Artist Rants

Interviews on Art Marketing (Part II)

(One of Rick Osaka’s recent works)

 

What does it mean to have an artistic reputation? Is there a line between being a sellout and a savvy businessman? To further investigate this issue, I relied on the help of professionals. A survey was sent out with a list of eight questions to experienced art professionals that would bring insight to the modern role of marketing in art. These people have years of real-world experience dealing with the modern art world and all the business aspects of it. The responses I got ranged from successful art dealers, consultants, artists, curators, and more. Of course there was no one definite answer, as the answers where as varied as these people’s backgrounds. However, there was a general consensus on some issues, and all the responses added valuable and smart insight to the subject.

The short happy life of a radio in Elizabeth Taylor’s hands.

About 20 years ago I met Jordan Ramin, who worked inHollywood as a sound engineer for the producer Michael Todd. Mr. Ramin was a close friend of both Michael Todd and his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. He received the Regency radio in the book inscribed with his name as did about 60 members of the cast and crew who worked on “Around the World in Eighty Days”.

 

Getting into an Art Gallery.

As an artist you are also an art salesman. Especially if you are trying to get in a gallery by going to Thursday night openings. If an art opening starts at 7 get there at 7. The owner will be anxiously milling about wondering if anyone will show up and there you are. Dress noticeably well. Look like you walked out of the pages of Vanity Fair magazine. Do not dress in a painter’s uniform of Dr. Marten’s, tee shirt and paint splattered pants. That look is over. Get a nice suit from a thrift store and have it tailored for about $14. If you are female do not show up in clothes you have made yourself. Do not try to look “interesting”. Get a perfume spritz and buy something hot at Bloomingdale’s. Return it the next day.

Compliment the director/owner on their insight and fine choice of art. Even if, and it surely will be, a horrid a pile of dung. Laugh rotundly at any attempt at nervous wit he or she may proffer.

Hello Sailor!

Curator’s Statement

By Pamela Hart

 

In the world of classic tattoo art, before the image was marked on the body, there was the flash. These bold iconic designs were created by tattooists on sheets of paper and displayed in tattoo parlors. They’re part of the landscape of carnivals, Coney Island, and penny arcades. Look closely at a sheet of tattoo flash and you can almost smell the sweat, cotton candy and popcorn intermingling along the carnival’s dusty corridors. You can hear hawkers urging passersby to check out the bearded lady or take a toss and win a prize. Tattoo flash images caught customers’ attention because of what they represent. They include symbols and signs of love and beauty, of travel or time served, of war and military service. They’re amulets, mementos, or status symbols – occasionally religious, often personal. Whether elaborate or plain, the images suggest romance, travel, patriotism, adventure and perhaps a connection to shadowy subcultures.

Interviews on Art Marketing

ltprojecct.jpg

What does it mean to have an artistic reputation? Is there a line between being a sellout and a savy businessman? To further investigate this issue, I relied on the help of professionals. A survey was sent out with a list of eight questions to experienced art professionals that would bring insight to the modern role of marketing in art. These people have years of real-world experience dealing with the modern art world and all the business aspects of it. The responses I got ranged from successful art dealers, consultants, artists, curators, and more. Of course there was no one definite answer, as the answers where as varied as these people’s backgrounds. However, there was a general consensus on some issues, and all the responses added valuable and smart insight to the subject.

Where is the line?

What does it mean to be a sellout in art? As many already know, there is a fine line that must be walked between homelessness and preserving a reputation. Just ask Thomas Kinkade; the evil mastermind who convinced millions of suburbanites that they needed an uninspired picture of a house in their house. Sure, he might be worth millions, but is his work in any respectable gallery (besides the one at the mall)? His “work” is always the same, a house in the middle of the woods with a bunch of trees and random animals that looks good next to your U2 Cd collection. His work is the result of countless minions painting along with machines that press out thousands of prints a day.

UltraViolet

Recently we attended the Molly Barnes Brown Bag Lecture series featuring Ultra-Violet at The Roger Smith Hotel in NYC. Molly was charming as usual, and knows how to lead a crowd (with the exception of introducing someone as the long deceased Charlie Mingus).

For those not “hip” enough to know, UV was a “superstar” and muse for Warhol and Dali back in the day. Beyond her elevated groupy status (Warhol eventually replaced her with a younger girl “Viva”), UV separates herself from the pack with her own recent works. Admittedly, I did not have high hopes for this event. In my mind, it would be like meeting the former Highschool badass, who only has the same old story to tell; “do you remember that one time man? When we had____ and did____?”. Warhol’s famous Factory was a constant party-scene, and one would expect any survivors to be burnt-out and at best confused.

 

New Revelation Eric Fischl=Bob Ross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The smell of arugula, balsamic and Virginia Slims choked the room. Our inside source, a “fly on the wall” was at a clandestine meeting of the infamous Gang of Five New York Times art critics, having yet another emergency session to discuss what to do about the Fischl dilemma. “On one hand, we can’t mess with the system, his galleries are upping the pressure, advertising is screaming at us. But his paintings?  I think we all saw that Steve Martin pic against a Bob Ross landscape.” This was greeted by groans. “We’ll lose even more face if we don’t say something now about his paintings going on that bus tour. What next, a Fishcl store in the damn mall?”" Silence broken only by the muted radio as an endless NPR fundraiser droned on. “God sakes, didn’t they get enough dough from Roy Kroc’s widow?”

Unfortunately at this point our inside man was called for a delivery and had to scat. If he can retrieve the tapes next week he will.

This came in as a comment on the last blog:

 

After watching the video of Eric Fischl talking about his Saint Barts painting of his friends,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7fazNp0e4w

I don’t think Fischl is the new Leroy Neiman.  I think he’s the new Bob Ross — painting “Happy Trees.”  I love the mind-on-idle feeling of a Bob Ross video.  Listening to the lazy carefree anesthetized Fischl discuss painting makes everything so happy and wonderful and beautiful that I’m not sure if I’m going to kill him or myself.

Continued: Fischl vs Neiman

Bull fight pics                  

 Eric Fischl (left)   &   Leroy Nieman (right)

Lift Trucks:  You mentioned earlier about “Had to and Has to” regarding painting. I hear you. But I think a lot of great work comes out of the second category. Somebody or some reason making you produce some art can really shove the process up a notch-stunning example is the Sistine Chapel. Many times being forced can bring out the best. Just always paint as if you are going to be hit by a bus tomorrow, and this, this, is what you are going to leave us with?

Eric Fischl, the New Leroy Neiman

After a longer than expected hiatus which involved some rehab time between the fabulous WigWam Inn and Canyon Ranch in sunny Arizona, we are now back with exciting news! A source will talk about goings on in the heart of the arts!  Covert and fearful of the damage the powers that be can wield upon a career, all will be in secret. We all know that critics really are like the baby with ball peen hammer in a Hong Kong gift shop. Our exclusive source will talk with us under the clever moniker  ”Deep Palette”.

Vote ‘yer Wallet, Matey!

We put Michael Mapes card right up there when the gift kiosk guy wasn’t looking. At the end of the elevators in MoMA. There, but for one brief shining moment with all the greats; De Kooning, Pollock and Picasso. And some lady who was perusing the rack, selected it. Right in front of us. I shit you not. See documentation of this in only slightly enhanced actual photos. She handed it to the cashier and was willing to pay $1.21 but the kiosk dude said ” This is not one of ours. You may have it”. She just beamed and stuffed it and the Warhol card in her purse. That’s got to be a boost!

So attention all artists! Get your exhibition cards and put them on the rack by the elevators at MoMA and see what happens. See if your work holds up. See if it gets selected over the old dead artist guys post cards.

Aye, democracy votes with it’s wallet. No truer said. Send your photos to us and we will post. What’s the worst that could happen? ” What are you in for? Non-sanctioned postcard rack placement.” Please. This would be a very fun Post headline and would get you even more desired publicity.

We like Mr. Mapes work also. Mr. Mapes work is stunning. He makes faces in boxes that seem to shimmer and move as look at them. Made up of tiny circles of color stuck on with insect display type pins in foamcore in a wood box. Some colors and details are inside little empty pill capsules but all this still registers really well as a realistic person in 3d as the deep areas like eye sockets are further back and something like a nose is further out. His postcard is for a show opening Saturday February 5th at the Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park.

Smithson’s Jetty, kind of

RUN MAN RUN storefront installation in Crotons Falls, NY

Storefront installation in Croton Falls, NY

Just pretend the linoleum is sand. And if you stared hard enough it could be sand. The multiples of maybe sixty 8 inch tall running men came into focus and stretched along, little energetic figures running madly but in perfect order in a serpentine form. Smithson had the open desert, we have the vacant building next to the post office in Croton Falls.

FA-Q

The Rivington school, despite it’s expensive sounding name (it reminds me of a boarding school parents spend a fortune on to straighten out their “troubled” child), is not a typical school, in fact it’s not even educational. Granted, most art schools aren’t typical (or educational), but throw out the notions of RISD or Pace and instead think cheap booze and NYC clubs. As the artist FA-Q aptly stated, it was “a bunch of nuckleheads (sic) and wannabees” where “society’s outcasts would show up” (at least this guy is honest). The Rivington school started as an offshoot of the latino social club “No Se No”. It was a bar that had an open performance, everything from visual art, to singing, to hanging up a work on the walls. I know, I know, most open performance things are a complete joke (let me give you a hint not to attend any comedy open-mike nite anywhere). However from this movement stemmed some very famous and talented people, including Kevin Wendell (aka F-AQ), Ray Kelly, Taylor Mead, Phoebe Legere, and countless others.

Gnomes for everybody.

Ever drive by a house with a perfect lawn, no trees, and a nice collection of dwarves and pink flamingos…and want to rip someone’s head off??! Good, so do we at Lift Trucks. One look at Horl’s work and you can see the outrage against tradition and the suburban cookie-cutter lifestyle. One sculpture is a refreshing twist on the garden gnome, featuring the dwarf flipping the middle finger replete with an ugly mustard-yellow coating. This is the same artist that had enough brass to actually place hitler gnomes all around Germany (hint: the government didn’t take the historical reference kindly). Horl simply responded “it’s pretty clear that garden gnomes are silly and that they do silly things”, can’t argue with that logic. His work certainly points out the silliness and ridiculousness  of the everyday; like when he took a household hare sculpture and placed 7,000 of them in a pattern in a public square.

Emperor's Clothes

Yogurt Lid

At the risk of being called a Philistine* or at best an ignorant art buffoon (again) herewith an opinion. The Gabriel Orozco show at MOMA, a glorious institution whose fine reputation has again been recently sullied by the idiotic show of Tim Burton's doodles, has now fallen prey to the Emperor's Clothes syndrome affecting all the contemporary showcases loosely called museums and overstuffed "important" Chelsea galleries. Any art student will roll his eyes and recite the John Cage mantra- 'art is everywhere' all you have to do is look for it.

 

The Machine Age

The idea isn't exactly new to us.In writing about the Machine-Age Exposition at Steinway Hall on 57th street in 1926, the catalog essay states "There is a great new race of men in America: the Engineer. He has created a new mechanical world... It is inevitable and important to the civilization of today that he make a union with the architect and the artist."

Put that piece of crap down

The end table or candlestand you are holding from Ikea or Bed Bath and Beyond (beyond what...  shame?) drop it now, walk out of the store. You don't need this crap in your house. The stuff is made in China or somewhere and will end up in the trash bin in a year. If it lasts a year.

What you really want to do is buy vintage made in USA stuff. Then at home, figure out the surface; if you want to paint it or soften it by rubbing laquer thinner, shellack it or best of all, leave it like it just the way it is. Trust me it will add to your house, your sense of history ,where you belong in the world and will serve to celebrate the last century where Americans manufactured and made some very cool stuff. Point this out to your friends whose homes are full of shoddy Chinese made crumbling already rot. Make friends realize what dolts they are for buying stuff in these stupid big box stores with bogus "heritage" lines of furniture. Bombay store is a good example, From the wrong end of a telescope it looks ok. Then check it out up close and the awful workmanship comes through. We went to a party -big mistake-where the hostess who dramatically appeared coming cdown the stairs 1/2 hour late, walked into her room where a hired decorator put together an English Manor look. all new bogus aged trappings of abolute rubbish. Even fake books which can be cool as they save you the time reading but make you look smart. concept good. But at least get real old books which are sold by the yard sometimes.