Spike - art critic for painters Tubes magazine

 ‘Spike’ – resident critic of painters Tubes magazine takes a stab at the vanity galleries and the ‘pay to enter’ commercial competitions and art fairs.

 pay for exhibition spaces or Galleries, are they worth it?”

What is an alternative to the favoured High Street galleries for the artists who cannot break the cycle of rejection.  There are over 320,000 artists in the UK alone – and that is not the biggest country on the planet. But there are only 3270 Galleries in the UK – So no wonder 99% of all artists get rejected.  Its not that there work is crap…its just that there are 1000 artists per gallery and the Galleries can’t cope with that number. They barely manage double figures.

 Some artists advertise directly on mass media or other social media with a forlon – DM me if interested? Some sell, most do not. Although they get plenty of hearts and likes.

So how about selling on the web and work with a partner to create your own VR exhibitions

Absolutely, because this is the future for contemporary artists to sell their work on a global basis  that to be very successful, (i.e. selling on a regular basis for a consistent period of time) the artist will need a very good commerce enabled website and offer 12 months interest free credit to collectors.

Spend a great deal of time making strategic posts on social media (or sign up with a legitimate company with recognised credentials to incorporate your VR exhibition.) And preferably a leading magazine (like painters TUBES) to cover the show to provide substance to the work. 

painters Tubes magazine - what do you benefit from by entering art competitions?

cartoon by ©ARNY- Sweden

How about entering Art Competitions to gain recognition?

If you can live with the rejection do go ahead and waste some money and valueable time. Nine out of ten times of entering, according to their pre-comp publicity, ‘Gives You the chance of Lifetime’ to be internationally famous.(there should be a big smirk here).

Let’s be honest here, it’s of lottery. The important thing to remember is, who does the judging. Usually there is an academic, a curator, another well known person who knows (not a lot) about art and the winner from the previous years competition. So the winning entries are somewhat vacuous in their preferences because of their own bias to one form of art or another.

15 minutes of fame…

There again, if you actually ‘Win’ or come second or third, what does it bring you?  Well if it’s a National Competition’  you will get about 15 minutes of fame and a commission from the sponsors of the Competition, and loads of Facebook likes and messages of congratulations (ego gratification again folks). Plus maybe 3 minutes on a You Tube video interview or a feature in your local newspaper. 

The rest of the smaller comp’s are really a bit  of a waste of time too, except they don’t make as much money out of the ‘customer’ (i.e. You).  It can cost around £30 to enter three paintings to an ‘average’ competition. And if you are short listed you have to physically take your paintings to a central point  for ‘further judging’ and then schlep them back again (when rejected). Which can cost you up to ‘whatever’  depending how far away you live form the nominated place of ‘drop-off’ zone.

The on-line ‘competitions, to my mind, are simply a money gathering exercise, full stop. And, again only in my opinion, are really not worth bothering with – unless they are free to enter of course.

If I were you, i.e. a young artist with balls enough to earn cash by working part time jobs whilst doing your Art – I’d team up with some pro’s who know what the fuck they are doing…avoid wasting time, that you cannot afford at all. Invest in Yourself and don’t sit around waiting for someone to give you any easy ride.

Read ‘Spike’ in painters TUBES magazines (when he turns up with a article we always print it) its usually worth waiting for.


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Pay for exhibtion space is it worth it in 2021.

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painters TUBES magazine is the leading specialist art magazine

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