gallery schmallery.

gallery schmallery.

So-

I got rejected from another season at a local art gallery. This probably sounds like the beginning of a whiny rant, but really? I have completely mixed feelings bordering on downright positive.

First of all, the gallery in question is nothing but awesome, AND uses outside artists to judge the entries (so nothing but love for the folks that run it). One of those artists, this year, was none other than Ann Hamilton- meaning, Ann Hamilton has now seen my name and my work. Win! Who cares if there wasn’t a majority vote in it’s favor, I have now shown my work to an artist who’s not only been on PBS (NERDHOLLYWOOD), but whose work I greatly admire. That’s awesome.

But also, I’ve been having lots of mixed feelings about the gallery scene, and my involvement in it (or lack thereof) in general. This is nothing against artists who show their work in galleries- I’m lucky enough to know several amazing artist friends who actively make and show their work all over Columbus and beyond. I respect not just their work, but the drive they have to put themselves out there and make the system work for them- I just don’t know if it’s for me. I love making art, I love giving art as gifts, and I love trading art, whether it’s for more art or for other useful/delicious things (best art trade to date? small installation for a jar of homemade maple syrup.)- but when it comes to assigning a monetary value to it and putting it up for ‘the Art World’ to see, I have feelings that are accurately described as ambivalent.  This isn’t to say that showing work and selling work doesn’t feel good- of course it does. It’s like getting a high score on the SATs after studying for years. But, what do you do when you start to question, not just the score, but the whole system of standardized testing?

The whole thing gets even stickier when what you want to do can’t be sold. Galleries are businesses, so of course they want to put their energy into promoting artists who will help their businesses through sales…so where does this leave artists like myself who sometimes make things, but who feel just as strongly about making spaces or experiences? How do we, as artists, measure success if not through work sold and shows accumulated?

How do you feel? Do you try to show work in galleries? If not, do you still make things? Or, if you don’t make things, how do you get your work out there, how do you push your work to evolve?

family, friends, soapboxes & scabs.

family, friends, soapboxes & scabs.

Back from a pretty fantastic Easter weekend in Funcie. Friday I got so see my parents followed by a room-mate reunion at my favoritefavorite bar in the whole world, the Herot. Saturday was spent doing family things with both mine and Boyfriend’s family (including, but not limited to, playing horse, seeing a horse, pie and an easter egg hunt) followed by more beer with more friends, and Sunday was even more family things. Only a bare minimum of sleep was had, and I still feel like I didn’t see everyone I wanted to. A wonderful ‘problem’ to have.

See the sights!

Beth M. (of the BCR Drawing collaboration) also brought the lastest incarnations of the three drawings with her to the Heorot and so the collaboration continues! Updates to come. (as well as a commission, altered book/collaboration, installation project and all of the rando. drawings this warm weather keeps planting in my brain. Too many ideas- another beautiful, awesome problem.) Here’s what’s done so far:

Drawing 1.5 (ignore line down the middle, I got excited and started before I took the picture.)

Drawing 2.5

Drawing 3.5 aka 'old lady Feets.'

I know I’m a day late, but speaking of Easter (and Passover, and Earth Day and May Day, etc.) I highly recommend checking out Art 21’s  episode about Art and Spirituality. Not only does it feature my homegirl Ann Hamilton, I think it also does a nice job addressing the connection many artists feel between their spiritual and artistic lives. I tend to be pretty mum about my own beliefs, as most short, easy titles like the ‘C-word’ lump me into the same catagory as these assholes:

But my belief in a God who creates and loves and laughs is, to quote my friend Kasey,

…not just a set of superstitions I have chosen to believe in. It is not something that makes me less intelligent, less independent, less forward thinking. My faith is an essential part of my identity. It is wrapped up in the fiber of my being and is the way I live my life.

So yes.  I believe in treating even the most hateful outsider the same way you would a brother,I believe in free speech, I believe in gay rights, I believe in evolution, I believe in taking care of each other, I believe bodily functions are funny, I believe in a fundamental Goodness and all this because of, not in spite of, my belief in God.

/soapbox.

Oh, um, and here’s a picture of a (healing) rash.

mysterious rash that appeared in my armpit after the Octopus Project concert. It's not everyday one gets such a mysterious and interestingly shaped rash. Unless that 'one' is me.

Happy monday!

D is for Desmond, thrown out of a sleigh.

It’s SecondWinter.

For those of you not from the midwest, those of you whose exotic locales feature a scant four seasons, let me explain; Every year, around the end of February, the sun returns. We all know it’s way too early to really be spring, but who are we to argue with  melting snow, singing birds, freshly cleared bike paths? Then, just when we’ve decided to surrender our satisfying winter grumps for tentative happiness, something like this happens:

freezing rain with a side of despair.

freezing rain with a 60% chance of despair.

Followed, usually, by another month or two of winter. I’ve said before that nothing trains you for disappointment like the Midwest (weather), but SecondWinter gets everyone, every time.

This year, though, i’ve decided to try and take SecondWinter in stride. Cold and windy? Hot Cocoa! Icepuddles?* Fun boots! Grey, rainy, icy, grey, brown, grey grey grey outside? Perfect for ghost stories and the grotesque. So, inspired by SecondWinter, Neil Gaiman and my perpetual love of all things cheerfully gruesome, I give you:

 

the inspiration behind the post, Dave McKean, Illustrator of the US edition of The Graveyard Book.

Aubrey Beardsley; victorian artist, dandy and all-around badass.

Ernst Haeckel. Late 19th Century like Beardsley, but more importantly, aesthetically similar in my mind

Speaking of art+biology+love+gross, Joseph Scheer (be sure to click the picture. The article linked is pretty great.)

Jessica Joslin's disgusting menagerie is disgustingly adorable.

Jessica Harrison. So. Much. Go to her site (click) and look at everything. Teeth? Zombies?! Victorians?!! yes.

 

Fellow Columbusian, Mary Jo Bole

Hannah Hoch, one of the few women of Dada

 

Ann Hamilton’s pieces with hair are gross. And awesome. And totally inspiring for the next installation of the Collaboration Correspondence campaign…

And no post about things macabe and wonderful is complete without Edward Gorey.

And, if you still need a pretty, gloomy art and a reason to be on the internet, I highly recommend Ectopiary.

*no for real. It’s a real thing. I’m telling you, SecondWinter is a bitch.

you would see, the biggest gift would be from me.***

My former professor/thesis advisor and friend Hannah Barnes used to always say (to me. Presumably she’s still saying it, just to other students now) “College is about finding your friends.” Meaning, not just the people in your class/dorm/etc, but your art-friends. Research artists who’s work you like, see who they looked at/hung out with and look at them, and see who they looked at/hung out with and look at them.*

Doing so has helped me not only to be more aware of the world in which I’m living, but has also given me an ‘in’ to the Conversation. Rather than being That Person, the one who jumps blindly into conversations, blurts out the first connection she’s made, embarassing herself and everyone around her, I’m able to listen, think, and every once in a while, join in. Looking at other artists who’s work is really interesting to me has also helped to pinpoint certain trends/interests/directions in my work that might not be apparent in isolation.

I recently had a conversation with another artist who, after expressing an appreciation for figurative “realistic” paintings and a dislike of conceptual art, said “I’ve been told that’s narrow minded, but I’m not. I just have an opinion.” And while I lovelovelove all the art he was talking about hating, I had to respect his view. I sometimes worry that I make ‘friends’ too easy. Even the art I don’t react to on an immediate gut-grinding-I-LOVE-YOU level, I can usually find something to appreciate in the history or philosophy (and even sometimes lackthereof) behind it.

Fastforward a few days to another conversation with Jen, wherein she mentioned her Top 3 Living Artists at Whose Feet She’d Like to Sit. As she told me hers, I realized that if pressed, at that moment I could come up with several artists who I enjoyed, several more who I reallyreally loved and only one that was still alive (Ann Hamilton).

Whether it’s an argument or interview or even just plain conversation, I always find the right thing to say about ten minutes after the fact. “…OH. That’s what I should’ve said. Damn.” So, for my own benefit, knowledge and just in case the question ever comes up again, I’ve thought, run, and thought some more and put together my list of three** Living Artists At Whose Feet I’d Like to Sit.

Tim Hawkinson

Ann Hamilton

Janine Antoni

Miranda July

Check them out. Like ’em. Or hate em. I could wax poetic about any one of them for another four large textblocks, but you’ve been with me this long, so go, run, explore the internet.

*thank you rabbit-hole that is wikipedia
**well, four. Three and a half really as I really just love Miranda July’s brain. And writing. And, okay, her art. So it’s four.
***And the card attached would say?