Popular Section: Insight

Out of Order But In Heart

Out of order but in heart

I’ve thought a lot about the impact and reach of blogging and it’s potential to affect deep change.

I’ve also been mindful that my “tribe” is visual fine artists and my mission is to help them successfully put their work in the world.

So, up to now, this smARTist Career Blog has been dedicated to content that I felt directly impacts an artist’s career.

Only, I’m also deeply aware that we are all interconnected by the web of life and that whatever happens to one of us, happens to us all.

And since I am a whole person coming here to you, to deny or hide or somehow hope that wholeness doesn’t get in the way of your connection with me, is to miss the point altogether of what we are doing here…together.

So, I want to begin posting, from time to time, some things that strike me at a

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Where In The World is What?

th-1I’ve been obsessed lately with the cross-over metaphor of the 1% / 99% within our political/social arena to the art world.

I’ve also had some push back from artists who get the impression that, in offering this frame of reference, it implies I’m advocating for upward mobility for the 99%.

Definitely not. Besides you can’t squeeze 100% into 1% no matter how much you might want to.

Much like the frame of reference around gender in the last post, I can’t help but feel there’s gold in them thar hills when we understand more, rather than less, about how the reality around us is actually working.

I’ve been immersing myself in a stack of books: The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson, The Girl With The Gallery by Lindsay Pollack, Contemporary Art by Julian Stallabrass, Corporate Art Collections by Charlotte Appleyard and James Salzmann (and about 4 more I’m too lazy to get up and go look at the exact titles).

Without exception, these deal in what I’m loosely calling the 1% of the art world: auction house, high-end galleries/dealers, the Big Collectors, artists who might have once been in the 99%, but are soon catapulted into the 1% arena with a combination of sales, personality, pure talent, and most likely also a man.

The only exception to this is our heroine in The Girl With The Gallery by Lindsay Pollack, Edith Halpert. Until Ms. Pollack (current Editor-in-Chief of Art in America) unearthed Edith, she was all but dead to…

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Women ZERO, Men 100

women ZERO men 100

Here’s my struggle this week (and I suspect for a good number of weeks to come): women’s art.

For this, as we know, is a tightrope act. On the one hand, we aren’t supposed to be addressing “women’s art” on its own, as if to do so implies a dumbing down, a declaration that women’s art is a less-than-distinctive act of creation.

On the other hand, how are we to look a slice of reality in the eye if we don’t?

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How Many Hats?

how many hatsThe word “artist” is disarmingly deceptive as a singular noun. It gives the appearance of one thing, like “chair.” Or elephant. Or electrician.

And because we humans are hard wired to use language as our core form of communication, words have a pervasive psychological power on us consciously, subconsciously, and unconsciously.

Without being aware, we sleepwalk into language traps all the time.

Since the word “artist” is singular, we feel as if the artist must also be singular. A painter. A sculptor. A jeweler. Singular, in the same way an electrician sticks to working with electricity.

This sense that, as an artist, you are one thing morphs into another sense, that you should, by all rights, only be doing one thing (like an electrician).

Then, when the reality of “doing,” as an artist, flies in the face of this singular feeling (all I should be doing is making art), a sort of righteous indignation – or resentment – creeps in.

And so begins….

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