Tag: artists

Sluice magazine: Don’t Look Down

Sluice magazine: Don’t Look Down

My column from the previous issue of Sluice magazine is now online, on the pervasive metaphorical debt of the art world, the perpetual actual debt of artists, and lazy little millennial fucks. The new issue is out very shortly, with more of my columnage.

All real artists get turned into a doll

All real artists get turned into a doll

    I was inspired– negatively, so... unspired?– by the fuss about a recent Frida Kahlo Barbie doll, of which the doll itself was probably the least offensive thing. Yes, it somewhat cleaned and prettied up a woman rightly famous for being a feminist and a communist who was ahead of her time in foregrounding … Continue reading All real artists get turned into a doll

What They Didn’t Teach You in Art School

What They Didn’t Teach You in Art School

I contributed my wisdom (?) to this book by Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley. As a famous idiot once said (and as referred to on page 9 of the book itself!), there are known unknowns and there are unknown unknowns, and I think many artists reading this book will realise how many unknown unknowns they've … Continue reading What They Didn’t Teach You in Art School

NEO-THOREAU

NEO-THOREAU

CAREER SUICIDE

henry-david-thoreau

Discussions of economics and making a living from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854):

SELLING AND AVOIDING THE NECESSITY OF SELLING

MiffyArtistRijks

“Not long since, a strolling Indian went to sell baskets at the house of a well-known lawyer in my neighborhood. “Do you wish to buy any baskets?” he asked. “No, we do not want any,” was the reply. “What!” exclaimed the Indian as he went out the gate, “do you mean to starve us?” Having seen his industrious white neighbors so well off—that the lawyer had only to weave arguments, and, by some magic, wealth and standing followed—he had said to himself: I will go into business; I will weave baskets; it is a thing which I can do. Thinking that when he had made the baskets he would have done his part, and then it would be the white man’s to buy them. He had not discovered that it…

View original post 1,314 more words

ARE YOU VALID?

ARE YOU VALID?

CAREER SUICIDE

LikeSome new research on artists working outside the gallery system has just been published by Axis [1]: Validation Beyond the Gallery. As an artist who has little interest in making objects that can be sold, collected or otherwise institutionalised, as a relative outsider (and Outsider) even among the outlying group of artists who feel the same [2], and as somebody doing ongoing work related to artists’ livelihoods and pay, there’s some interesting stuff in there. The only caveat I’d add is that the study is by their own description qualitative [3], i.e. an interpretation of narrative from only 25 participants, so personally I’d be very cautious about forming policy or drawing universal conclusions from such an incredibly small sample of participants.

Having said that, the TLDR version will perhaps be unsurprising to anyone with any experience in the matters under discussion, although evidently it still needs to be said:

View original post 475 more words

BUY NINE, GET SIX DESTROYED FOR FREE

BUY NINE, GET SIX DESTROYED FOR FREE

CAREER SUICIDE

A PARABLE FOR ARTISTS

The early Christian writer Lactantius– who advised the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine I– told the story of how the Roman king Tarquinius Priscus acquired the Sibylline books which were kept in Rome’s Capitoline temple for consultation, guidance and divination in times of trouble. Although Priscus bought them, they were eventually considered priceless and remained in the temple for many centuries until they and the temple were destroyed by fire in 83 BC.

The Sibylline books took their name from their keeper, the Cumaean Sibyl, high priestess of the Apollonian Oracle at Cumae near modern day Naples. At some point between 616 and 579 BC, she made Priscus an offer he initially thought he could refuse:

They say that Amalthea, the Sibyl from Cumae, brought nine books to the king Tarquinius Priscus, and asked 300 gold pieces for them. The king refused, saying it was far…

View original post 290 more words

SAINTS AND MARTYRS

SAINTS AND MARTYRS

CAREER SUICIDE

art Gerrit Van Honthorst, Saint Sebastian, c. 1623, National Gallery London

Two posts from other sites about audience entitlement, the apparently growing resentment towards any creative person who dares to try making a living from giving audiences the things they seem to feel they’re entitled to, and the impossible double standards to which artists are being held. They’re referring mainly to US musicians, but virtually all of it applies to writers, visual artists, film makers, etc. anywhere. We’re all in the same boat and we’re all subjected to the same kind of determined attacks at the moment. I strongly encourage you to read both posts in full, but I’ve pulled out a few of the most cogent quotes.

ARTISTS CAN’T SURVIVE AS SAINTS AND MARTYRS

http://www.artistempathy.com/blog/the-pomplamoose-problem-artists-cant-survive-as-saints-and-martyrs

“The American artist is expected to be both a saint and a martyr. Operate outside the capitalist system and we’ll praise you for your creations, call your poverty a quaint kind of martyrdom that has nothing…

View original post 470 more words

JEFF GOLDBLUM SAID: A PARABLE FOR ARTISTS

JEFF GOLDBLUM SAID: A PARABLE FOR ARTISTS

CAREER SUICIDE

still-of-jeff-goldblum-and-laura-dern-in-jurassic-park-(1993)-large-pictureVia on Twitter, with reference to the aforementioned horrorshow that is Amazon Art, a useful observation from the lovely Jeff Goldblum as the least realistic mathematician ever in Jurassic Park.

Dr. Ian Malcolm: If I may… Um, I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now… you’re selling it, you wanna sell it. Well…

John Hammond: I don’t think you’re giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things…

View original post 33 more words