Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's not as quiet as it seems

I have been trying to put together a list, of everything I have to do on a daily basis, over the past couple of days and have been a bit unsuccessful at keeping everything together. Trying to manage two kids, a house, and getting in as much studio time as possible while recovering from throwing my back out is physically kicking my ass. I am admittedly behind, but the good news is, all has not been lost.
About 6 of the paintings will be part of a group show at New Haven Arts, New Haven, CT, opening May 15th - more details to follow. Also, a super secret piece in a super secret publication will be coming out this summer.
Joelle is also working on putting something together that would allow everyone to take a piece of the project home with them, and not just online. It may be a shot in the dark, but it's a pretty cool idea, and we both hope it will be visible to the masses by the end of the year.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a few things

A couple things have caught my eye in the past few days. Most important is the post on Carnegie Mellon's Technology in the Arts blog on Social Media being an alternative exhibition space. Mr. Vannatter notes the change that is brewing in crowd sourcing being an acceptable area from which artists work from. I couldn't agree more!
The New York Times review on Shepard Fairey's retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston reports that he will follow this up with a spring campaign at Saks in NY - yes you will be able to get your very own limited edition handbag! While I love handbags, really - obsessed - it makes me wonder if this is artistic exploration or exploitation. I think it's the latter and I have many thoughts on this, but feel free to share yours with me.
Hrag Vartanian and An Xiao hosted a "twitterview" on none other than Twitter last night. Very interesting to watch unfold! Other than having to refresh my screen every minute or so to see the replies, it was pretty enjoyable. But, it makes me wonder: how much information can be conveyed over a series of 140 character posts?
That's all for now as the baby is tugging at my feet and crying for ... something!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On Social Networking

A question has come up repeatedly over the past few weeks: "who are you represented by?" and the answer is: "no one." It's true! We may have cracked the code in how to achieve recognition for Matt's work via social networking, but this is only part of the puzzle. For years he has put together a body of work - say 12 paintings - and put together submission packets to send out to galleries only to wait months for the rejection letters to come in. They are all kept neatly in a binder titled "REJECTION".
I have always suspected that trying to get in with a gallery is playing the game of "who you know" as Joanne Mattera recently posted. I guess the question is, will this project fall under the ears and eyes of those who care enough to bring it that much further into the seemingly impenetrable art market, or will we continue to get recognition from art bloggers and the MSM? Should we be content with the occasional commission and/or sale of a finished portrait and call this project a success? I don't know the right answer, but I do think about it constantly.
In all honesty, recognition from galleries and inquiries from them about representation is a mark of validation for any artist, and Matt is no different. Today's artist are churned out of University MFA program's in such a formulaic manner that it is very difficult to be recognized as an artist if you don't follow the same path. When Matt and I met, I was working for a contemporary arts center in Seattle as an assistant curator and associate producer. Nearly every artist we exhibited was stamped with modicum approval just by graduating an MFA program. It's not to say that hard work and dedication to your education should mean less, but the lack of having that degree should not hinder ones ability to progress either.
As the art market continues to feel the impact of the deepening recession, gallerists, dealers, and critics, I feel, should look to what the artists are doing in areas of social media because that's where the buzz is, and I suspect, that's where it will remain. Clearing their shelves of emerging artists and sticking to the old standby only hinders the progress of art. The long-term effects of stagnation in terms of arts' progress are far greater than taking a risk on a relatively unknown, unstamped artist. Call it what you will, but I think we are all trying to connect with one another to make something out of this economic mess that is relatively positive, innovative, and uplifting. Progress only exists if people make it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Back to Work

A rainy Monday morning won't stop the process. It was such a nice weekend with spring-like weather. Matt's talk went well on Saturday night, especially for his first time ever speaking in front of an attentive audience. A great turn-out all the way around - although sorry some of our non-1stFan fans weren't able to come upstairs. Hopefully we will have another public engagement soon.
Two portraits are finding their homes this week and we are certainly filling the space with new ones. Portrait # 36, "Jordy" was finished yesterday and posted this morning. The buzz that has been building over the past few weeks will hopefully quiet down a bit so Matt can get back in the studio for productive painting time and I can get back to profile viewing, photo selection, and some over due administrative tasks. More soon, I promise!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1st

Dear blog readers,
My apologies for not posting anything recently. I have been trying to figure out how to type numbers in all caps and have failed. The group is now over 2,600 members and instead of drinking myself into a stupor, I have been busy in the studio. I finished a few portraits this weekend and the last of the three needs to dry before I shoot it. I tried taking a photo today and there were hot spots all over the place.
Have I told you all that I am not a professional photographer? Not that it matters because Joelle is the fancy pants photo gal and renders them ready for the web. She does a smashing job don't you think? Although, we purchased one of those mini laptops today because paint was mysteriously appearing on the Mac keys and after she fired me, I suggested a mini would probably work better for the studio since both the studio and the new computer are equally puny. She kind of freaked when she saw what some of the images of the paintings looked like on the new computer. "A little too vibrant, I think" was what she said, but in all regards, they are just photos and until I can get them shot professionally, that is how they will remain. That said, the 40 or so who have RSVP'd to the Brooklyn Art Museum for the talk with 1stFans on Saturday, March 7th, will get to see 5 or 6 of them. I am fairly certain which ones I will bring, but this last one I am working on may throw a monkey in that wrench. We shall see. I am looking forward to seeing you all and hope you have some great questions. I will try not to throw up on your shoes.
I wanted to say hello to all the new members. Thank you. I really do try to make an effort to respond to your notes, but sometimes, I just can't. I do, however, read them all and appreciate all the kind words about the work and this project.