Saturday, January 21, 2006

Redvelvetto has posed a question to our audience...

A comment from Redvelvetto from an earlier post:

"An open question: What makes an artist famous or even "good"? Is it real talent or how many friends in the right place you have? Does it come down to someone in power liking an artist's work? Looking back at your favorite did they become well known? What about people who do similar things but never get noticed? Like Ray Johnson in the Warhol movement, he was sort of forgotten until that documentary, How To Draw A Bunny, came out.
Just fill me in on how it works and why artists, some artists, act like a bunch of little princesses...good book by the way, Frances Hodgson Burnett."

Thanks Red.

20 Responses to “Redvelvetto has posed a question to our audience...”

Anonymous said...
January 21, 2006 at 7:03 PM

Fame is overrated.

Jim said...
January 21, 2006 at 8:23 PM

It makes a big difference once an artist is validated by certain galleries or certain institutions -- even here in Indianapolis. People don't trust themselves and need that stamp of fame to decide they like things.
Institutional validation -- via the media or museums -- seems to be the most important factor behind larger segments of the population deciding that someone's work is good.
Even in this city where the media does so little real criticism of art -- with the Star and Intake doing none -- groups that give out individual artist grants ask to see clips of reviews as part of the application process. That seems wrong.

Redvelvetto said...
January 21, 2006 at 8:27 PM

Well, how do you know fame is overrated? Are you famous? What is the point of being an artist if not to aspire to something, what is the point if you have no goal of immortality...which fame provides. If you are an artist and you show your work, you are looking for acceptance and money, otherwise you would not put it out there.
You must of gone to a chinese restaurant tonight and pulled that out of a fortune cookie. What were your lucky numbers?

Jeremy Tubbs said...
January 22, 2006 at 6:05 AM

"Little Lord Fauntleroy" would be a more appropriate artistic stereotype... they interited the keys to the kingdom! ... "N--no--!" said Fauntleroy, rather doubtfully. "I don't THINK it's a museum. My grandfather says these are my ancestors." - Chapter XV... So, why don't we all wear a velvet suit with short knee-pants and lace collars like Redvelvetto?

We (artists)do however all put on our different sorts of airs to be considered an artist. We have our individual art attitude and art style... that may or may not have anything to do with our inherited legacy. False individualism has been adopted while "[Elites] consider it unlikely that the average individual will work hard enough or recognize beauty or vote for the best policies or even obey in a suitable manner. They take as a given that this individual cannot or will not understand the complexities of whatever responsibilities fate has thrust upon someone who has expertise and power." - John Ralston Saul, The Unconcious Civilization

Our goal should be united as artists, no matter what we are trying to do with our artistic carrers. Only then can we lobby our opinions with the elites and possibly be heard. Our problem is we lack a unifying movement in this global postmodern artworld.

One can argue that it is due to this lack of this foundation that the arts are not taken more seriously, because there is nolonger such a thing as "good" art. Furthermore, no artist living today is "famous" we only have artists that are "well-known" to the artworld and barely known outside of the field. We lack the Pop Movement that Warhol had from which the artist crop could be thinned down to a few iconic figures.

I want even our "most famous" artists to get more famous. I want to see scandalous tabloid pictures of Chris Burden while I am waiting in the check out lane!

remaining, Jeremy

Post Script: interesting reading/listening
John Ralston Saul has a great reference to "Wating for Godot" at the beginning: Vladimir says, "What do we do now?" and Estragon says, "Wait." "Yes, but while waiting, well what about hanging ourselves?" "Well, it would give us an erection."

This is the greatest play of the century, I'm allowed to quote it. And if you'll excuse me taking some very simple lines and putting maybe a meaning Beckett would not consciously have thought of behind them, what they're really talking about is loss of real power to the individual and the need through, you know, hanging yourself or getting an erection for nothing, of embracing what I would call false individualism.

carla said...
January 22, 2006 at 11:30 AM

"If you are an artist and you show your work, you are looking for acceptance and money, otherwise you would not put it out there"
Are you chain-yanking? I'll bite. Most artists show their work because something pretty exciting happened in making it and they can't not show it. It's human nature to go,"OMG, look what happened!" As naive as this sounds, it is even more so to have expectations of glory and money happening from having a show here and there.

When artists choose a more intense, art-career oriented path, their motivation is usually self-preservation. They want success so that they can spend more of their time making art, and less time trying to eke out a non-art related survival.

I'm sure there are artists whose motivation leans more towards stardom, but who cares? (And good luck with that) I'm more interested in how sincere artists handle success.

I think Lord Jeremy makes a wonderful point about accepting our varying art goals, and being unified.

Redvelvetto said...
January 22, 2006 at 6:24 PM

You just proved my point. If you make something you are proud of, you want it out there right? You want it accepted by others as good, as worthwhile because it came from you. Someone paying money for something you created is a second platform of acceptance, becoming a star is the third. Maybe your goal isn't that high and that's fine but you are doing it for acceptance.
Maybe I am wrong about the money's all about acceptance.

carla said...
January 22, 2006 at 8:53 PM

Would you rather have jaw-dropping things happen in your art that others may or may not fully get, or make good art that receives a lot of praise and sells well? I'm going for the rare moments of sublimity.

Showing work brings out all sorts of weird issues, but I guess I see these as distractions to deal with rather than driving motivations.

Anonymous said...
January 23, 2006 at 3:21 PM

To Redvelvetto:

How do I know fame is overrated? I just know.

Am I famous? Only depends on what is famous to you.

I've been written about internationally and art communities in all 50 states, Europe, Asia, and the Carribean know my name and work. In 2005 over 1 million art patrons, dealers, collectors, galleries, and museums have seen my work.

Am I famous? I don't care.

I don't do work for acceptance. At the end of the day all I am doing is providing for my family. That's my goal.

Unwin said...
January 24, 2006 at 11:00 AM

Mark Kostabi?

Christopher said...
January 24, 2006 at 12:38 PM

oh my God unwin I am still laughing out loud!

Anonymous said...
January 24, 2006 at 1:52 PM

No. I am not Mark Kostabi.

I agree with Christopher, unwin I am Laughing Out Loud!

So you see. Fame is overrated.

Would Mark care about what is going on there in Indianapolis? I don't know.

As far as acceptance and recognition. Everyone in the art community can know your work and name but How many artists buy work from other artists? Very little. You need to go outside your comfort zone, outside your circle of friends.

Most serious art buyers/collectors don't do artists' openings (too many people.) They rather stroll a gallery on a weekday to appreciate the work.

What I usually do is meet the collectors (one on one) at the gallery and answer questions they may have about the work. Then go out for lunch if possible. You have to gently "HUG" those who support your work.

Still Laughing out Loud! Thanks unwin I needed the laugh.

saint robert said...
January 27, 2006 at 11:16 AM

if you're longing for acceptance, the most obvious choice is to "become an artist". it's a shoo in! the knitting circuit on the other hand, that's a cold and indifferent world.

Anonymous said...
January 27, 2006 at 5:20 PM

The word "artist" is a title not a person. Therefor you cannot become an "artist." You merely do "art."

Shawn Greene said...
January 27, 2006 at 6:25 PM

That's a weird idea. Why could I not, after studying art for six years, or simply making art for six years, become an artist, just as I could become a doctor after studying medicine for four? Art is my career, I'm a professional. In fact, I HAVE become an artist. I've learned the skills necessary to practice my profession and get paid for it. All professions differ, I don't think artists should ghetto-ize themselves into this savant-y group of kooky iconoclasts. Most of us are extremely practical and, those who have figured out how to support ourselves on it, professional. We have BECOME.

saint robert said...
January 27, 2006 at 6:40 PM


saint robert said...
January 27, 2006 at 6:41 PM

I want to point out that my previous reply was directed at the absurd anonymous post above, not yours, shawn.

Anonymous said...
January 30, 2006 at 1:04 PM

Shawn. You are right! Art is a career! I totally agree with you.

My question is if someone stops doing art do they stop becoming who they are?

We must not define ourselves by what we do.

As a kid I was puzzled by the statement "What do you want to BE when you grow up?

My problem with that question is that it implies that we are nothing until we choose a CAREER.

"What do you want to DO when you grow up?" seems more practical to me.

My husband loves me for who I am and not for what I do.

Anonymous said...
January 30, 2006 at 3:28 PM

You know, I teach art in college, and I used to wonder if that was a responsible thing to do, really, to encourage people to dive into a career that is so risky and can be so difficult emotionally and finacially. However, now I've come to realize that helping people make art a central focus in their lives and a FILTER through which to understand the world and make sense of it is really great. I groan at comparisons made between religion and art, but art can have as important a place in a person's life. It is more valuable ultimately than teaching someone the skills to make money. And so it goes beyond a career, even for those who can't make it a totally self-supporting job.

saint robert said...
January 31, 2006 at 2:09 PM

when teachers asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, they were of course asking what you wanted to do for a living. there are nuances in the english language you must pick up on to understand what is the appropriate response. and sometimes, given the right circumstance, "I am an artist" is the right answer. there's really no reason to get over-thinky on this one. unless, of course, you want to live your far-out ways on the fringes of society eating cans of beans that aren't really cans of beans, just beans that had existed within a can. because how can one really say they're eating a can of beans when the beans aren't in the can when they are being eaten?


Anonymous said...
February 1, 2006 at 11:43 AM

No, actually, I don't think it's all about semantics. Americans equate their identities with their professions far more than, say, Europeans do. I think it is an important point- are you defined by your job? And is art making like other jobs? No need to be so dismissive.

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