My (brief) experience with Artfinder.

We all need to make a living
It’s not my problem
I was only following orders.
I thought I could stay under the radar. After getting kicked off  Wetcanvas for using the word ‘Queer’ (to describe myself!), I thought… just play it cool. Chill. Fuck, I need the money.
I answered questions on the application, sent photos of my art, was accepted. It was going ok, until I had a problem with a required field in setting up my “shop.” They wanted a phone number. But only a cell would do… Skype wasn’t going to work. The help FAQ suggested I look in the forums. Big mistake.
I came across a thread where several artists were complaining about ArtFinder’s exclusionary promotions. Of the 6000 some members, only a handful have their work selected to be foregrounded, to be posted on FB, etc.
“What do you expect, it’s a business. It’s not about equality,” someone wrote.
I replied to one of those–that, this was to be expected. AF is a virtual gallery, so it follows the rules of the system. It’s how the gallery-to-investor system works. One of its primary purposes is to exclude–to secure the value of a very few “brands” for investors. That’s where the money is. It’s capitalism. Capitalism corrupts the whole process of distribution of art as a “product.”
I’m called an idiot. That AF is for “real artists,” and this is how “real artists” make a living. What kind of person am I, biting the hand … etc.
Bye bye ArtFinder.
Why are artists so often, so compliant, so unthinking, so docile and willing to be used by their Masters?
After this most recent difficult encounter with the establishment art world–I’m most grateful for A-Space and the radical community for providing a place for our work to be seen–I mean, for artists who don’t want/can’t make themselves, be part of the capitalist artist branding, gallery-to-investor system.
It’s a form of political censorship. And don’t tell me, “it’s my choice,” cause if it’s a choice for me, it’s so only because I chose to look the other way and not see the many for whom there is no choice, how for those who are suckered into the con game, it’s overwhelmingly white men who make up that 5 to 10% whose ‘brands’ are trending, and so appalingly few blacks and marginalized people even get let in the door.
It’s an utterly corrupt system–the same system that sends drones across the world to bomb hospitals and wedding parties, and call it “collateral” damage
… interesting, inn’it … the other meaning for that word, “collateral.” If you don’t have the collateral, you become the damage.
Capitalism has colonized art. That’s the reality. Suck up to the bloodsuckers, or you got no future in the system.
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