Alumni, Digital Culture, MA Arts and Cultural Management

A Reflection by Matthew Dorabiala

by Kirsty Warner

This week’s reflection is by CMCI Alumni Matthew Dorabiala, the Founder at Salonexit and Head Conservator and Stock Manager at Pax Romana Gallery and Auction. In this piece he discusses his career journey, discusses the concept behind Salonexit, and the challenges of establishing your own company.

Matthew Dorabiala is an artist and founder of Salon Exit, a digital art gallery exploring the world of art through one to one conversations with artists. He undertook an MA in Arts and Cultural Management at King’s College London between 2019 and 2020.

Everything I’ve ever done was centred around art.

Even when I first arrived in the UK and struggled financially, I made sure to prioritise improving my creative skills at all costs.

First of all, I did this by starting my BA course and entering as many creative contests as I could. This not only helped me develop my skills, but also helped me gain confidence in my abilities. Secondly, I started freelancing and working on a commission basis for various clients. This helped me gain more experience and also allowed me to earn some money to support myself. Because of the creative hardships I went through I developed a passion for the managerial aspect of art. Thus, after graduating, I decided to focus on helping emerging artists grow their audience. I find this problem particularly important because artists like I have been in the past, and still am to a certain degree now, often work many jobs to survive. On top of that, there’s a constant need for self advertisement and self management. It is why an art platform which focuses on a number of artists acquired, and artworks sold, is simply not enough. Without financial support it is very hard to develop a substantial body of work which is crucial when turning passion into a career. This is why, often, even though the art is someone’s true passion it is pushed to the side.

Having not enough money to help artists financially, I decided to tackle this problem creatively. I did this by creating an interview-based art gallery that instead of making artists fight for likes and attention, is exploring the story behind the art and the artists themselves. Last but not least, what I have noticed throughout my life is that having the courage to exit certain situations is more important than entering new ones which sooner or later always come your way. Thereby SalonExit is exiting the past and entering the future of art in a deeper, hopefully, more meaningful way.

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