Friday, April 3, 2009

looking at the same thing

Not long ago someone pitched me a very worthy subject for an interview. To up the ante they revealed who else was covering this artist. It seemed like the whole town. This let out the air in my balloon, though that’s not how most of the art world works.

As Seven Days in the Art World will tell you, the art world has a “culture of support.” Everyone gets in line and behind. The consensus tells you that there's a return for your investment.

But to me it feels sometimes like we’re all looking at the same thing. In the case of Portland, is it that small of a town that every single art writer writes about the same show? Or does that particular artist just have a terribly efficient PR battalion?

So many shows, but very few written about and it can feel like there are only 50 artists here. Of course cream rises to the top, but it gets dull. I am always reading about someone “breaking the boundaries” and “challenging the notions" of some thing or other. Maybe the artists are doing that, but the art writers are often not.

5 comments:

Sheree Rensel said...

You are so right. It feels like we are looking at the same thing because we are! This is human nature. Art writers are the same as anyone else. Everything we do has a relationship to how it will affect our own lives. What will be the pay off for me? It is similar to “guilt by association”. However in this case, it would be hype by association. If an artist is hot and everyone is looking towards them, writers wants to be in that picture frame. We gravitate towards the heat to keep ourselves warm.

-carywd said...

bravo! so right
it is so difficult just to get a listing for a show in this town let alone a write up- someone needs to steal the plans for the monster pr machine that is working so well for a few, at the expense of all the others

Mat said...

I was thinking the same thing but about L.A. ... I think writers should be writing about artists - shows are overrated, reviews of shows reward all the middlepeople - the dealers, the curators, the collectors - before they reward the artist.
mg-coagula

harold hollingsworth said...

poets should write on art, at least my favorite write ups in the past were done by poets, Rene Ricard comes to mind so often...

Eva said...

Yes, Harold, there are many examples. You are right. Baudelaire.