Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New York Times Art Critic

OK, so why did I want to become and artist and have to deal with the strange industry that seems to have grown up around the act of creating stuff?


I like to create/make/fix/show how I feel/pass on something with out talking etc. is the best that I can give you right now. I also like the praise that comes with doing something that makes people resonate with me. Put that down as job satisfaction. I really like the idea of working with myself to do all the steps it takes to create a product for sale. (Yes its a product, we all have to eat you know it and you can't argue with that unless you are independently wealthy.)


So when I read a blog post from the New York Academy Of Art about a a Career Development Workshop and critique given by a New York Times Art Critic I was rather floored. The words from the NYT Citic sounded like total gobbledygook and made the act of creating Art more like getting a PhD in a romance language.


I then searched for current "Famous" (read rich) artists and I saw a few videos of Jeff Koons talking about his art. Once again I did not understand the comments from an artist point of view. With all my years in the business/marketing/sales world I did get Jeff's sales/marketing pitch quite well. He was selling the mystique of his fame as a "Famous" artist to keep the money machine moving forward. After all he has all those people working for him that rely on the money that he brings in. 


Being an artist from my point of view is being able to have a conversation with someone with my work without me being anywhere near. I can feel and see what Rembrandt, DaVinci, Michelangelo and Picasso were trying to communicate with me with out the marketing or a critic whispering in my ear. Some times the emotional power of a piece is over whelming to me to point where I have a physical reaction.


Francisco Goya always gets a reaction from me. His etchings and paintings strike me right to the heart. 


This is what I'm looking for when I create my art. I rarely get there and sometimes I see a glimmer in those that see my work. So I know that I have to work harder and do more before I can strike to the heart of the matter. The goal of being able to sell some of my work to fund the next one is really the goal for any artist and any of the current "Famous" (read rich) artists are just pushing the goal of a personal corporation. 


Thomas Kinkade is one such artist that has created a personal corporation and has surrounded himself with self serving folks that tell him how great he is. Why didn't he become a political fellow or a pop star? Guess that he could not sing and others might have found him rather prickly and would not vote for him. So he took his skill as an artist and created rather mediocre stuff for mass distribution for the money and then he let his ego take over instead of his artistic skills. 


My only critics are those that buy or not buy my work. If they don't purchase then I did not strike them to the heart enough for them to put money on the barrel.This means that I have to try harder with the next piece. 


If they do buy then I had a conversation with them while I was not there. My goal is to then ask them why they purchased the piece to find out if we had the same conversation. If not then I will have to try harder with the next piece. 


Or I could just paint flowers all day, make money and all those interior decorators happy. Na! That would be too easy.


Blog article from New York Academy of Art below

http://newyorkacademyofart.blogspot.com/


He spoke of the complete intersection of art and money that throttles the New York City art scene. This led him, a former Jungian Marxist, to turn inwardly and ask questions regarding the nature of his role as a critic. But with an MFA from SUNY Albany and a BA from Brown, Johnson knew the need for a voice from the perspective of a trained artist amidst the advent of theorists that had cropped up in the 80’s. He articulated with candor on the tug-o-war of desire to stand strong as an independent and for recognition as a competitive player among the biggest voices.

When reflecting on art that moved him, he perhaps tugged most at the hearts of the Academy audience. Johnson spoke of authenticity and wanting to see the self-discovery of the artist and the tangible qualities of the hand made. As a reviewer, he said  he believed in a complete act of art criticism that addressed history, sensory qualities and the concept behind the piece. Speaking like an artist on creating, Johnson said that when he’s writing he “loves that thing that happens when feelings turns into words, true to how I actually experienced something.”

Fleshing out ideas on concept, he brought up the dialectal nature between the metaphoric and the metonymic in art. In their extremes, they are irrelevant with the metaphoric losing touch with reality and the metonymic becoming didactic and obvious. Both still need each other to exist, though. His artistic preferences leaned toward the metaphoric. This may be the subject of his next book, "Ground Control to Major Tom".

Professionally, he offered this: do NOT cold call critics, for better or for worse the “consensual reality” between the galleries/museums and critics still holds true and is the established venue for picking artists to review. He pointed out that because studio visits and the selecting artists to show are the job of the gallerist, reviews tend to be directed not only at the artist but also to the institution who selected them.

From his critique of my work in my studio, I was inspired by our conversation on archetypes, symbology and the uncanny. He insightfully suggested pushing aspects of the subject matter in my linocuts.