Monday, February 16, 2009

I'll buy that

So if you scroll down, you'll find that I'm often a well intentioned idiot. You'll see that the last update was well over a year ago and that nothing has been done since (despite the promise in the first entry.)

But, well, darn it if Facebook hasn't got me excited about talking to people who might actually care about art. This blog, of course, by no means, will do anything like what Bad at Sports is doing or even the newly expanded and eminently readable Newcity blog. I'm just gonna talk to you kids openly and honestly about artwork.

And darn it all, if what I was going to write about was essentially preempted by the Times over the weekend. Funny though, as I agree with some of this article and sharply disagree with other parts of it. My whole contention was that we do need voices out there, of critical means, that urge buyers on. Many critics I have spoken with over the years seem to wish to distance themselves from sales with the argument that it ensures ethical independence. The Times suggests (not positively) that the archetype of the critic who influences (or creates) sales would be someone like Greenberg. And that reflection may be arguably accurate, but Greenberg meant it that way. Ethics aside, he actively manipulated careers as he saw fit. It wasn't always insight, but sometimes just influence.

I'd argue we need more like critics like Lippard. Champions of the art they like, but essentially letting galleries and artists do what they do. Infusing aesthetic arguments in ways that suggest personal views of interpretation, not some didactic statement of presumed higher truth (or self aggrandizement.) We need critics with the intelligence to honor the fact that the economics of art are real. More real than they many wish to acknowledge. The parable of the starving artist is one we learn early, but scoff off as not part of our personal narrative as we grow older.

Well I'm here to tell you that you need to buy art. How about this; buy art if you have the means. I'll allow for that distinction, as I know first hand about not having enough to buy the pieces I'd love to buy. No less an important thing than our culture relies on the production of fine art. It's not like I fool myself into an argument that all good things come from art, but I do know that all good things are connected to art. The success of our scientific endeavors, the relevance of our politics, our understanding of spirituality, love and humanity are all expanded buy the presence of and support of creative art.

I know people. Times are rough. I know. I've lost money this year too. I know. We need to find a way to help our homeless and our hungry. I know. We need to better understand mental illness and our jail system. I know. We need to fix our economy and become more responsible individuals and members of society. I know. The list goes on. I also know that our american artists need us. They need us to buy their art. They need our support.

Here's what would happen if I walked out of our gallery with a wad of cash and didn't go more than a couple of blocks.

Kelli Connell, The Valley, 2006 at Edelman

Ben Butler, Furrow, red and yellow cedar, 44x74x7 at Zg

Barbara Cooper, Peel, wood veneer, glue, 44 x 56 x 12 2008 the now defunct Alfedena

Paul D'Amato, Girl In Rain 1991, Archival inkjet print, 38x46 at Daiter

Tony Fitzpatrick, K, 2000. Color etching. Edition of 50, Plate: 8" x 6". Sheet: 13" x 11" at Printworks

Caleb O'Connor, Focus, oil on linen, 84 x 68 at Ann Nathan

Dan Devening, Baggy Luxe, Oil on Canvas, 68x 48, 2001 at Roy Boyd

Anthony Sorce, The Sirens, Acrylic/Dry Pigment/Gel on Board
20.75 x 16.75 framed, 2005 at Roy Boyd

David Lozano, Interior #6, 2006,Acrylic, resin, sequins, and glue on canvas
47 x 47 at Zolla Lieberman

Constanza Piaggio, Suicide, 2006, Lambda Print
73 x 48 at Scheider

Candida Hoffer, Théâtre royal de la Monnaie at Bowman

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