My favorite position is deep
When artists use terms like ‘art market’ and ‘art industry’ it’s seen as undermining of the vast contribution art has made to the development of civilizations. Artists are expected to turn out these amazing, selfless acts of meaning while someone else does the vulgar thing called business, backstage in the gallery office.
It’s a bit like the culinary world where someone kills cows far away from the cool deliciousness of a well-dressed plate. Only, who’s actually backstage in the artworld? The artist or the gallery sales people? At best, I guess everyone deserves equal billing in utopia.
As for canvas and paper, it must also rise to the occasion. Remember when canvas and paper were only that, as opposed to Belgian linen or wood free, or something pretentiously mulberry?
I’ve spent a fair degree of time (hours, that is) starting artworks from a position of cerebral engagement. For example, everyone knows that red pictures fetch a higher price on auction. Even red dresses sell faster off the peg. For some reason humans love to spend on red. But to start creating in red, with the expectation of higher s ales, just doesn’t make sense. In fact, the one time I did make a vibrantly red work it didn’t exactly fly off the wall. Ok it was about Covid and nothing else, and of course pandemics aren’t exactly pop fare (although die-hard lovers of Keith Haring may disagree).
The point is to jump in, as an artist, and to have low expectations as you go. Then, if you achieve acclaim you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Really? The worst part about the previous statement is that most artists have such a low sense of self-esteem, and such huge imposter complexes, that they’ll nod their heads in agreement.
So then, the point is to begin creating from a point of security. But then, I’m sure it’s destructive to be too secure that you turn out the same old thing that you and your friends are in love with, time after time.
My favorite position is this: I’m not sure – I’ll try it and see if it works.
When you look at the artwork of Fringe, you’d hardly think it’s experimental. But actually it is. I don’t have a blueprint for success, and the idea of a blueprint – however enticing — is undermining of my desire to dream. Well, perhaps I’ll dream in blueprints from now on.