingham Palace. This Kozhin - not avant-gardist, not a modernist, not postmodernist, not post-post ... but most that on a realist.
- As far as I understand it, the choice boils down to a dilemma: to become or stay all yourself?
- Actually, yes. But those who choose the so-called actual art, does not believe that in doing so lose their own individuality. Contrary, they religiously believe in the uniqueness of his talent and commercial success for them is the best proof of their "rightness." The idea that the mainstream - it is a habitat for people, rather mediocre, rather than talented, his head usually does not come.
- Triggered a psychological defense!
- Probably. But I think they just do not understand that in the pursuit of success fall into the zone of the laws of the market. Market actual art is controlled by the same principles as any other. But these laws they have, as a rule, no idea. The market demand is the highest that satisfies the taste is not an expert, and "mass market".
- That is mass production?
- Let's just say: "goods". And to understand how this market is moving "goods" sufficiently delved into comprehensible book on marketing. The strategy of promotion - "novelty". I specifically take this word in quotes, because the novelty of a product and it is often difficult to prove and disprove. To do this well know the history of art. Many gallery owners and dealers, propelling aktualitety, such knowledge does not possess. Yes they have them and to anything. They are not art experts and businessmen. Their task - quickly sell "goods" so-called connoisseurs, and in fact, consumers who have these skills, too, are generally lacking, for the purchase of works of art for them is not the result of a love of art, as an attribute of status.
- So, it is important the price?
- In the first place. For the majority of money is equivalent to quality. And the prestige that wealthy people even more important. And prestige, and price form the dealers directly involved in the sale. With the names of authors and works of art themselves, they played like a stock on the stock exchange: to increase their favorites and to decrease competition. By the artistic value of works that has nothing to do.
- And how can "reduce" competitor?
- There are many ways. For example, to declare his work is kitsch. Initially, the German word, derived from the British sketch - «Etude", called fast-selling small works, priced quite cheaply. Later, it became synonymous with consumer goods and in bad taste, while not giving a clear definition: what it is. This term seems somewhat artificial, some provocation, with which to strike at the success of a competitor: when the fault appears to have what is sufficient to say "kitsch", and for many it will make the right impression. General, the boom around the modern art rests on the fact that it is easy to perceive an inexperienced person.
- That is, it works on the reduction of meaning? The old Flemish, each flower, each berry in the still life have their value. It was not just a pretty picture. Perception of realistic painting requires some training ...
- ... And in the work of modern art you can attach any meaning, what comes into your head. So proud dilettante - I was introduced to art, I do not have anything to learn, and so I understand. And if the meaning can be interpreted as anything, that means the impact on the public, including potential buyers - much more. It turns out the universal language, free from religion, from the moral, aesthetic, all of which whatever criteria. And if you say: it is mediocre, and the artist and the dealer can immediately get in the position of offended: "We have such a deep meaning invested, and you do not see. Are you blind, but we are not incompetent. Difficult to object, in fact, except for "like - not like", no criteria no.
- Pure manipulation ...
- ... To which the general public defenseless. And she is not trying to defend themselves, because easy and pleasant to consume.
- Eternal motto of any business.
- I told you that the art market does not fundamentally different from any other. And it's not only in the similarity of marketing arrangements for "products". The development of art is very often tied to the development of industry. Technological progress leads to an increase in consumption, ie to increase the money supply, the surplus is and invest in art, just as in the expansion and modernization of production. Here the mechanism driving the market of contemporary art. And so it is not cheap, created a myth - painting and sculpture, in which you invest money, just as valuable as gold and diamonds.
- It turns out that the artist must either become an ascetic and write only to the dictates of the soul, or to become a businessman? And it is possible to draw and for the soul, and to sell and does not suffer from the forced dichotomy?
- Marketers in a firm voice: if you do not like what you do, the likelihood that in this field, you have failed, too great. You can initially something and earn, but the collapse of virtually inevitable. So I would put the question differently. You may wish to build a strategy for their own advancement, that you will draw for the soul and you will buy this, what you eat. Better though, to the implementation of this strategy is not you yourself, as manager, otherwise the work may not have neither the strength nor the time. But this ideal. In practice, the artist, in order to survive, we must exert much effort: to combine the marketing person, accountant, expert negotiators, lawyers, psychologists. Initially, you are free and no one needs, and you have to prove that you are something is. It's hard. The art itself is in general very few people want. Collectors do not count.
- So that's why you have a marketing textbooks come from!
- I encountered the same problems as most of the graduates. The question was not whether to quit the profession. But did not want to give up. Activity - a pledge of survival. Internet - the cheapest means of communication and the most promising. You can send pictures curator of his works, sign up for free professional web sites and post their work there, make your site look for contests, grants.
- The rescue of a drowning man - the handiwork of the drowning?
- If he is not going to glue fins and go to the bottom.
Interviewed by Victoria PESHKOVA