From what I have seen and read recently the London art scene is constantly thriving even when there was a so called recession the art world seem to respond positively, with new galleries and younger owners popping up all over south London. One good piece to read about this is on Art Net, this link documents several young curators/ dealers and gallery owners in south London’s art scene.
Even with the high cost of living in London and the controversy around this, London is still the place where all artists want to be. There are over 400 contemporary galleries in London to date.
There is a structure and protocol to the commercial art world and that hasn’t changed, and probably never will. Basically the best galleries show the best artists, or more to the point they show the artists who have proven themselves over time, generating both consistency, good reviews, public interest and sales. On occasion there is an exception to the rule where an artist suddenly pops onto the scene and everyone wants their work. But these are few and far between.
The London art scene is not just about experience and conceptual art either, the commercial gallery needs to make money or they won’t exist, this would also demise the opportunities to artists.
There is a vast array of work out there from the sublime, aesthetic to the political and controversial and London seems to be at the cultural centre for all types of media and all depths of pocket!
Due to the high costs of real estate in London and education cuts in the creative sector around the UK in general, there has been an upsurge of a new generation of artist lead spaces and everyone from socialites to college students and even critics are opening up exhibitions in the most unusual places. Like derelict car parks, churches, railway stations and anywhere their work can be seen. The idea isn’t new to the art world, but it is new to this generation of artists who want to be seen in a culturally vibrant city without paying such high costs.