That All Important Description....

Alan Bamberger, knows all about the art of buying art..in fact he has written a book about it…he is also an expert on the business of art in general and has valuable advice for artists on how they can improve their marketing techniques..(see my post on the right about Traditional Art Marketing…an interview with Alan that is featured in the Weekly Wrap today)..

One of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy is keeping the viewer interested in the work…whether in a gallery or online, Bamberger states that "most encounters with art are fleeting, and most people want electrifyingly stunning reasons to stand there and stare".

“What kind of reasons? Reasons they understand and identify with— reasons that the artists provide— or else they move on to the next work of art or artist or gallery or hors d’oeuvre or dinner or whatever. It’s the artists job to slow them down, hopefully to the point where they become so entranced that they’ll ultimately want to take a piece of art home, aka buy something".

He goes on to describe succinctly how an artist should go about slowing down the viewer…there is only one way…whether in the gallery or online, the artist should supply a brief and accessible description (in other words close to the work itself) “that would enable anyone to grasp or understand or appreciate the artwork on some fundamental level really fast, no matter who they are or how much or how little they know”…
He advises artists to avoid "bombastic blather, that one or two or three well-worded compelling comprehensible sentences in plain English that ordinary people can understand and latch onto will be abundantly adequate to incite enthusiasm for the artwork
".

He compares buying art to buying a book, the more compelling the description on the cover, or the first few lines, the more likely people would buy the book…the same with art…the more intriguing your description, the more people “get” what they’re looking at the greater the chance they will purchase the piece..

Once sentence really stuck out for me “Forget this bullshit mindset that people who look at art are required to get educated about it on their own…..The business has changed big time. Art buyers are no longer naive enough to believe that artists and/or art dealers possess mystical inscrutable knowledge that can only be comprehended if they tremble in deference, ask no questions, nod in agreement, open their wallets, and buy”.
Buyers want to read something about the work, they want to understand it, to feel they have bought something significant, to feel that they’ve made an “intelligent choice” and that they’re getting good value for their money
..

However he emphasizes the importance of being brief in the description…“keep it simple and clear…compelling and comprehensible”…people lose interest if they have to read too much…
Lastly he says, an artist should "convince people that what he or she communicates through art is valid, worthwhile, and engaging enough for them to make it a part of their lives
“.. Sources…”The Art of Buying Art" and Art Business A.Bamburger…

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