For this new project, I am creating a series of smaller works on canvas to rent out. To whom then? To you!
The idea is that I want to be more engaged in making (smaller and movable) work in my studio. And I want to make that possible together with a group of 'ambassadors'. I need some help with that, which is why I came up with this idea. Because if you join, you not only contribute to this development, but you get to choose works in my studio to have (temporarily).
If you participate in the project, I will keep you informed of the developments regarding the series, the content behind it and my personal process. So you not only pay for the work you have hanging at home, but you actually take out a subscription on me. You contribute to my autonomous development in my studio. In fact, you make it possible!
Monthly contributions to the project range between 24,50 and 44,50 euros. The price differences parallel the different timeframes in which you can pick new work. After a period of 1 or 2 years, you can buy off the work at a big discount, why not!
From now on, you can also become a participant in the FOR RENT project by paying €5 a month. For this 'membership' you will receive updates on the project and its themes, you will receive small and not so small publications/books and I will invite you to the viewings and other moments I organise concerning FOR RENT. But more importantly: you help me build a constructive community and strengthen my idea of being independent in the creative sector. In return, I work on making this topic deeper and broader.
To introduce the project to you, I invite you to a viewing in my studio. There, the works will of course be on display and I will explain the process. Depending on interest, I will suggest some dates for those moments.
If there is enough enthusiasm for 'FOR RENT', I will organise special evenings. During those evenings, the ambassadors will meet each other (and me) and I want to give them something extra. I am thinking of inviting fellow artists and other speakers who, in their own way, facilitate and maintain their artistic development. The form of these evenings, as I said, depends on the number of people who will participate.
Are you interested? Send me an email and I will be happy to send you more information.
The idea for the FOR RENT project comes from the concept of renting a studio space. For me as an artist, having a studio is something magical. Being there provides peace, space and an open attitude for making. It then, if all goes well, produces development. The place makes that possible for a big part, at least that's how I experience it very strongly.
That got me thinking: "How do I create a situation for myself as an artist to take the pressure off that development to pay the rent every month?" And doing that preferably completely independently. Without intermediaries, without commissions and even without having to think about that the work you make needs to bring in income in any way. The idea that came after was actually a one-two-three punch. Because I simply had to link three things together. Namely, the work, that gets made. I link that to the people who can and want to enjoy it. And then to the, given, financial system: paying monthly rent. This, of course, is not really revolutionary. Since there’s a lot of places where you can rent art on a subscription. But what’s different is that I am taking it a step further: In this idea someone’s not subscribing to one or two available works. No, you are subscribing (and with that contributing) to me and my artistic development.
As a creator, the most important is that you want to make. No shit. Preferably all of your time. But in the end, unfortunately, there’s not only that what’s on your mind. I think it would be smart, as an artist, to think about other ways of maintaining your practice and yourself. To pay yourself back in focus. Since a lot of the normal ways of creating a financial sustainable evolving practice are taking up a lot of attention. Headspace you want to spend on something else. Also, I find these common ways of making money with your work old-fashioned and slow. And way too much dependent on parties and ways over which you have too little influence. In the end, after all, it's only about two things: letting your work develop and enjoying it together with an audience.
Of course it is great if your work is shown at fairs, in galleries, at festivals and stages and in museums. Fortunately, I have experienced this quite a few times. But it is too dependent for me. And it is waiting, being lucky, hoping for the next opportunity that comes to you, waiting even more and is certainly not a regular reality for every artist. Since there’s really big gaps between the possible and usual career steps you’ve to take before coming to that point of no financial worry. Especially in the Netherlands by the way. Precisely this waiting and independence is what I can't do much with as a person and as a maker. Because the reality as a maker is exactly the opposite: I always have more ideas than time to execute them. Frustrating but healthy. So why wait? And for whom or what? Let’s take these matters in your own hands.
I hope that the FOR RENT project will work somehow, but also: that it will trigger others to at least think and talk about this topic. Since a lot of my followers are not the people that are going to buy works (a big part of you are artists yourselves) normally, I hope you’ll see this as an invitation to either ‘using the idea’ for yourself or to contribute to my progress.
So, I am curious to hear the substantive reactions of all of you. So besides the artists that are reading this I am asking gallery owners, curators, programmers and maybe even museum directors who are reading along, think of this. Please feel free to let me know in any way you like. Or drop by my studio for a cup of coffee. Like I said before; it’s an ongoing research, so more input and perspectives will only make the project better.