Art and the Pandemic

Published: October, 2020

‘Change is inevitable in life. You can either resist it and potentially get run over by it, or you can choose to cooperate with it, adapt to it and learn how to benefit from it…’ -Jack Confield.

The extract from a quote by an American author and motivational speaker, Jack Confield, on changes spells out that change is something that cannot be avoided. It is either you choose to accept such change; positive or negative or you go with the opposite but either way change can never be taken away.

Over the past years, the world has experienced a diverse amount of changes in both our society and environment, economically, financially and socially. Following the recent pandemic which was announced by the World health organization (WHO) on March 11 2020-- has rocked the world and driven the masses into hiding. It’s no news that the Art world was deeply wounded by the recent events; Art galleries, to museums have been shut down, Art institutions, put on hold, till further notice because of the need to curb the spread of the pandemic. This is the change the world faces today.

This did not stop the art world from moving forward. Yes they shut down their organizations and facilities but they found another method to continue. This means, according to Jack Confield, they chose to cooperate with it, adapt to it and learn how to benefit from the change.

“If galleries are closed, how can we sell art?” Mr. Zwirner said. “The online platform is something we have envisioned as an important part of what we do.”

The art world has resulted in using the internet to create, “VIRTUAL ROOMS” to hold exhibitions, events and showcases. They are turning to the virtual world to continue to make sales and interact with Artists and buyers. Taking for example, the LISTE ART FAIR BASEL, slated to hold in Hong Kong in June 2020 was canceled for the year and moved online after the cancellation where they will present more than 2,000 works through an online viewing room.

“While the art market still faces difficult times, we feel it is pivotal for us to continue exploring different ways of supporting galleries and engaging with our audiences. The highly focused September and October editions of the online Viewing Rooms provide our galleries with new opportunities in this highly dynamic moment.” This was a statement made by the global director of Art Basel, Marc Spiegler. Many other galleries, in Nigeria like Relegallery’s exhibition titled ‘SCULPTING THE CITY’, Thought Pyramid’s, Lagos “NEXT OF KIN’ and so on, have taken the initiative to use virtual rooms for their exhibitions as no one knows when the virus will come to an end.

Artists, especially the students are looking inwards to spark their creativity. There is no doubt that their creativity had seized for a certain amount of time because of the lack of exposure to the outdoor environment. Eventually, they had to adapt to the situation and produce their own unique way to create.

Corona virus created a wider sphere in the art world for both the artists and the galleries because it caused them to devise different means that on a normal day, they wouldn’t think of. And this shows that nothing can get in the way of their creativity.