The artworld is one that engages face-to-face interactions. Over the years, art exhibitions and workshops have been the platform for artists to showcase their works. With the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become a catastrophe for artists across the world.
For starters, exhibitions and shows have been cancelled. The notion of social distancing has caused an antithesis to what the art world thrives on. Without the social gatherings that kept the vibrancy and life of art exhibitions, artists have to face a lot more challenges than those in other industries.
Many artists are full-time. This means that cancelling (or postponing) of shows for the calendar year would basically mean a huge loss of income. The biggest problem with the calendar is that some artists prepare a year or two for a show. If that show falls between the months of the Covid-19 lockdown, they will have to wait longer and later the year.
What makes it all the more problematic is that the delay or postpone is indefinite. While governments are still figuring what to do and forecast the earliest day the Covid-19 pandemic is over, the art world would have the lowest in priorities. No industry will be rushing to attending the next art exhibition.
Art galleries will be the hardest hit. While the pandemic is going on, they still have to pay for overheads. They still need to pay salaries for their workers and maintain good relationships with their collectors. But without a proper platform to showcase art and for networking, it would be tough for them to sustain. It would be lucky if they come out after the pandemic and continue where they stopped. Some would go bust!
At this point in time, businesses are all badly hit with lockdowns, MCOs and social distancing. Collectors who during the good times might have a lot of money to spend on art. With 2 or 3 months (or maybe longer) not operating, chances are they will have to be more prudent once the MCO is over. They will not be the first to spend tens of thousands on a luxury like art.
The only thing the artist can do for now really is to stay at home and wait it out. No doubt there might be some financial difficulties for now. But this is the time to enrich your art and venture into something new. Perhaps improve on certain areas or your art.