For an artist, their portfolio is everything. It gives them the ability to showcase their body of work and gives the viewers an idea of their artistic range. In the art world, first impressions are everything; the right piece can sometimes elevate an artist into stardom. It’s an industry where you’re only as good as your last piece. Artists are constantly pouring their heart and soul into the canvas in hopes of achieving greatness and one day be mentioned alongside greats such as Warhol, Dali, or Pablo Picasso.
Nowadays, most mainstream artists have switched to a digital or online art portfolio to showcase their work; this increases their visibility and provides the audience a convenient way to view their work. The internet is the greatest tool that an artist can have. Their career relies on their body of work, but also on the amount of exposure they have. You can be the greatest artist on the planet, but if no one has ever heard of you, none of that matters.
As an artist, you need to stay relevant for your reputation and for your livelihood. You need to give the audience a platform to view your work. It can also be a convenient tool for an artist who is trying to get their work into a gallery; often times, galleries want to see your complete body of work. An online portfolio makes that a lot easier than having to haul around a bulky portfolio book. This also helps the curator pick whichever pieces will complement the showing and ensure your opening is well received.
Imagine if artists seventy years ago had the same technology and telecommunication we have today. A lot has changed in the past hundred years. Here’s an example. Let’s say it’s 1922 and you’re the most brilliant artist in the world, but you happen to be living in the Appalachian Mountains. Trying to get noticed by a gallery owner or to receive any sort of recognition would be nearly impossible, unless they were to physically travel to you or vice versa. Art has been around longer than the internet, but creating an online portfolio will broaden your reputation and expose you to new audiences who are completely unfamiliar with your work.
Here Are 5 Artists Who Could Have Greatly Benefited from Having the Internet
Vincent Van Gogh is arguably one of the most influential impressionist painters who has ever lived, sadly most of his work didn’t start to gain appreciation until after his death. Van Gogh is probably best remembered for cutting off his own ear. He endured bouts of mental illness, which caused him to be institutionalized a number of times in his life, until his death at age 37. If Van Gogh had the exposure of the internet, he may have been able to find the recognition he was looking for.
Another impressionist who never received the success he desired is Claude Monet. Monet is now regarded as one of the greatest painters of all time, but in his lifetime his work was often rejected. He was never quite able to properly connect with his audience, and it wasn’t until he was in his 40s that his work started to garner more appreciation. If Monet had the internet he would have been able to connect to a wider audience and ignite the Post Impressionism Movement.
Leonardo Da Vinci is considered to be one of the most brilliant minds that ever lived; he was a painter, inventor, and sculptor that mastered architecture, sciences, astronomy, and literature, a true renaissance man. He was able to accomplish more 500 years ago than most modern scientists can accomplish in a lifetime. If Da Vinci had a way to digitally showcase his work, it would drastically alter history as we know it. This is a guy who invented everything from crossbows to parachutes, he even tried to design his own flying machine. If he had been able to successfully introduce the world to flight, that would have changed everything we knew about aviation.
Andy Warhol is an artist that will forever be embedded in the fabric of our culture; he’s famous for inspiring the Pop Art Movement. His art has inspired not only artists, but musicians, directors, and almost anyone who strives for creativity. Sadly, he died right before the big internet bubble broke. He worshipped the “celebrity” lifestyle and relished any attention the media would give. If alive today, Andy would have used the internet to help market his work, and push the envelope.