Tag Tubes UK art exhibitions

painters TUBES gallery now has two exhibitions open in the new large exhibitions halls on a fabulous VR platform – The preview exhibition features “Constructing the Mersey Gateway Bridge” and The Fiddlers Ferry Project” The two exhibitions show examples from these two art projects. painters TUBES magazine is one of the major sponsors to bring these exhibitions into Museum Exhibitions during 2021.


painters TUBES VR gallery
a catalogue is available on the exhibition pages


another exhibition opens today (Saturday 13th Feb) this is a review of the art that has featured in the TAG showcase publications from edition #1 to edition #8 – 47 Artists and 47 paintings have been selected. The show runs fro one month until the 15th March 2021.


Six of the Best Exhibition - painters TUBES gallery
A catalogue is available on the gallery page

Artists Read ‘SPIKE’ article below

Spike on the the Art Game

The Art Game by Spike - for  TAG and painters TUBES magazine

Showing paintings online, is now the main stream for the dissemination of an artists work. Even though real life exhibitions are still relevant for many artists, an online presence is essential.

“painting is now a dead art”…

…that conversation has faded away as fast as padded shoulders did in the middle 1980’s. There has been a major change in attitude to painting in the last decade or more.

In part, this may be entirely due to the need for the high street galleries to survive the financial crisis, the one that started in earnest in 2009 and was still having some effect up to 2019 – obviously now this has been overtaken by the approaching global Covid driven financial storm that will happen sooner rather than later.

More than ever, high street galleries will need to sell ‘more-stuff’ that is when they are allowed to open again, and earn extra profit to pay those continuing high ‘business rates’ in the major Cities in most countries in the Western world and fill the Covid black hole.

Lets be honest…

…paintings sell much quicker than sculpture or those ‘cool’ avant-garde installations of nonsense that rely on high brow art academics to authenticate the cultural importance of much about nothing – Art concepts that most people wouldn’t actually install in their homes (even if they don’t say so publicly). There is a heavy price tag for that sort of contemporary bull-shit art, the ones that buy them are generally paid for by tax payers money or overly funded art institutions by National Lottery money. Consequently the contemporary ‘arty farty’ marketplace is tiny compared to the ‘popular paintings’ art market. However, there are only so many landscapes that ordinary people can put over their fireplaces and those statement pieces placed in hallways to impress ones dinner guests.

the consumer market will run dry soon

Today the sheer size of the (art) market (because of the www) has outgrown the high street sales is by leaps and bounds, certainly as far as turnover is concerned. So the web has become the place to set up your stall.

Major funded on-line art galleries and some not so well funded independent artists all have a go at selling direct to art collectors and art lovers. Even Tubes magazine are having a go, although they already know there is no money to be made, so why bother trying ?- Space that is givin over to artists, is in keeping with the magazine policy – “Art before Money at all cost” is their much unspoken motto.

one man art galleries…

The one man art galleries start-ups, sadly and in most cases, fail quickly, some have a sort of – ‘in the third year – we will make money fiscal plan and obtain a bank loans. Most, in reality, loose much more money than they bargained for and crash prematurely by their investors (usually a Bank) the bank that backed the idea (with solid reclaimable security) in the first place.

Today it’s not a case of chasing huge profits for many galleries, on the contrary, it’s survival we are talking about here. Many on-line outfits are simply losing too much money, year in and year out.

“..there is no money in Art..”

A very wise man once said to me 1989. He may have been right but for the wrong reason. For should Art really be treated as a commodity? As he suggested it must be to make a profit. And be marketed as such? Stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap is not an effective strategy, not for original art at least. So when times get tough, (in Art) the tough usually bottle it and get a job working as an state employed administrator or as an art teacher.

Before lockdowns the high street galleries were having some degree of success, especially the well positioned bricks and mortar establishments. Mainly because they really do use the web effectively. Many sell-out the latest exhibition on-line, even before they hold the opening exhibition night, which simply turns into a social events for artists and people who like meeting artists. A night which also serves a vital purpose for the prospective client to actually see the Artwork for real, at which point the deal is invariably clinched on the spot – by the religious handing over of the Credit Card or the signing of the agreement of the 12 month no interest payment.

All that sounds good, but nothing has changed for the artist who hasn’t the right connections or a million+ followers on Instagram. He or she still don’t even get a foot through the gallery door.

But – and it’s a big but, will quality original art always win out in the end? Or will the major on-line gallery self appointed art selectors continue to advance those artists that fit their preferred ‘trendy style” of the month and advise their visitors who are the ‘artists’ to watch out for? (Because next month they will be on offer perhaps). Thus employing the white wall style gallery – bugger the quality – stack em high and give big discounts off big price tags. It’s a type of non-ethical unprincipled bribery ‘visual art pop-star’ game they play. Will high street galleries continue to be flooded by the pathetic hopeful newbie painters who really don’t stand a chance of being let over the gallery threshold?

Will the on-line – ‘paid private educators’ – who tell us – How-to Sell Your Art On-Line, or ‘How to paint like DeKooning’- really begin to make a difference, or is all that simply a bull shit money art game too?

It seems to me, that the only way forward for painters today – is do what the Impressionists did way back when – That is find a cheap space – Hire it – Put your stuff on the Wall – And throw caution to the wind then go mental on social media pushing the show and have a brilliant time at the opening.

I mean whats the worst that can happen? You will loose some hard earned cash and a few insincere friends maybe? But perhaps you will gain a hell of a lot of self respect (and the mutual respect of your fellow painters) and understand how a real artist (and a really great gallery owner) works bloody hard, for the love of Art. Talking of self starters, my advice to Galleries is – start thinking and collaborating with professional individuals and companies who know what they are doing with design, marketing and promotions as far as the new world of 3D virtual reality online galleries. Gallery presentations that can be integrated with the bricks and mortar exhibitions – This is a winning combo for everyone who see themselves as part of the all new 21st century contemporary Avant Art Community.

It’s a whole new ball game today..or should I say… Art Game.

Written for painters TUBES® by Spike©2020

Read and view more art in the TAG TUBES Exhibition catalogues by clicking here

painters TUBES EXHIBITIONS -February to April 15th 2021

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