Tag: status anxiety

ZOMBIE PROFESSIONALISM

ZOMBIE PROFESSIONALISM

CAREER SUICIDE

zoc002

An interesting article by Daniel S. Palmer about what ArtNews calls the “hyper-professionalization” of some artists. I’d go further and call it something like “jobification”; the reduction of a vocation to a mechanical and wholly uncreative grind. As Palmer points out, it’s not even the best way for an artist to make money or for anyone to make money from an artist’s work, because it’s so shortsighted:

“The entire system seems designed, predominantly, to disappoint. What has arisen from these failures is a marked distinction between product- and project-based artists. Product-based artists have been led to think of an artwork as a product serving a demand, rather than a single step in a longer, sustained development, as is the case with project-based artists. Consider the most visible trend in recent years of Zombie Formalism, a kind of reductive, easily produced abstract painting, sold quickly to collectors queued up on…

View original post 264 more words

REPULSIVE

CAREER SUICIDE

Bosch “Young collectors cocktails”

At PULSE (sic… they always style it like that) Miami Beach 2016 this December, there will be a “private preview brunch”, followed later that day by “young collectors cocktails.” I know, I had an urge to vomit too. The poor grammar here suggests that the cocktails will be made from young collectors; while I do think it’s a good idea for the 1% to be pestled and pulverised I’m going to assume they mean cocktails for young collectors.

These young collectors will probably only be slightly richer than the exhibitors, because it costs a (non-refundable) $275 to apply, plus a $2000 deposit against your final charge of either $4960 for a small booth with three lights– woo!– or a medium booth with a crazy FOUR lights for $6,200. You do get your $2000 back if they don’t accept you, you lucky thing, though $2000…

View original post 69 more words

DEPRESSING BUT PREDICTABLE SURVEY OF THE WEEK

DEPRESSING BUT PREDICTABLE SURVEY OF THE WEEK

CAREER SUICIDE

(Image via the sadly long-defunct http://lookatmyfuckingredtrousers.blogspot.co.uk )

Findings have just been published from a national survey about the working lives of cultural and creative workers in the UK. It was carried out by Goldsmiths, University of London, University of Sheffield and LSE as part of their project Panic! What Happened to Social Mobility in the Arts?

The findings provide hard evidence for the common impression that the arts sector is a closed shop where most people are middle class and it also makes revealing discoveries about how gender and ethnicity can affect a career in the arts and how higher wage earners view the sector in comparison to lower wage earners.

They’re not kidding. People who earn over £50,000 PA tend to believe it was their hard work and talent that counted, while those earning under £5,000 (over a quarter of the respondents) believe that it’s not what you know…

View original post 261 more words

TOP TEN THINGS TO SEE AT THE VENICE BIENNALE 2015

TOP TEN THINGS TO SEE AT THE VENICE BIENNALE 2015

CAREER SUICIDE

Aper

PPBorborygmusArtCriticBY GUEST CRITIC PP BORBORYGMUS, CONTEMPORARY ART CORRESPONDENT AT LARGE FOR TEMPORARY CON ART MAGAZINE

1. THE FRIEZE PARTY

It’s fabulous because hardly anybody can get in, so no riff-raff will be there to see you trash the place and talk shit about the person you’ll then turn right around to, air kiss and and be all smiles with. You’ll see lots of peons outside, though, trying to blag their way in as you sail through like an oligarch’s yacht (see No. 2) deliberately ramming a Mediterranean immigrant raft. That’ll show them who’s important and who isn’t. Matthew Slotover is a darling and almost never strangles people then stuffs them into weighted suitcases to dump into the lagoon from the back of a water taxi in the middle of the night a bit like that chap in American Psycho. Don’t forget to appreciate his tasteful business card and you…

View original post 960 more words

INTERVIEW AT ART MAP LONDON

INTERVIEW AT ART MAP LONDON

CAREER SUICIDE

AlistairGentry_VanGogh0712

Find out– among other things– the benefits of saying FUCK YOU to art world shitheels, how uncool starving in an attic is, and why you are probably not a princess or an astronaut.

http://artmaplondon.com/artmap/artist-artist-interview-alistair-gentry/

View original post

THE PRIMAL SCENE OF FINE ART

THE PRIMAL SCENE OF FINE ART

CAREER SUICIDE

mcmillan.p036 Clockwise from top left: “God in a bottle”, chimney sweep trade mannequin, soldier’s pincushion, boody (broken china) mosaic tray with doll, papier maché meat from a butcher shop, carved bone chicken.

Tate Britain’s British Folk Art exhibition (continues in London until 31 August 2014, then moves to Compton Verney in Warwickshire) is one of the most inspiring collections I’ve seen in this country recently. I dislike terms like “folk art” or “outsider art” because to me if they’re art then they’re just art, but I acknowledge that these terms can have their uses. This is a minor quibble anyway, in the context of a show that clearly celebrates and validates the umtrammeled creativity of ordinary people in an intelligent and unpatronising way that few of our large art institutions would even bother to try. Most of the objects come from the collections of often sorely underappreciated museums in places like…

View original post 1,012 more words

SUBMIT YOUR DAUBINGS TO NEWS CORP, PLEBS

SUBMIT YOUR DAUBINGS TO NEWS CORP, PLEBS

CAREER SUICIDE

The deadline for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is pressing upon us, like a paunchy red-trousered sextagenarian taking liberties with our bottoms when he squeezes far too intimately past in the train’s buffet car on the way back to his seat in First Class. Another in Parker Harris‘ comprehensive range of reception hoppers for the excess money of aspiring artists, it will cost you £15 per image to get up to four of your works in front of the “panel of leading figures in the art world, including Sarah Armstrong Jones, artist; Ben Ravenscroft, artist: Desmond Shawe-Taylor CVO, Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures; and Louis Wise, Critic and Writer, The Sunday Times.”

Sarah Armstrong Jones and The Times are being terribly modest because Sarah is actually The Lady Sarah Frances Elizabeth Chatto, daughter of the 1st Earl of Snowdon and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon and second daughter of…

View original post 522 more words

“IN DEEP WITH THE QATARIS”

“IN DEEP WITH THE QATARIS”

CAREER SUICIDE

Marie-Antoinette_par_Elisabeth_Vigée-Lebrun_-_1783Supposedly to tie in with the opening of the Frieze and Gap Art Fair in New York– but really apropos of nothing except “ooh, rich people”– somebody called Jason used their own drool (he also contributes to human-shaped joke Tyler Brulé’s Monocle. QED.) to write out a super-duper tip-top list of “the most powerful people in the art world” for The Guardian.

It’s the usual soul-crushing litany of scumbags, twats, con artists, plutocrats and fuckwits but the real enjoyment is to be found in the torrent of vituperation and scorn in the comments. Read them all because there’s some good stuff about the chasm between this tiny, elite art world and what most real artists do or want to do, and what the public wants from artists. Here’s a few of the best comments, complete with the typos from their authors (rightly) being so angry they couldn’t quite…

View original post 433 more words

LIQUIDATE BANKSY

LIQUIDATE BANKSY

CAREER SUICIDE

OR: SLAVE TO THE ALGORITHM

RaidersMeltingNaziSome readers of this blog will probably find the “art market quantifying” ArtRank (TEE EMMMMMMMMMM!!!) as funny as I did, especially its fourth category listing those artists who should be “liquidated”. Obviously they’re talking about selling off the artist’s work as a matter of urgency, but it still has a deliciously murderous taste of the mafia hit list or Caligula-style proscription about it. Liquidate Banksy first. Then liquidate Oscar Murillo. Liquidate these other people I’ve never even heard of. Liquidate them all, Frieze will know its own. Apparently the Artrankers liked it when I made this comparison on Twitter last week. Lovely chap, Caligula. Very fond of animals.

There’s also a “peaking” list of people you should just be bored of rather than urgently liquidating them. I’m sure if the ArtRankers really put their minds to it they could have found terms that seem more…

View original post 604 more words

THE LIES OF THE ARTISTS

THE LIES OF THE ARTISTS

CAREER SUICIDE

The Unbelievable Pressure Artists Are Under to Just Completely Make Some Stuff Up

A long but worthwhile read by Jen Graves (scroll down for the link), starting with an account of a woman who decided to reinvent herself as an Outsider Artist because that’s where the market was going, lied right to the author’s face about her past, then got nasty when she was found out… and still does pretty good business.

There’s also confirmation– somehow both shocking and entirely unsurprising– that you can just make up an exhibition history and hardly anyone will bother checking to see if it’s true. Graves mentions an artist who claimed to have showed at the Whitney on the basis of having work in the building for two hours. In my experience this is an extremely common type of artist lie, i.e. major and serial omission, where all you’re meant to take in is…

View original post 405 more words

DISINFORMATION CATALOGUE

DISINFORMATION CATALOGUE

CAREER SUICIDE

DC1

DO YOU LIKE EVENING CLASSES, TATLER, WILD CLAIMS, SPENDING MONEY AND BEING TREATED LIKE A BATTERY CHICKEN? IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY

Thanks to several informants (who didn’t know about any of the other people who simultaneously tipped me off) I’ve become aware that my dear old friends, the vanity artist farmers Debut Contemporary, have been trawling for fat new wallets. Market Project is currently on hiatus and not being updated, but you can read my original article about Debut Contemporary there, plus hundreds of comments including damning– and in a few cases, somewhat heartbreaking if not harrowing– testimony from former clients of theirs. You can also read sock puppet comments from their cronies, and see documentation of failed attempts by these cronies to secretly defame me and my colleagues for criticising them.

I’ll get to Debut Con’s hilarious “information catalogue” for artists anon, but firstly here’s what was spammed…

View original post 3,008 more words

MURDER YOUR DARLINGS

MURDER YOUR DARLINGS

CAREER SUICIDE

Psycho_3Or: A common problem with bad art writing solved in a paragraph

The problem in question being that the writer is in love with proving how clever they are, instead of focusing on the fact that they’re supposed to be communicating. Jargon and in-group buzzwords either tacitly or deliberately display the status of some people and withhold power from others. There’s a place for specialised language in the advanced study and practice of almost any activity, but deliberately bamboozling with 50-point Scrabble words is showing off, not sharing. Plain but informative English is not the work of the uneducated or the uniformed; there’s a craft to plain English too.

Writer and critic Arthur Quiller-Crouch (1863-1944), nearly a century ago:

“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it– whole-heartedly– and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.

Echoed by…

View original post 15 more words

SOCIAL MEDIA VAMPIRES OF WHITECHAPEL

SOCIAL MEDIA VAMPIRES OF WHITECHAPEL

CAREER SUICIDE

I was recently notified of a new Twitter follower who in turn is followed by an interesting and unlikely institution: London’s Whitechapel Gallery.

OddFollower

The Whitechapel is into “serial entrepreneurs” and “fitness junkies”, apparently. “Whitechapel Art Gallery”=WAG. Coincidence? You decide.

Despite his profile and picture making him look like a spambot, from some cursory research this gentleman appears to be an entity vaguely resembling a real human being. He follows 653,041 accounts on Twitter. If he spent five seconds reading one tweet by each of these people it would take him 3,265,205 seconds, about 907 hours 0r roughly 38 days to do so. Again we’ll call these followers people for the sake of convenience even though we all know that with this number of them there’s certain to be thousands if not tens of thousands of senseless bots among them.

It’s not unusual or untoward for an institution or business to have…

View original post 513 more words

TRUSTAFARIANS OF THE BELLE ÉPOQUE

TRUSTAFARIANS OF THE BELLE ÉPOQUE

CAREER SUICIDE

To the manor born

Although it now predates any living memory, it’s a very recent Western notion that artists are unique and delicate snowflakes pursuing a vocation for the love of it. Historically artists were valued as craftsmen and artisans, on a par with carpenters or stonemasons. Being an artist was certainly better than being a peasant, but among the aristocratic classes for whom artists generally worked there was still a hint of the base or the vulgar clinging to anybody who got their hands dirty and needed to actually do anything for a living. Henri Rousseau, for example, was lambasted by the art establishment because he had the audacity to be self taught and to have worked solidly in the same relatively menial clerical job for about forty years before he took early retirement in order to pursue painting.

So there was a certain degree of inevitability in the…

View original post 1,341 more words

WHAT THE DUCK?

WHAT THE DUCK?

CAREER SUICIDE

ap595797509887_2

‘Rubber Duck’, like its maker Florentjin Hofman’s other work, is daft, kitsch, intellectually undemanding and entirely uncool. Yet its value, I think, lies in precisely these attributes. When was the last time the work of any artist celebrated on the front cover of Art Review or Frieze aroused general excitement, civic pride, despair at the prospect of it going away, or “limitless amounts of joy”? This last comment is from a discussion at the governmental level about the widespread positive fallout from Hofman’s avowed attempt to spread this joy. I certainly don’t think art can be or should be uniformly subjected to tests of popularity or popularism, but I also think that somebody except the artist and their friends should care about and connect with an art work.

Until recently the 16m tall duck was floating between Hong Kong island and Kowloon. Although described by the artist as…

View original post 313 more words

IMAGINARY ARTISTS V: JOKER

IMAGINARY ARTISTS V: JOKER

CAREER SUICIDE

“Barbed wire is the medium of the future, Mrs. Russelmeier… but that is no way to make a banana.” The Joker, 1966.

Two 1966 episodes of the Batman TV series– itself a masterpiece of Pop Art and camp– overtly call out to Pop Art and the (then) contemporary abstract expressionists with Pop Goes The Joker/Flop Goes The Joker, in which the eponymous lunatic vandalises an art gallery. When one of the artists whose works have been permanently wrecked with splashes of paint actually likes it and appreciates that their value’s been increased (“All I could ever draw was stupid looking farm boys”– a sly but spot-on dig at Norman Rockwell), the Joker wastes no time in getting himself into Gotham City’s art world. He starts by winning an art competition against the likes of Jackson Potluck, Pablo Pinkus, and a paint flinging monkey. After an all-too-accurate satirical…

View original post 656 more words