Info on Fine Art industry? Artist needs help

Hope someone out there could help me?
New to North Rhine/Dusseldorf Germany, and trying to live the life long dream, to be a non-starving artist.

Does anyone one know how to break into the art industry here? Which association to join? Who to contact?—Which collectors? Open-minded galleries? Studios? Grants for new projects?

Just curated a social/environmental exhibition in Koln, Basel and London and I have sold art in the past in the Caribbean, UK and United States, so not a total newbie.

Art is my Bliss.
Thanks in advance!

Same way as everyone else in any country (but you already have a boost in that you know some of the UK scene)


I'd start by visiting galleries and exhibitions - I'm a non-artist but a street snapper and I got into the crowd here in no time at all (and I'm loving it).
I was even offered free exhibition space for my snaps.
If you're any good, your head will spin at how fast things move.

The following old joke is unfortunately true in Germany, too:

    What does a successful artist say to a starving one?
    Answer: "Do you want ketchup on your fries?"

Thus, unless you are extremely good and have the connections and a good marketing team, forget about making money with it alone!

I have a cousin who, in his mid 30ies, is winning prizes and international scholarships with his objects combining journalism (about serious topics) with graphical and other art forms. When I asked my uncle (his father) whether that pays enough for a living, the answer was "We support him financially."

Marketing is a lot. I get emails from everyone and their grandmother about upcoming exhibitions.
Name is a lot - Once you've made your mark, make it a big mark.

Tough business. I doubt there are any easy answers. I know a number of fine art artists and they are always starving. Hard to say beyond the obvious; contact galleries, look to organizations that do exhibitions, look for markets where art is sold, have a good website to show your work and attract customers. But like in most of the world, art is in the eye of the beholder. Having talent can help but is not the deciding factor. Making connections and a lot of luck are maybe more important. Some great artists struggle while some bad ones prosper.

Anyway, one good thing is Germany is the Künstlersozialkasse Also known as the KSK. This is set up for both fine and performing artists and a few other professions. If one is a professional artist earning the majority of their income from such means then you are actually required to join. They then take around 15% of your income (exact amount changes yearly) and with this money pay your mandated health insurance and other social security contributions for retirement and disability. They match the amount you pay in as if they were an employer. So a self-employed person not in this system pays twice as much. You should definitely Google this subject and get informed about it if you haven’t already.  I am setting a link to the KSK website which is only in German as far as I can see.

Thanks for the input, still lots to learn so figure its going to be a slow process while I get my feet wet.

Thanks much information out there, which is why the call for help. This link is certainly a good start!

Yes connections I think is actually the most important factor. It can even turn an artist thats considered "mediocre" to one thats "good"/"famous". I still have my Masters degree in Graphic/Environmental design so hopefully my family does have to rush in for now. :-)

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