Friday, June 27, 2008

Art Blog: Perception and Fear

I am OK with getting older. I really am. Yes, my face is starting to look like a Shar pei puppy. In fact, I have been thinking a lot lately about how being in your fifties is very similar to being in your teens. All kinds of weird things start happening. You are not OLD. You are not YOUNG. You don’t feel or look like you fit in anymore. However, you can't really find the place you DO fit. So I guess me and a 14 year old should hang out together. It is all the same!
I just saw an ad or announcement of sorts on ARTSQUEEZE for studio space here in St. Petersburg:

“I am putting out feelers for established artists looking to share a modern space with a cutting edge vibe ala very SOHO style meets Greenwich hip.”

Ha! I have been thinking of adding another studio. I have a little studio attached to my home, but I realize this isn’t cutting it. I need to get out in public. I have even considered the cost. It would be like a car payment. However in the long run, it would be worth it. The surprising thing is that when I read this feeler, I immediately thought “I wouldn’t be approved. I am too old.”. OH MY GOODNESS! Sheree. Did you think this? YES!
Even though I have been making art, GOOD art for over thirty years, I now feel like I am not a part of the hip, new, cool, generation. I try so hard to keep up. I think I do a pretty good job. However, I am not just out of grad school. I am not young and lovely. I think I qualify as being “cutting edge and SOHO”, but she (the landlord) would decide that. This is kind of scary. However, it is the truth. Hype, hype, hype, young, young, young, hip, hip, hip. This seems to me the societal mantra now. The weird thing about all this is I have enough money and I am responsible enough to pay the RENT every month in a very timely manner. I am not sure if all those “cutting edge, SOHO types” can do this. It is kind of like the line from the movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes”.
“I am older and have more insurance."

Well, this is true in many ways. LOL LOL One other thing to mention is I have tried very hard to keep up with the TIMES. I mean, if your own 20 something daughter emails you for computer advice, that must mean you a doing a pretty good job being up to date. Don't you think?
Hmmm….Just one more thing for me to think about.

I know about “cutting edge”. I was the curator of a show about “AIDS” back in the mid 80’s.
At that time, I was told by the gallery it was too close to Christmas time and this show would be too DEPRESSING. Well, I bitched and had a Sheree tantrum. I won. This was my piece in that show
“Children of the Night”
installation by Sheree Rensel
I know about being cutting edge.
All this reminds me of visiting a gallery a couple of years ago and the young gallery coordinator started to explain Soho, Tribeca, and REAL art to me. I stood there listening and just wanted to scream. I KNOW. I KNOW. I KNOW! I wanted to say back to him “Too bad you don’t really know.”.
I was a good girl. I remained silent. Go figure.


gilda said...

Doncha just HATE that!!! We were there in the 80's! We saw it first hand!

I know what you mean about remaining silent. But I am not doing that anymore, as that is one of the reasons I take high blood pressure meds! From now on when some youngster who probably means well starts explaining the obvious to me, I will point at my gray dreads and remind them of just what these locks have seen.

Scream, Sheree, scream! And if you sit really still in your backyard, you will hear me screaming, too!

Sheree Rensel said...

I totally agree with you. I do SCREAM in my own way. I think this is partially what this blog is doing for me. With each year the frustration grows and it feels as if your track record means nothing. It is as if you are only as good as your newest, hippest, gallery show. Well, what about the history of our lives standing behind what we do NOW?
The reason I have learned to tone down when it comes to defending myself to 20 somethings is because I remember all too well being 25 years old. You knew me then. We both knew EVERYTHING back then, didn't we? LOL LOL LOL I see this in my daughter. I listen to her, nod my head, and think "She will get it someday!"
Another reason for my silence is because I know who I am. I know what I have done. If someone else doesn't realize I have been around a few art "blocks", that is their problem. God knows just about my whole life is online. If someone doesn't see ME as I am with all my accomplishments in a big bundle, it is because they haven't taken the time to find out. I guess they are too busy being hip, trendy, and living in their moment. Alas!! In thirty years, they will be feeling the same crap!! Won't they? LOL LOL