Tonight I watched “Our City Dreams” directed by Chiara Clemente (here’s a link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyZA5qjK44E). I don’t remember where I saw the reference to this film, but I found it on Netflix. The five women artists who are featured in the 2008 film range in age from Swoon in her early 30s to Nancy Spero who had just turned 80 during the filming. With the exception of Marina Abramovic and Kiki Smith, I wasn’t familiar with any of the artists work. It’s also not work, for the most part, that I’ve had much interest in, but the film presented both the artists and their work in a way that kept me watching. The difference between the experiences of the older artists and that of the younger ones was profound. Not in relation to the work itself or their dedication to it, but to the obstacles they encountered because of their sex. I saw the history of the second wave of feminism in the transitions from Nancy Spero’s struggle to raise three children while still pursuing her passion for art forms that the establishment was mostly ignoring, to Swoon, whose work was already acclaimed and being supported through sales of her work. The musical accompaniment throughout was evocative as well, though I wished the credits at the end would go by more slowly, and that my television screen were large enough to permit my reading them. Particularly, there was an extraordinarily beautiful aria that I wish I had in my music collection. I would recommend this film to other women artists especially, but really to anyone with an interest in contemporary art. Chiara Celemente is the daughter of the artist Francesco Clemente.
Tags: Chiara Clemente, films for artists, Francesco Clemente, Ghada Amer, Kiki Smith, Marina Abramovic, Nancy Spero, Our City Dreams, Swoon
Tags: Alec Baldwin pod cast, Eric Fischl, Listen to This, monetizing art
Alec Baldwin, “Listen to This”, interviewed Eric Fischl on August 5 about his work, his creative process, and his book “Bad Boy.” You can listen to the complete interview (if you haven’t already, and if you aren’t full up on Fischl from my previous posts) at: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/heresthething/2013/aug/05/. It’s nice to hear his voice and listen to him speaking about his work in his own words without editing. I particularly relate to the section about monetizing everything we do in this culture and how receiving money for art that one has made with love requires artists to translate that back into love. Do you make your art out of love? When you sell your work (you do sell your work, right?), does the receipt of money feel like enough to you? Have you ever sold anything you wish you hadn’t?
Tags: art business, The Business of Art
On a listserv I receive a member posted these guidelines from a blog she subscribes to: http://www.shouldiworkforfree.com. Good for a laugh, and though specific to designers also true and good for helping you think through both your choices and what you are being asked to do in any kind of creative field. Members on this listserv have been in discussion for several days on the topic of working for free, the assumptions behind some art calls for entry, donating work for fundraisers, and the general business of being an artist. If you haven’t been thinking about art as a small business in which you are the CEO, CFO, advertising department, writer, editor, typist, accountant and the entire creative team, WHY NOT? Does your plumber work “on spec”? How about your doctor? Grocer? You get it, don’t you?
Tags: fundraising auctions, future sales, malton
In regards to agreeing to donate work for purposes of a fundraising or auction: the gallery I work with in Cincinnati, Malton Gallery http://www.maltonartgallery.com has a policy that any artist they represent not do this. Sylvia Rombis, the gallery owner, has the best idea I’ve ever heard for dealing with these requests.
Tags: art business, getting paid, Hyperallergic, visual art
How many times have you shown your artwork at a venue where you bore all of the costs of framing and publicizing your show, in addition to all of the costs and labor to produce the work? Non-profit venues get state money through their State arts boards, but most have no particular incentive or expertise that will help further your career. When you show in their spaces (and alternative venues, such as coffee shops and restaurants), you are enhancing their reputations or businesses, but often only adding a line to your resume. How frequently have your shows in these sorts of venues resulted in sales, introductions to prominent critics or collectors, or in some other way given you more than the “privilege” of gracing someone else’s walls at your expense? Our “Art Culture” asks us to compete for the honor and to feel grateful when it is bestowed on us. Is there another way? I think it is an important issue, one that many of us have pondered, often with increasing anger and feelings of helplessness. Go to http://hyperallergic.com/75549/how-are-artists-getting-paid/ to read a very informative (with additional links) article on Hyperallergic on ways that artists – visual and performing – are attempting to change the pervasiveness practice of artists not being paid for their work or the use of their work. If you find this interesting, you can sign up to receive Hyperallergic’s newsletter with artist-centered news and information. I’d love to get your comments on their article and any relevant experiences you’d like to share!
Tags: developing images, earworms, new work, painting, visual art
Last night I made the panel for the new painting. I’m still having problems, despite my new vise that holds things into correct alignment for drilling, in squaring the support for the board. I don’t know if it is a fault of my measuring – though I do measure several times – that the panel itself isn’t square, my cutting, or some other problem. If I could afford to buy pre made panels, or to pay someone more skilled and with better tools to make them, that would solve the difficulty, but it irks me that I can’t seem to do better this simple carpentry task.
I’m at that point now where I have to just plunge in. I’ve collected images and made a collage, disregarding all of the lack of coherence as to size and position as the images relate to one another. In my head, there is the strong suggestion of how to proceed and it doesn’t involve waiting any longer. As soon as the gesso dries on the panel, I’m going to begin. Because I am trying to do something I’ve never done (and, really, when is that not the case), I expect it to be very difficult to begin, to continue, and to resolve. But the muse, if that’s what is driving me, is yelling in my ears, so much so that it’s hard to think of anything else. It’s like an earworm of music, a snippet of melody and lyrics, that won’t go away. And yes, I have that too!
Tags: developing images, Eric Fischl, new work
I have been trying to piece an image together from photos on the internet of 1950s furniture, clothing, and young girls in a seated pose. As I have no photographs of myself after the age of 9, much less any of the places I’ve lived, I have to find other ways of creating the images. Because the piece I am thinking through is fraught with emotional baggage, I don’t want to use children I know as models. But as I have been thinking about it some more, the idea of the image is gradually changing and possibly starting to take shape so that I’m starting to believe I can capture the emotional load of the original experience. I am less self-critical of my recent work in the Fairy Tale Series than I was feeling on Wednesday, which makes me feel better, not to mention more competent. But I’m still channeling Eric Fischl and trying to secure the confidence to work more transparently, and I’m still wishing for white walls and more space to work larger!