Monday, December 5, 2016

What’s wrong with the art world?

ArtNews recently presented a series on how to fix the art world. 

My response:
Dear ArtNews,
You asked 50 individuals—artists and curators, critics and historians, art dealers and an art fair director—to gather a range of perspectives. As I read the offerings you shared, I was struck by the limits in what I saw.

It was interesting that you asked only people in the art world but one of the largest contributors to the arts is NOT in the art world.
The consumers, clients, and collectors. Overlooking these "outsiders" points to an art world that behaves with a "diversity" that is most true only to the original meaning of the word. The word "diversity" isn’t a word based solely upon race or origin, though many have forgotten. It comes from the Latin word “divertere” and it means to “turn aside.”

In its positive quest for diversity, however, the art world has managed to simply turn aside. The word we really want  to employ is “inclusion.” Right now, the art world is not an inclusive world. It has no real language outside of itself and it speaks to few people outside of its protective walls. It is careful about what sorts of people it lets in those walls. Some people simply are not welcome. In fact, the art world has waged a cultural war on those “types” of people.

To test if this is true, help me to understand where you support Republican artists. Or the artists that voted for Donald J. Trump. I know some of those artists. They are artists who must maintain their silence lest they be demonized and cast aside by the art world. The art world is harsh with those that do not conform. Think about that.

Klaus Biesenbach, affiliated with MoMA, said in your article, “I am looking to the artists I know and the artists I work with to offer different ways of looking at a very challenging national and international political, economic, ecological, and societal situation.” 

I hope he means with a hearty welcome and an open door policy but I fear this is not the case. As for me, I'm tired of watching people be insulted or revolted by art but I'm not sure the practice will cease anytime soon. 

For another example, we talk about women in the arts, yet the rules by which we assess art are based in the patriarchy’s history. It started in 1568 with Giorgio Vasari. He’s the accepted father of art history who first began making distinctions between artists and their work. In his book, Lives of the Most Eminent Italian Painters, Sculptors, & Architects, he listed 160 artists but he gave a passing nod to only 4 women. It was these 160 artists and their eminence that started the standards that brought us to the present day world of art.

Why haven’t the rules of what defines art been expanded to address the way a woman’s mind works? We’ve learned a lot since 1568 and science proves that a female brain is different than a male’s. Physically, men lead with the left hemisphere of the brain, while, typically, women use both sides with reliance on the right side. The left side controls logic, structure, spatial relationships, and objective thinking while the right side is more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective. Accordingly, a woman’s art is being asked to fit itself into the narrower box influenced by the classic patriarchy that founded the art world. 

The Great East London Art Audit revealed that an analysis of the 100 highest grossing auctions in 2012 contained zero women. We're not inclusive. 

My conclusion is that a woman’s mind and her creativity are bigger than the scope the art world currently offers. What do we offer them? Let’s remember, 53% of Caucasian women voted for Trump. Are we planning on starting a dialogue with them? 

Right, now, the language of the art world mostly includes only those within the art world. People who study and work within its enclave. 

David Levi Strauss recognized the issue when he said, "The art market became increasingly separated from the actual making of art, to the point where artists and consumers of art are now living in two entirely different realms."

 Where is the welcoming invitation for those who don’t speak our language? We ask a veterinarian, a car mechanic, a lawyer, or a doctor to “give us the news in laymen’s terms” but when will the art world offer them the same in return? Professionals that can and would sponsor art, artists, and their work are rarely spoken to in language sets they can easily comprehend. Naima Keith also touches on this idea when she said, “[Museums] need to do the hard work of determining how they might expand their mission to truly benefit new segments of society that might, in turn, also become patrons—constituents that institutions may historically have overlooked.”

Would an invitation and a sincere welcome be a lowering of the art world’s lofty standards or would it be an expansion of those standards? If we refuse to value a differing mind than our own, how will we expect those minds to value our differences?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Love this shot

Great Blue Heron
The way the light falls and the color of the twilight, this bird almost looks purple.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Creative Quarterly Winner

I was pleased to see my work won and will appear in this edition of Creative Quarterly.

Nature's Ballet

Center Botanical

Friday, January 8, 2016

Four Corners Gallery

My original Silver Halide prints are represented by Four Corners Gallery, which is located in Bluffton, South Carolina located near Palmetto Bluff. They will ship world wide.

Palmetto Bluff is a resort and an upscale luxury residential community. In 2014 the Southern Living home was built and featured here. (the home on the right in the below) Most of my Great Egret shots were photographed in the wildlife conservation areas in Palmetto Bluff.

The Conservancy at Palmetto Bluff was founded in 2003 with a mission of protecting the lush maritime forests and winding tidal creeks that defined the spectacular geography of the land that is home to Palmetto Bluff. By maintaining the ecological and environmental integrity of the lands at the confluence of the May, Cooper and New Rivers, they ensure that the natural landscape is almost exactly as it has been for over 400 years.