Our goal is for talent to get free from the four walls of the studio and for it to find open doors anywhere in the world
The age of starving artists and posthumously discovered geniuses has come to an end. We all know the idea of the bohemian artist: he lives in a tiny attic room on the edge of society with a devoted lover and a cranky landlady, struggling with making himself understood but ultimately becoming ostracized due to his level of eloquence; he submits himself to the divine powers of the Genius (as well as some absinthe) day and night, conversing with gods in his mystical inner world, while constantly working on the Great Piece – this is all a thing of the past. This romantic image stemmed from the kept artists of the Renaissance and it was strengthened by the legitimized concept of geniuses in the early years of modernity. The idea was cemented by Romanticism, and finally utilized by Modernism when creating superstars. It is a wonderfully heroic, but completely nonviable image of the artist.
It is quite hard to be creative when you are always hungry, when you don’t have secure housing let alone your own studio, or when you are constantly worried about your gas bills. Furthermore, in the 21st century, if you are not discovered while you are still alive, you are probably not going to be famous after (not that that would be any consolation). That is exactly why it is essential for young artists to position themselves in the art world while still at university, or shortly after – the sooner the better. Paintings hanging in warehouses and sculptures stored in the attic are not fulfilling their artistic role since no viewer will be able to see them. Is an artwork still an artwork if nobody is allowed to see it? Why else would somebody become an artist if not for the purpose of sharing a unique perspective only available through art with the world? If an artist does not exploit their own potential, they are robbing not only themselves but society as a whole – a society that, in such quickly changing times full of crisis, is in great need of an active, constantly present artistic voice.
The aim of the Budapest Art Mentor Program is to provide an opportunity for a selected group of talented artists to learn and practise methods which will help them build their careers on the art market both in Hungary and abroad.
L Art Management has been concerned for years with bringing freshness to Hungarian art and with helping to increase its popularity and further its development. Numerous conversations and other experiences have led us to the recognition that young artists need a helping hand that introduces them into the domestic and international art scene and gives them the opportunity for integration. That is how our mentor program was born. Although it is still in the early phases of development (it only started in 2017), the program already includes a training program that not only helps artists positioning themselves in the art world, but to introduce themselves to the audience both IRL and online.
Members of the program are selected in an open application process, which is announced on the website every spring.
The Budapest Art Mentor fine arts mentor program is a two-semester training course consisting essentially of two parallel elements.
The training part of the program covers a total of 30 occasions during the two semesters in four modules. During this time, the mentees will acquire the necessary communication skills, financial and legal basics, and familiarize themselves with relationships in the Hungarian and the international scene. They are provided guidance and suggestions on presenting themselves to their target audience in everyday life and in the online world, on how to write applications and where to find suitable grants. They also receive some advice on what kind of career paths stand before them, and which is appropriate for them based on their personality.
The program is more on the practical (and not the theoretical) side: it starts from the individual situation of the artist, and the classes are often interactive. In the end, mentees can build a career model that works best for them with the help of practices based on their current and their wanted career.
The program’s other element is the mentor program which is based on the close and consistent relationship between mentors and mentees.
The small number of mentees is no accident. The mentors, who (similarly to the lecturers of the program) are renowned representatives of their respective profession, cooperate closely with the twelve artists that are accepted in the program. Thus, participants not only receive an education, rather they become a member of a community. By the end of the program, they have gained both theoretical knowledge as well as new relationships and experiences.