Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Business Card and a Basel Expedition*.

In order to escape the cold, visit my grandparents, and catch up on current trends in the art world, I'm heading to Florida. I will be catching the tail end of Art Basel and spending a few days in Miami, hopefully meeting with my friend and esteemed sculptor Liao Ybai, as well as a good friend from college.

One issue that I had to address before making this trip was that I have finally finished the massive supply of business cards I printed out some two or three years ago. The last batch of cards was a standard black card with white text, and quite frankly I've grown tired of it, so I decided to do something a bit different. I actually fabricated all the different elements of the business card and placed them on sheet of steel ten times the size of an actual business card, I then had my photographer friend (and talented welding student) Mike Bloom come over and capture the whole thing on his high powered camera. And Voila!

*I wonder if anyone caught that Austin Powers reference.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Engine Room.

Despite my complaints about the rough dues paid in the art world it doesn't mean I'm left unequipped to deal with said burdens of the real world. We all succumb to the stresses and pressures of reality here and there, but what keeps us in the race is the ability to dust ourselves off and keep going. Keep on keepin' on. So I've been doing some small commissions and practicing my portraiture sculpting, a realm of work which truly hones my skills. I've also take to studying the literature of brilliant physicist Richard Feynman and thus sparked a new found interest in all things physics (not mention trying to learn the math involved!). It keeps me busy.

I know, I know, it's been a while.

Well let me start by apologizing for the month and a half of downtime. It's these transitional months which truly pry at the tethers of being an artist. It's when sales are slow and bills come fast. It's when we look to our friends slaving away soulessly at a day to day job (some do it soulfully), and it seems so glorious and stress free.

So I have been less productive than my usual output rate, maybe I had a little artistic block, maybe I just didn't want to transition into working in the cold in my unheated shop. In any event I neglected this blog. And I constantly make promises to rigorously update it and post here all the time and yadda yadda yadda, and then I go and ignore it for a month and half. So I'll make no promises. But because it's been so long I'll make this a very well rounded entry, I'll post some pictures, rant a little, talk about art, the state of the union, the Why.


Lets start with the state of the union. The artworld is much larger entity than I am, and as much as we artists think we are entrenched in it, we are all (except maybe Damien Hirst) objective observers, watching the circus go on without us, and it's usually the dead guys that win big. But we living artists are merely allowed our small window of access into the artworld, we see it only from our own perspective, the struggles and the bounty, the dips and the dives, and we paint the landscape of our perceived artworld as it pertains only to ourselves. Of course we can follow economic trends and observe industrial averages of art prices and things like that, but we're artists, so we generally don't. But we can take into consideration the ruminations of our colleagues and that helps us paint the picture of our current artworld, if it concurs with ours it just proves our point, and if it's drastically different well that just proves the chaotic nature of the beast. For the most part the artist life is a struggle, so we generally twitch unhappily at the mention of our spectral "artworld" mistress. But then... what is the artworld? I mean I explained it as a very personal thing, but that doesn't mean anything to someone who isn't an artist... so let me (try to) explain a little. My artworld is a series of attempts at selling art (a bold statement, I know). I make sculpture as much as a can, because that is what I do, and when I'm not making it I'm trying to devise ways of selling it. This often places me in the position of a hustler, hawking his goods on an unwilling mark. But I don't like selling myself, it just doesn't seem right, I end up feeling like a pariah (not to mention one must maintain the cool air that the sale is completely superfluous, so as to give the potential client the vibe that you are an artist for arts sake). Not my thing. So I put my work out there, I make it available for people to see as best I can, and I hope people come to me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't (it works better when NY is warm). Of course one will say, why don't you get gallery representation? Well the gallery is a dying breed, struggling to sustain itself, and unless you're in the most renowned of galleries, you're likely not to sell much; and if you do sell, the owner gets 50% of the profits and 75% of your soul. No bueno. So sell on the internet you say! Hah! Don't get me started on that one!

So this brings me to Why. Why go through the rigors of a process that is not only labor intensive physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Well I never felt there was a day where I made the conscious decision to be an artist. I was born, and I made little sketches, and I fooled around in my dads shop, and it was just part of life. Now that has grown to be a part of me, and if I go too long without it I seem to lose my equilibrium. So maybe it's an opiate of sorts or maybe it's just all know.... Maybe I do it because I feel like I have something to say that cannot be articulated in words and, because I am possessing a skill which I honed over the course of my whole life, I am now capable of making that known in a much more direct way. Like transmitting a thought. But I don't want to get carried away in heady notions, this isn't an artist statement to placed pompously next to a glossy resume near at the entrance to a white-washed show. I do it because