Thursday, August 11, 2011


After my recent gallery visits and a workshop on artist's liberation and creativity - I am thinking about society's definition of "success" as an artist, and about the truth telling function of art.
There is pretty art, beautiful art, disturbing art, highly crafted and craft focused art. All kinds. Humorous, gigantic, miniature. All kinds of characteristics, and motivations, and functions. Decorating one's pricey home with colorful abstraction seems to be in vogue in this area. Is that too sarcastic? Or is it just the truth?
The danger for some of us who sell art (sometimes) is in thinking that our art is "to sell." As if that is it's motivation and function.
So I'm thinking back to the work I did several years ago - the work that didn't "fit easily" into anyone's home. I will upload a couple of those pieces here, and no doubt more in the future.

This one is called "Prague Cemetery. It is from my series called "Still With Us", done after visiting Terezin, a concentration camp near Prague, in 1998.

This is "Imprisoned." When I was 5 years old my relatives told me about a sign at a swimming pool in nearby Clayton Missouri that said No Jews or Dogs Allowed.

Art in Chevy Chase

Last night I attended the opening of a group show in the DC area. My artist neighbor was in the show, which was my reason for going. I wanted to support her, and give my blessing to this gallery/money making venture.
I'd never clicked with that particular gallery in it's previous incarnation - I and my work just didn't fit there. This was no different in those ways - and it was even clearer to me.
There was a ton of work on the walls and a ton of people at the opening. The work didn't look like me or reflect me on a deep level - though I had hoped I'd see something that would even make me jealous, if you can understand that. My favorites were my friend's soothing and beautiful landscapes, and another painter's big energetic colorful landscapes and portrait.
The people didn't look like me either. I am seriously looking at and getting some distance on what I call "this class thing." I'd say 90-95% of the visitors were dressed in a way that was supposed to be glamorous. Maybe it was. To me it was not. Something about the costume/uniform of "looking good" - guess I will speak more on that in another post, if I can relate it cleanly to ART.
Amazingly one woman appeared at the door to the gallery dressed in black and looking totally unpretentious. I was sure she was an artist, and close to me in age. She stood out, all in black like that.
Eventually I approached her and we had a real conversation and a real connection. What a lift!
The net result though was that I woke up feeling ill, and only recovered when I saw the work of Felix Angel at a gallery this morning. Complex collages that satisfied the mind and spirit, deep, thought provoking, nourishing.