Following the outbreak of the coronavirus and the closure of cultural and artistic centers, including visual art galleries, the routine venues of the production and exhibition of visual arts have been blocked, and the community’s connection to artistic creations has been severely curtailed. Art lovers around the world are thinking of ways to support the artists and the audience.
All over the world, significant artists and curators bring up the need to create comprehensive national programs and substantial investments for art projects during the epidemic. On the other hand, the artists try to participate in public benefit programs and help other guilds. In this context, people from the art world, including gallery owners, critics, art experts, and curators, are thinking about how to stand up and organize their activities in times of crisis. As an initial step to tackle the situation, Iranshahr Gallery, with the support of the Surface Platform, has organized an online exhibition of works by contemporary Iranian artists.
“Atelier 99” is an online platform designed by the Iranshahr Gallery team within a short period of time. The project structure focuses on the artists themselves to provide a way out of the crisis. Each gallery artist introduces five other fellows to join the project, forming the first phase of the online display and sale of works on the Surface Platform. Participating artists are responsible for selecting and uploading their work. This way the project initially takes advantage of the artists’ communication network for a call.
Amir Bahman Amirian, the founding director of Iranshahr Gallery, explained: “In the current situation, while it is not clear how long the crisis will last, we need to have plans for making possible the continuation of the artistic creativity. This is the first time we are doing online sales on this scale, and at this point in the project, by eliminating the gallery’s share, we’ve created a rare situation to encourage investors. At this stage, we have benefited from the support of the Tarrahan Azad Gallery, and in the next steps, we are planning to invite other galleries to join this program. We will continue the project and are planning to further develop the online display and acquisition capacity in the future.”
Iranshahr Gallery has urged the artists to participate in the project with the best of their works. The gallery’s decision to eliminate the gallery’s share and benefits and adjusted pricing could provide special conditions to encourage buyers and collectors to facilitate the artistic life and continuity of artists’ work in the coming challenging months.
In the midst of the outbreak and the attempt to curb the spread of the disease, the art community has not overlooked the future prospects of culture and art, and even pay attention to the capacities of this event in developing the human imagination and changing the patterns of production and supplying art.