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Archive for the ‘Being an Artist’ Category

I have a framed piece due for the MOCA benefit on Friday and Words With Friends is ruining my life. I  won the last 10 games I’ve played and I am desperately losing the ones I have going right now. Dan P….you’re going down, just as soon as I can slap that Q on a TL it’s game over. I have legacy to uphold.

I’m excited for the benefit which is next weekend. The list of participants is storied and I’m humbled to be included.

On another note:

big ups much love to Michelle Muldrow who kicked off her second edition at 20×200 that piggy-backs her solo show at the Jen Bekman gallery. Serious accomplishments. The new print is stunning with the painting energy of Cecily Brown and the subject matter of Brian Ulrich.  It is unsettling in the weird space it occupied between lush by-hand painting and sterile mass consumption. Does Gamblin make a Home Depot orange?

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Dear Diary, I can’t believe I found you! Last I remember us together we were waiting at the northbound platform of the 150th Rapid Station. I thought I lost you there. Gone forever. Worst of all, all my thoughts read by hundreds of Strongsville families waiting to go see the Tribe. Yikes! But who knew for months you were only a dropped quarter away from being found under my car seat. I promise those salt stains and sticky marks from that half eaten blow pop will come off your cover. Reunited and it feels so good.

Honestly though every artist has their starts and stops. I was on sabbatical. Refueling and refreshing for things to come. Plotting my next move. Questioning the universe. Questions only seem to beget questions and a shame spiral of inaction ensued. And then I found this guiding light.

My wallet suddenly filled with money, my gas tank was full and that wart on my toe finally fell off.

So now I’m here for another season of whatever comes my way. What’s been up in Cleveland? Lot’s I’m sure. What’s been up with me? Even more.

But you know what Diary, I have to go because that castor oil that was supposed to kick in in 6-8 hours seems to want to get the party started a little early.

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I’m such a cliché

I know, I know, I’m a cliché but still William Burroughs is awesome and this quote is great too because for me I can apply his standards to my art making too, because ultimately we have to be self critic’s…and I think art needs more “high seriousness”.

Critics constantly complain that writers are lacking in standards, yet they themselves seem to have no standards other than personal prejudice for literary criticism. (…) such standards do exist. Matthew Arnold set up three criteria for criticism: 1. What is the writer trying to do? 2. How well does he succeed in doing it? (…) 3. Does the work exhibit “high seriousness”? That is, does it touch on basic issues of good and evil, life and death and the human condition. I would also apply a fourth criterion (…) Write about what you know. More writers fail because they try to write about things they don’t know than for any other reason.

William S. Burroughs, ‘A Review of the Reviewers

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Living in New York?

There is some interesting talk going on over at Ed Winklemans blog. In essence, to me, it defines New York ( and maybe LA ) as the major league. Everything else can range from after work softball to AA farm. All acceptable achievements and levels of participation but still not the big show, the big money, the golden goose.  It makes me a little depressed because deep down, it’s true. I regret not moving there out of school and I am afraid it is going to haunt me. So does that mean as one forthright commenter mentions I need to rethink my “career aspirations”? Do I have to resign to mere regionalism and except the fact as mentioned I will never be part of the international dialogue.  And is that a bad thing? Do I accept my chosen home as my achievement glass ceiling. If it is not New York is all just bush league and irrelevant?

How does the rest of the NEO artist community feel about that. Or are we happy with what we have? Any regrets? Anybody feel like they are selling themselves short by not living in a “capital”. What makes me mad is that by choosing here, are we viewed as a lesser talent? I’d love to hear some thoughts on “career aspirations” and living where you live.

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Instead of just posting a blank page,  here is a little Agnes Martin. And as the Mrs. is off for a snow day  no doubt Peg Bundy-ing it up on the couch with some bon-bons, I, at the day job,  caught made a paper fish for a new photo I am working on. I thought it turned out pretty nice. It’s a trout about a 4 pounder.

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In winter I always find myself in hibernation mode. There are bunch of good shows going on that I really want to see but the reality is, it’s cold. So in honor of bear like long-term sleep tendency and winter behavior here is my little buddy channeling his inner Marcel Dzama. Cleveland looks like Winnipeg this morning so let us all climb into our warm thermal fleece lined  bear suits and ride out the impending deep freeze snuggled up with 3 back to back seasons of True Blood and countless other documentaries I have been neglecting for the outdoors, art galleries and studio time. Yawn, my afghan awaits. Winter is here.

Dzama Bear Suit

Winter lullaby

 

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I have been thinking about a lot of my friends whom  have suffered through art school, spent hours making, thinking, sweating and spending over that which we have chosen to pursue.  Now 10 years later, from undergrad many have gone on to prestigious grad programs, Yale and Mass Art to name just a few, some  just jumped right into the madness of “being” an artist, but either way, more than I’d say 60% don’t really make art any more. A few in particular out right despise it. I know there have been a few times, every week, that I am about to shit can the whole thing, but it’s only a figure of speech. If I really sit back and think about it, I could never quit. If I did, I would be back at it in a month, maybe less. It’s totally weird, I know. I’m the weird guy who makes weird stuff in a room with very little heat. But since the dawn of Brand-kind whether it was finger knitting (ha!), sanding and giving custom paint jobs to my Matchbox cars, unscrewing my GI Joes to rebuild them my own way or drawing wicked tank battle scenes in the margins of my tests I’ve just got to do it. What’s up with that?

Any thoughts on artists who let it all go? No judgement of course. I often find it insane that I do what I do. Has anyone quit, regretted it. Anybody thinking about telling Lumberg to just go ahead and get on out of here cause your too busy playing tetris and waiting for meeting with the Bobs? Is an artist born and not made, or is it a combination?

 

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