Friday, February 27, 2009

Art Blog: The art world OUTSIDER

I spent 45 minutes writing a post this morning. It was a response to something that happened this morning in regards to my art “career”. After writing, I looked at it and then threw it in the trash. I just felt it would serve no positive purpose to sound like a curmudgeon. I don’t want to bitch and moan or display a story that reeks of sour grapes. I just don’t want to think or go in that direction here. Nor do I want to sound like Pollyanna and tell how wonderful being an artist is. Oh yes, it is such a wonderful, delightful privilege. I am rejoicing with ever paint stroke (NOT). See, this is why I threw the post away. My sarcasm is showing. Sorry. It is gone now. I spared you all!

So many things came to mind today. I wanted to post an entry and I have tried to narrow down a topic. However, I am hoping right now, this very second, my typing fingers are going to tap a path to some kind of thesis. My mind is whirling like a mental patient running from the orderly. Eventually, I will fall into a submissive heap.

It all started about 48 hours ago. I was reading art blogs. I mean the art (STAR) blogs. Somewhere I read that the art world is collapsing. Oh, I think that was Nancy S. Baker’s “Amuse Bouche” entry at Tire Shop. After reading, I felt bad for THEM. Not really.

I moved on and read much more. Since I am such a fan and love the work of James Kalm (Loren Munk), I read a few of his past articles in the Brooklyn Rail. One titled “The Ethics of Aesthetics”. kept my attention. I thought it was interesting while being very humorous. I had to laugh because after reading this I wondered why I bothered to keep reading. After all, I am not part of that society. I am not even close to a place in which any of this information is really relevant to me or my art life. Yet, I still peeked in like a voyeur.

I was on a roll and didn’t want to stop. I felt like I was a party crasher. So what! I am not a part of their world but I am going to sneak into the party. Shhhhhhh. I am small. Maybe nobody will notice. I ventured on to read a post by Sharon Butler. In the post titled “me-me-me-careerism-vs-new-generosity”, she speaks about how the economic crisis will force a shift in the art world zeitgeist. To sum it up, she predicts there will be a lot less ME and a lot more US when it comes to art production. It was at this point I felt vindicated. At least, I didn’t feel like such an alien invader. I too have suggested this thought in a number of my posts. Like I have said, the pendulum swings. It will never stop.

OK. So it is time to wrangle in this flying fish of a post. As I hold on to the rod and lean forward to bring in the catch, I ask why you do what you do if you aren’t a part of the “real” art world. I ask myself this all the time. Why do I bother? My work isn’t in a gallery that will be reviewed or critiqued by a world class critic or even one of the art star bloggers. The downfall of the art world has no effect on me at all. I am not a player. I am not a “me, me, me careerism” kind of art girl and my art “generosity” is not going to be a new thing at all. My decades of art work have been far more about giving than receiving. I guess I am in style now.
The swinging pendulum doesn’t matter to me at all. So what is the point? Why the hell do I do all this stuff anyway?

"Outside looking in."
I know you relate.
Hey, there are more of us out here than there are in there!


Bill Evertson said...

Hi, I dropped in from a link on Jafabrits blog to see what's up and found you are pondering something that comes and goes with me. Frankly I just feel better about life if I'm making art rather than reading about art. Nice blog!

Sheree Rensel said...

I have to say first, thank you for reading my blog! Really. Thank you!
Secondly, if you feel better making art as opposed to reading about it, I have to give you a huge kudos. I wish I was so lucky and content. I totally understand your position. I wish I could be that way. I am not. I need to have my nose in the news. I like to feel the pulse.

Yes, it can be frustrating. Especially if your relationship to the pulse seems like a flatline. However, that doesn't matter to me. I guess I am part of the walking dead.

namastenancy said...

I'm not at all sorry for the big players in the art world; they so muddied the market that nobody could tell what was good and bad for the last decade. Here in SF, we still have plenty of rich trust fund babies who get shows in the various prestige venues and I can hardly wait until the bottom drops out of that. I made the decision some years ago that playing the game - or rather, trying to play THEIR game - wasn't worth the price. So, I make art for myself and my friends, enter what shows I can afford, have an increasing circle of friends and contacts through my writing and am pretty happy with my lot. I always remember a quote that I read somewhere. Matisse was supposedly asked if he believed in God. "Only when I'm painting," he replied. When I paint, I get the closest to my authentic self, to happiness, to all the good things in my universe - and it doesn't involve chocolate or calories!

deb said...

There are way more of us out here, we should start a revolution!

Sheree Rensel said...

Nancy, I don't feel sorry for any of THEM either. In fact when I think about all this art world star crap and its potential demise, I smirk with glee. Welcome to my world! LOL LOL LOL
To be honest, I consciously or subconsciously made the decision a long time ago to make my art without all the B.S. that goes with climbing the ladder to art star heaven. I certainly wasn't a trust fund baby; I had no desire to sleep with or befriend those holding the keys of art power; I am too antisocial (and honest) to smooze or kiss ass. I guess I figured I was doomed. LOL LOL I love that Matisse quote. I totally understand what he means. Also, you are right. When I am creating, I realize this is the authentic me. I guess that is why I have kept doing it all these years. :-)

Sheree Rensel said...

Deb, Maybe all these forecasts of art world gloom and doom is a signal that the revolution has already begun. Viva la Revolucion!