Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who Needs Enemies?

Here are some comments I’ve gotten from well-meaning (and successful) artist friends lately:
1. “You’re a better painter than I am,” said one person. Which, while complimentary and possibly true, doesn’t really compute, because painting “skill” is so undervalued as to be practically meaningless. We live in a town where the “cool”/conceptual sits on the Art throne.
2. “Kloe, you’re not a painter. You’re a performer.” Again true, but I’m also a maker of things. Like to use my hands and eyes, love to paint. So this was disheartening, that maybe my better work is the ephemeral (read: non-saleable).
3. “You need to change your paintings to appeal to the more intellectual crowd. You’re drawing the wrong audience…” See comment #1, one horse town.
4. “I wish I’d thought of that,” said while viewing a recent local exhibition. Is that the right reaction to have? Is envy going to kill us artists?


Larry said...

"ephemeral" is a good place to be and you can do your performance within the 09/2009 show if you like.
Love you

Richard said...

Re 1: Agree with your conclusion but perhaps not with your premise, unless by "cool" you mean the junior-high sense rather than the art-formal.

As an explanatory model for so much of what gets called art activity in San Diego, consider the classical Indian caste system:

- Brahmins (scholar, teacher, priest)
- Kshatriyas (warrior, king), [Soldiers])
- Vaishyas (merchant, agriculturist)
- Shudras (worker, artisan, service provider)
- Pariahs, or Untouchables

And then, as a thought experiment, try mapping each of these categories into everything you know about the San Diego art scene(s).

The result might be depressing, but I guess I've always felt relatively better about things in the world I think I can make sense of.

kloeamongtheturks said...

Larry, would be honored...

Interesting concept, maybe you should do a piece and find out where we all place ourselves? I just bought fruit trees, maybe I'm an agriculturist... and a pissy one, at that.


Richard said...

Noted - I've discussed before with M. Authority the idea of mapping the hood(s), though not with caste-colored glasses.

Thanks, and best of luck on the domestic sculpture ... old stone yields surprises.