What does your art mean? And the douche bag of the day.

I do not care much for artist “statements” – and certainly I do not like writing them. They always tend to sound so pretentious, egocentric, and/or predictable (including my own.)

But what does your art mean? Inquiring minds would like to know! You have to give people something…

I recently heard “For those who have difficulty with non-representational work: When you look at a piece of “abstract” work, try using your eyes the same way you use your ears when you listen to music without lyrics or texts.” Loved that!
It is my personal preference to enjoy a piece of abstract art (non-objective) and wonder about the meaning/process; to stretch my mind – discovering new things each time you look at it rather than look at a realistic painting and instantly “get it” – never needing to ever look at it again.
Just my opinion.

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This is one of my favorite paintings right now. It use to hang in my apartment in NYC, then I brought it home, tweaked it, and voilà! A new friend!

Image

Casey Matthews “In the Shadow of Vesuvius” (20×24)

Someone asked me today what motivated me; what inspires me… and without hesitation, I responded “Money……. (then I thought about it) Fame and Money……Respect, Fame, and Money.” I was trying to be funny, but really, I was only half joking. I had never really thought about it like that before. Usually I respond with something trite like “color, mood, energy….” I wish it did not boil down to that ($$) – but really it does. I wish I could tell you that I suffered for my art and sat around with my peers and talked in-depth about the meaning of life, art, and politics. But I don’t. I wish I could tell you that I did not watch reality TV or concern myself with material things. But that is not the case either. Money makes the world go around, and I just love the fact that I can create art in order to claim my rightful spot on the food chain. I would like to travel more, get a personal trainer, and I enjoy eating fresh organic food. I would like to own few pair of Christian Louboutin’s one day. I believe in Botox. I like pretty, sparkly things. That shit costs $$$ my friend.
Judge me if you wish.

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For those of you that don’t know, I have a studio among other artists, called the Blue Door Artists. We are not exactly a co-op, but more of a collective of artists. We each have our own individual art business in our own studios, but come together for group marketing; keep a calendar, and each take shifts in order the keep the studios open to the public 6 days a week. Today was my day to be the artist on duty and assist customers with other artists sales if they are not working. There was an older gentleman who came in my studio today and wanted to purchase a hand turned wooden bowl. He was asking me all sorts of questions about the artist and seemed pleasant enough. I asked him how he intended to pay. He said “cash”, then he noticed that I was going to charge him tax as I was writing out the receipt, and then changed his mind and stated that he decided to pay with a credit card. That is fine too. Then he proceeded to speak to his wife as if I was not in the room, “You see Mildred, when these sort of people decide to charge me tax, then I decide to pull out my credit card and “stick it” to them. Because you see, they get charged all these extra credit card fees.” (I should have mentioned before hand, I HATE working Saturdays, that I started my work day by getting there 15 minutes late, and another artist was not too happy with me because of it. I woke up with a migraine, and I had also started my period. So to say that I had my “Don’t even try to fuck with me with your passive aggressive bull shit” hat on, today would have been an understatement – but even all that bing said, I was not exactly in a bad mood until this guy came along). I asked him, “when you say, “people like me” are you referring to most artists that are college educated, yet make below poverty level, can’t afford health insurance, and get treated as if they are working a garage sale with their hand-made wares? or did you mean something else exactly? (I was speaking for most artists out there) Because you are not really sticking it to the artist that made that bowl, you are attempting to “stick it” to me, who out of the kindness of my heart, lets him sell his bowls in my studio so he won’t lose the roof over his head. I take the credit cards for him and pay taxes on his tiny sales (and he does not know that,) so he can continue to live off the grid. And I don’t even take a commission. If you wanted to buy that very same bowl at another gallery down the street you would pay twice as much…. (I did not give him a chance to talk) Did you ask for tax-free purchase at Walmart when you bought that shirt? Did you haggle with the gas attendant when you bought fuel for your car today, or did you try to get a bargain when you paid for your lunch? Did you “stick it” to the cashier at the grocery store, when you paid for your groceries earlier this week? I highly doubt it! (keep in mind this whole conversation was over a measly $4-$6 – but I did not care at this point) His wife was horrified (at both him, my interrogation, and the whole situation), and she offered to pay with a check for her purchase of a small painting that she wanted.

I later wished that I snatched that bowl out of his hand and told him it was no longer for sale, but (A) did not think of it in time, and (B) would never really want to take away a sale for another artist just on principle. And as much as I love the Bowl Turner – I did not want to fish $60 out of my own pocket to pay for the sale I lost. The mischievous middle-schooler in me wanted to track him down at his home (out-of-state, mind you) and egg his house, and write “Cheap bastard” in his driveway using bleach. Because as I mentioned before, his wife paid by check and I knew his address now. But (C) that is not exactly moral, mature, or professional -is it. Forget I mentioned it.

Could he just not have asked for a discount for paying cash? Why did he have to be so douch-y? It is all about delivery, folks. (A) I hate when people attempt to make me feel bad about myself (and man, I hold grudges). Most of the time I walk around thinking I’m hot shit, but then manage to let some cheap-ass, retired, old redneck, philistine steal my wa. And (B) I hate that I can lose my temper so easily with such small-minded people. It is almost like arguing with a 6-year-old. I was angry with myself as well. I realize that I chose a career that most people deem narcissistic, and frivolous. But I do pay for my own health insurance (most artists can’t), I pay taxes, and don’t ask for handouts from the government. I do t think I’m owed anything, and I’m not a burden to society. There were a few years where I barely broke even, and honestly, I could have probably applied for food stamps. There are some days when I start my painting work day at 5AM, and some days when the painting work day ends at 3AM – just to meet my deadlines. I work my ass off, my back hurts all the time, and i have bags under my eyes all the time….people have no idea. I don’t want sympathy, I just want to be treated with a little respect. I realize I’m not saving lives or anything, but all work is honorable.

(end of rant)

Someone sent me this cartoon last week which pretty much sums it up:

Image

it is sad, true, but funny.

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1 Comment

Filed under Artist Ramblings

One response to “What does your art mean? And the douche bag of the day.

  1. Melody Blore

    I just found you (via Pinterest!) and i f’g LOVE you already!!!!! You are so spot on!!!! Loved the ‘rant’…so very, very true unfortunately! You spoke so raw and words that most are too afraid to say. Love you!!!!

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