Physical Galleries in the Digital Age
I have recently read that the online art marketplace has grown so much that it has taken over the traditional gallery market. In an increasingly digital age, it is argued, how can a physical gallery compete with the low overhead costs and international reach of an internet source? The answer, of course, is by going digital ourselves.
The Frank Lloyd Gallery website attracts an average of 95,000 hits and 17,000 unique visitors each month, from 99 countries. An artist like Gustavo Pérez, for example, might receive over 500 individual hits in a single month. We offer online catalogs, video walk-throughs of exhibits, and high-quality images of artworks, while maintaining a Facebook and blog presence. The gallery may be physically located in Santa Monica, but it has a truly global reach thanks to our online efforts. Students, collectors, curators, and artists around the world have free access to a wealth of resources.
The beauty of the arrangement though, is that this online and international presence complements our more traditional gallery operations. Brick and mortar galleries are important, because their exhibition programs promote artists and foster their careers, rather than focusing on secondary sales. A physical exhibition, supported with publications and promotional materials accomplishes more than just sales – it attracts the critical and curatorial attention an artist needs to flourish.