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If art had a motto…

Each day, the world appears to us to be more ambiguous, formless and paradoxical. The news repeatedly yells, “This is important!” and “That is a threat!”. It’s the lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. The purpose of art is to communicate deeper insights that are obscured by the dust and turmoil of daily life, to kindle a light in the darkness. Artists on Stew use language that hits a main vein of our generation. Their art helps reveal clarity, inspire courage, and instill determination. Art like this reminds us to clear away the chaos and helps us distinguish with certainty: THIS is most important, THIS is truly worth rejoicing.

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Art online, a manifesto. Part 3: Life is short, and art is long.

Part 3: Life is short, and art is long.

Art withstands the tear of millennia. At the gallery, we love it when audiences ask a bold question: “What does it mean?”. We’re addicted to the sense of the uncanny. Art enthralls us because it preserves the wilderness of our minds and inspires a lifetime of searching. We are shocked by beauty and the unknown, the dangerous terrain makes us shrewd. Art fuels a lifetime of endless improvement and imagination.

The boom in the art market brings public interest in art collection, but art has a diametrically opposite role: art helps us reassess what is truly valuable in life. We exhibit art that springs fresh from the lives of young people and vividly immortalizes the moments that we miss in our daily grind. Owning art and displaying them are cheers for a life worth living and as a reminder that the time we have is finite. Bottling stories, delight, escapes and wisdom is one of the most profitable uses of the time that we do have.

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Art online, a manifesto. Part 2: The “art world”? There is only one world.

Part 2: The “art world”? There is only one world.

The popular term “art world” makes art feel far from life, as if art lives in a separate world from our own. The problem with today’s marketing buzz words is that they don’t build community, nor trust. Art is inherently a communicator, a vehicle for human connection. When two people find a sense of community, trust forms, so does humility, compassion and appreciation.

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Art online, a manifesto. Part 1: Superlatives gone awry. How not to present art online.

Part 1: Superlatives gone awry. How not to present art online.

artonline1(Above: actual language used by a major online art selling platform)

The vogue for online art marketing is reminiscent of TV infomercials of the 1990s. The campaigns of most online art platforms go something like “10 artists to invest in now!” or “Popular pieces, 24hours left to bid!”. These are today’s equivalent of the “But wait, there’s more!” and “Call within the next 10 minutes, and we’ll double your order!” pitch lines. It’s obvious to me that these tag lines don’t work.

The usual run of superlatives (First, Biggest collection, Best artists, Top specialists) comes to nothing in the context of selling art online. A tag line that reads, “Leading website with top contemporary artists” is more likely to be viewed with skepticism than trust. Online audiences today are equipped with diverse deception radars. When authenticity cannot be manufactured, how can we build a tone that rings true to the art of our age? How can we pay tribute to its sense of mastery, discipline, rigor and mindfulness, then meld them with the souls of today’s internet users? Online audiences today crave for nuances of real life, including imperfections and vulnerabilities, not just artificial greatness.

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