Mapping the Artist

The Contemporary art world has no dearth of talented artists.  Most of them boast of impressive resumes and critically acclaimed exhibitions at well known venues. Art itself is very subjective and governed by aesthetics. As researchers, we soon realised that we need a more definitive tool to understand artists. And what’s better than numbers? By putting together a list of numbers mapping the artist’s career trajectory we can save up on time otherwise allotted to reading up several biographies and pages about the Artist. A quick-stop guide to answer some simple questions such as ‘What makes an artist more popular than another?’; or ‘Why is one artist’s works selling more than the other?’. Since Art is shrouded under the subjectivity of each individual and their own views, it becomes very difficult to go by one person’s opinion on the matter.

Artsome wants to develop such a tool that will list some quantifiable factors which have helped build an Artist’s career. These include the number of exhibitions, awards, publications, collections, participations in International Art Fairs or Biennales, etc.

The tool is meant to show the depth of an artist’s work and how wide his audience is. With this easy Guide, you can for instance, compare two artists – the range of their works and their activity over the years, at a glance, as opposed to scouring through twenty pages of Google to do the same.

Problems encountered during Data Collection
While it seemed fairly simple at first, we found ourselves at a back foot when it came to actual data collection. This sort of endeavour hasn’t been attempted before so there were certain disadvantages that we faced. The figures we put up are in no way absolutes. They are just estimates since we do not have access to Artists’ personal records.

Our Guide will have numbers of the following categories:

  1. Gallery Show Solo – Private galleries hosting solo shows of the Artist
  2. Gallery Show Group – Private galleries hosting Group shows with the Artist
  3. Museum Show Solo – National and International Museums as well as Government exhibition spaces hosting Solo shows of the Artist
  4. Museum Show Group - National and International Museums as well as Government exhibition spaces hosting Group shows with the Artist
  5. Countries exhibited in – Number of countries the Artist has Exhibited his/her works in
  6. Years in practice – Working Years since the Artist’s first Public Show
  7. International/national residencies – Art Residencies with Organisations or Universities both National and International
  8. Awards – National and International Awards received – Private + Government
  9. Publications – The Artworks in many Private Collections (Not accurate information available for this Category)
  10. Museum/public collections – Artworks part of Museum or Public collections
  11. Auctions – Total number of Artworks auctioned during their careers
  12. Biennales  - Participation in Biennial Art Festivals
  13. Special projects – Public Art Projects, Community Building Art Projects, Art custom made for Events (like The Olympics)

With the Guide we hope that our readers will be able to distinguish between different artists and gauge their general standing in the Art world. This information can shape decisions regarding purchases, sales and reviews for educational purposes as well.

Since the accuracy of all the numbers cannot be accounted for, we welcome any corrections from readers with access to sources which are not available to us.

Please write to us at info@artsome.co if you have any queries or feedback to share!