Thursday, May 9, 2013


I remember seeing Jamie Fox speak about "The Mist" during an Oprah interview. He told of how when he wasn't famous, people didn't think much of him at all. Women told him he wasn't attractive and he had bad teeth, etc. Then after his acclaim for his performance in "Ray", he suddenly became handsome and desirable. Women would tell him how hot he was. He called this the MIST. It was as if someone sprayed him with a glitter of favor, he became popular and approved. This is what media and social opinion does to all of us.

I have thought about this concept since hearing him speak. I had a light bulb moment. I had a revelation. I started thinking about artists who are celebrated. I even equated the MIST with local art scenes. It is so much about popularity and social "butterflyism". It isn't so much what you do. I have seen a whole lot of crappy art created by celebrated artists. It is more about who you are and how people perceive you. You have to have the MIST.

I am sure many of you have gone to an art show and thought "My work is just as good as this artist or that artist. Why are they getting all this notice." It has to do with who you know or who likes you. If an art advocate has power, it might benefit you if they touch you with the sparkling spray of anointment.

Sometimes it is just a matter of being a part of a certain community at a certain point in time. Being in the right place at the right moment helps loads. Also, you have to be out there and part of the social scene. That is how you get people to collect your art. If you have a big personality, fit the mold of what they perceive as an "art star", and are a part of the social art scene, you might gain the MIST.

I saw this article about studio visits. It was written by Walter Robinson, former editor-in-chief of Artnet. This guy has connections! However, even he has had interesting moments trying to get noticed, let alone obtain the glorious favor of curators and collectors. He is seeking the MIST. I too wish someone could spray me with good favor. Yet in my heart of hearts, I know I am not social enough. I don't want to play the social game. It never was and never will be part of my being.
I am screwed. LOL

DeKooning sitting in his studio

Click the pic to read about Walter's studio visits. It is enlightening.


nancy namaste said...

This is so timely and so painful. I have a couple of friends who are writers, good ones too. One woman writes young adult novels and she can't get picked up by a good publishing company. She's self published and done OK but that does not get you very much in the way of respect. But just this week I read that an actor, who has never published a novel in his life, but is well known and knows all the right people will be getting published. His worshipers on his face book page were falling over themselves to congratulate him, even though his novel is not even in final for. OH - and he's gotten a well known editor to help him "polish" the final draft. He's a real glad handed people pleaser with a huge smile and a Mr. Nicey-Nicey personality. It's that which has gotten him the glorious favor of TPTB, not his talent which is decent but not huge. I don't know what to say to my friends as we all know the name of the game. It's just difficult to swallow the fact that it's not how good you are, it's who you know that decides who wins and who doesn't. Being authentic is one thing but getting well deserved recognition is another.

Sheree Rensel said...

EXACTLY. I see this all the time. It has been a long time since I have seen art that really knocked me off my feet. I mean, I remember times when I would go to galleries and drool in awe. NOW, it seems there is so much crap and faux adulation. We yap up anything or anybody who seems to be HOT at the moment. Even locally, there are certain "art stars"(???) whose art is not well done at all. Yet, they are being lauded by the zeitgeist. Things are out of control. Intelligence, logic, and reason have been replaced by social hysteria.

nancy namaste said...

I find that as a arts reviewer, I see very little work that I really like. Last week, SF had 2 huge art fairs and I saw almost nothing that I liked. So, I end up writing about older art which I do like or about art events to give them some publicity. I am afraid that social media has taken the NY Art and and spread them all over the place. We are knee deep in manure and I just try to stay away from as much of it as possible.

But I almost cried when I read that this actor got a contract with Harper Collins. I felt the same way that I do when I see that actors' paintings are selling for 6 figures - because of their names. I don't have a solution because I can't change the world. But I can despise those who play in that pig pen and not play along with their game.

The emperor truly has no clothes.

Sheree Rensel said...

I totally agree. The world is naked and has no shame.