Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record

Sometimes people can move in parallel existences never touching another soul. My life somehow became the opposite. I am unsure if I went looking for the existential link, or if one day I had an awakening. It seems like maybe it all happened at once. I find myself in a place I am painfully aware that my actions do not go unnoticed. This is not some self inflated notion of power. I realize the impact is small in the grand scale of life. However, public nature of my career creates a somewhat unusual situation. The pressure is all around me. It feels like a daily test.

So this is my place to reflect and hopefully gain perspective on it all.

I once read a gallerist in Paris say he was a bridge. He was a bridge between the artist, the collector, and specific movements in art. He was a there to assure artist while moving in a new direction that it would all be great.

I think about those poetic words daily. I wonder, if because of shared experience , am I as well a bridge?

Reality is not poetic. There are a handful of wonderful artist I work with that are fantastically balanced, creative and technically profound. For those individuals I am truly grateful. Eventually, they should be a majority in my life. However, it appears at times it is quite the opposite.

These people are high maintenance, neurotic and at times generally insane. There are some riding one success never to create another masterpiece. The subsequent creations are less than profound. The level of education does not predict quality of work or even a level of professionalism. The over inflated ego will either price work beyond reality, bring sub-par work that looks nothing like the portfolio work, create work last minute that as well is not the promised work and does not meet my standards, or the select few that won't sell work. As if I should be grateful to be merely in the presence of their creations. I am not a gallery that chooses artist or work based solely on saleability. However, I am a business. There must be a balance to continue.

Then today, I read a show proposal and I thought...there is nothing new. These all sound the same...we are reacting to the societal issues of..blah..blah..blah.

Is it true we get so caught up in rhetoric that the work alone looses meaning?

And to touch on the pressures of being a bridge; there are hecklers. I think in these cases it is best to give a frame of reference of what qualifies their opinion and why. It's critiquing the critic.

As well the knock off, there is a phenomenon in my life now to take concepts and try to beat me to the start. For example the sound installation. I put the call to artist out there and within a few weeks another call to artist was posted in the same location using almost the exact same description for the event listed as under a local museum young professional group set to open less than a week before my event listed on that call to artist.

I understand that not all ideas are original, however his was an obvious knock off event. People noticed and I had plenty of feedback it just was wrong on a multitude of levels.

The concept of collaborate , live and let live, or every man for themselves: Is it about security? Is it insecure for those that step on you to make their own in the world, or just bad karma?

And is this what matters most how we treat each other?

Or does great art stand alone no matter what?

What if it's not great but mediocre art and those knock offs are rewarded like the popular kids in high school. It doesn't matter the quality of work if your friends don't tell the truth, or care as long as there's a DJ and drinks.

Does it matter?

What if you keep your eyes on your own page and do you best in life the rest will work itself out eventually right?

Now to continue, I am as well a bridge to an influx of people that come into the space. This becomes a series of people that appreciate art, collectors, artist looking for a show and random people . I like to refer to as those seeking something from me. "Let me entertain you" I repeat in my head as the series of personal questions stream from their minds. They rarely look at the art. They seem more concerned with "other." And generally it's me. When, how, why what is my background, how is the neighborhood? This eventually ends with a personalization or pitch . I do know we are all connected. I do know there is some level of civility and politeness that I should easily exchange in conversation. There are days that I do. There are times when I could just scream.