Saturday, February 9, 2008

Who do you KNOW?

After spending the day painting, filling out entry forms, making CDs, and running to the post office, I settled down to read blogs and look at art videos. One of my favorite art video channels is the James Kalm Report. He is a videographer who rides his bike to gallery openings and documents them. Many of the shows are in New York. I live vicariously through these videos. They remind me in a strange way of the openings of my past. It is like a who’s who of the art scene. His latest video is about a show at MITCHELL-INNES & NASH Gallery. As I watched, James name drops like crazy. Even Mark Kostabi (ick!) appears in front of the Kalm camera. After watching the video, I read the comments on the page. Many are related to the social networking aspects of the art scene. This is where I realized I am truly DOOMED.
As if being too OLD and "out of touch" is not enough, I am also not into social networking. I am not social. I don't have time for chit chat or smoozing. Yet, I totally understand the need and benefit of both. Many, many opportunities gained by artists have a lot to do with who they know. I have to admit, many of my successes have to do with my former connections. Right now, I don't have a social network. This is to my detriment.
Maybe it is good I am realizing this. I hate the idea that my work isn't notable because I don't know anybody with art power to say "Hey, this is good stuff!" As I looked at the work in the James Kalm report video, I can say my work is just as good. Art is subjective and takes on it's own light when people of power condone it. At this moment, I just don't have that social network supporting my art. Being isolated is a scary thing. For example, I was filling out an application to submit to a gallery and it asked for three references. Well, I am assuming they want art dignitaries or at least, art related references. Since I have worked alone for so long and currently not affiliated with the gallery scene, I only know ONE person with art stature who would vouch for me as an artist. That is sad, but true. Maybe I need to work on this social thingy. Oh geesh, just another thing to do!



James Kalm Report
Chris Martin at MITCHELL-INNES & NASH

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