- How much of it is really art?
- Are there even enough collectors and collections to sustain the apparent explosion in artists and photographers?
The first key issues is that an image on the net is usually not the art work. So many think that once they see a small image on their screen they have seen the art. However this is not true the original art work has a physicality, that relates the scale it is produces and how its surface reacts in different lighting and position. A blown up photo hanging on a gallery wall will look quiet different to its reproduction on the net, no matter how much colour calibration has been done. I expect the true art and photography collectors and curators know this already and they are carefully about purchasing off the net. In other words physical art and brick and mortar galleries still have a place.
The second key issue is the decline of originality, this is really a personal view. The social web and the “look at me” celebrity obsessions are actually producing and facilitating an explosion of imitators, ok copy cats, and a lot of plagiarist (they just steal and repost your work as their own). What was once original suddenly floods the bandwidth with lesser but superficially much the same works and boredom takes over. The general lack of attributions means that it is pretty much impossible to find the creative individual behind the avalanche of imitators. For a collector this is a real buyer beware situation. If you are a creative and have something really unique, but easily cloned, it might not be a place you want to set your work free within.
The final issue is simple exposure. Yes posting your art on the net can potentially get it seen by a much wider audience, even an international one. So go and join the online throng but remember the real buyers might be wary, and still prefer physical exhibitions and galleries. There is a real potential to have your creations copied into oblivion. Staying original and creative may be easier if you don’t join the crowd and support your local gallery.