545. July 7… “Art”…How much do you really like all that stuff hanging on your walls…anyway??.

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“It all floats” ©2011, Robert Redus

“Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.”  Gustave Flaubert

“always one step closer…and how’d that work…knowing tomorrow was maybe there…and maybe not…it was like being on the Pinta…and wanting feet on the Santa Maria…what did one matter more than the other…dog bites…were his greatest fear…kept him awake on those fall afternoon naps…not really awake…just an eye part open…scanning for the unfamiliar sounds….the dragging noises…or something buzzing…behind a piece of furniture…clickity click…clickity click….those amusement park sounds…that made night to day and day to another place…there by the corners where all the whores stood on the Friday pay days…wanting some of something…and that was enough to make sense…so it worked and it worked all around…all the time… ‘so stop asking the questions like that’… she snapped…. ‘momma’s little helper’ came a lot more ways than the little pills that kept the string tight…or the moaning noises from the room next to mine ….and whoever he was…and the water  dripped…everyday…filled the old metal bucket….clear all the way to the bottom…and that’s where my dream went…there at the bottom…still I could see it…but you’d have to know where to look…the prints were in the mud…the scratch marks on the door…Ellen Magellen…tried to whistled every morning in the backyard…she wasn’t scared…she wore Mary Jane shoes…dreamed of being a stewardess…traced  her finger on every crack of…the sidewalk”…from The Black Eye Project

the first thing I do every morning after brewing French pressed coffee is sit down and read the 5-7 art newsletters  I receive  via email…as I’m reading each…the first question that always surfaces is… “Are these people artists?”….question number two…If they are not artists… “How pertinent is this information they are offering?” and if they are artists, “Why are they not in the studio but rather making a career out of giving people advice about promoting art that they themselves are not doing or at least I think they are not doing (my stuff)?”…and it makes me wonder if you’re helping me with my art career for a mere $20.00 per month…who helps you …or are you just that good…

seems sometimes…people have great ideas…even greater ideas about what “You” could do with “Your” stuff”…than they have for their own stuff…and by occupying their plate with your delectables…the focus and attention on them and their particular journey is less important…I know I’ve been guilty of that…and when I’ve found myself designing another person’s plan or strategy…I have to stop…ask myself what is it I’m doing…why I’m doing this and step back…usually respond…with …”Good Idea”…(that’s when I know I’ve recognized my intrusion)…take myself home address all of the stuff on the calendar…have  lunch regardless of the time of day and a quick “Come to Jesus” meeting…look at my list of things that need to be accomplished and realize I have overwhelmed  myself with my stuff…therefore somebody else’s stuff…becomes like the garnish on the plate of enchiladas….do you really eat it or is it for decoration…

Marketing is difficult enough…let alone marketing art…as art is often seen as a “Luxury”…and in economies such as these…luxury is usually out of the loop…many artists think that just getting exposure is the be all end all…but showing your work to people who don’t buy it is pretty pointless or worse…sitting all day long at an art venue and making $58.00 for the day is not only deflating but humiliating…not to mention you probably said something like this… “I make everything by hand…made from recycled materials,…all acrylic paint on canvas, water based oils…it’s about my dreams…places I’ve traveled…my thoughts on the injustices of humankind…the duality of mankind…sure it’s easy you just”…a few thousand times…that in itself has to be worth more than $58.00…

I don’t know the secrets to marketing…but there are common denominators that success in the art world is built on…they seem to be…mailing lists…repeating the processes that have worked….networking  (make it the right people though…the ones that you can benefit and can benefit you)… Constantly being visible…and visible to the right people…devising a business plan for you art work…and keep doing what you do…all of the time…a good friend of mine who has been painting well over 50 years and has had some wonderful success selling art says …”If you’re not doing it everyday…you’re not really doing it”…I believe him because it has worked…and I realize that re-inventing the wheel rather than emulating the successes of those who are already successful in art makes no sense…

sure…the previous step was defining “WHAT IS SUCCESS IN ART”…and that is as individualized as what is love…we all have to qualify and visualize what success looks like in our individual art world…once there…and all of the magic…karma…excuses… reasons …becauses…I wishes…not fairs…and all of the other things that cloud the vision and make it unreal…have been removed from the equation…there just might be the naked part of the idea… the “art world blueprint”…just sitting there waiting for…”What’s next”….

I’m finding in my “art world  blueprint”…the most important part of all of this is “Truth”…and telling myself the truth about….what it is I’m doing…why I’m doing it…are things realistic…what  must be done to get to _______….how much of that doing am I really doing or wanting to be doing…what must be changed…reviewed…redefined… remade…and is working smart outweighing …working hard…

The giant myth to art is…just produce the art the rest will take care of itself…what I’ve been reading is…40% of your time is producing the work….60% is getting it seen and marketing…those numbers change as visibility increases…develop a good mailing list…find any way to be prolific…as my mentor says… become an…“Athletic painter”…and just keep doing it…

While I was in art school…one instructor came in with statistics…as we all know is there any truth in statistics…yes…there is…if you want there to be…and no there is not…if you don’t want there to be…his statistics said… (in a really nice French accent) …5 out of 100 people who pursue professional careers will  succeed…and of those 5…1 will be a successful artists…the remaining 4 will be in the support fields of art…whether it’s true or not…who knows…

so my solution…I get 100 people together every couple of months….95 people get T-shirts that read… “I am not the artist”….4 people get T-Shirts that read… “I am not the artist either but I Support the Artist”…and you guessed it…I wear the T-shirt that reads… “I am the artist”…it’s the visualization that helps….you know….the repetition as well…. “I am the Artist”… “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”….. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”….

 “What I’d really like to do is something extraordinary. Something big. Something mega. Something copious. Something capacious. Something cajunga!” Wayne


508. March 26th…Raise your hand if the first letter in Ertist is… “A”

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“It’s Only Half over” 2011

“People who have given us their complete confidence believe that they have a right to ours. The inference is false, a gift confers no rights.” Friedrich Nietzsche

whether you believe in evolution or not…is unimportant…as evolution means any process of formation or growth…not necessarily gills to lungs…wings to arms and the dreaded…monkeys to man….conversation…and I know there are those who just hear the word evolution and the pulpit crowds with conversation…and what is the antichrist of the evolutionary followers emerges…but to try and use the only other accepted possibility …”Creationism”…in my blog this morning seemed as unlikely a possibility as those who think we came from chimpanzees… and I agree… (truly it was Proconsul africanus)…but nevertheless…applying evolution to the art world verses applying creationism to the art world…is a pants or no pants argument….

the face of the art world has changed dramatically…most likely a change that will never revisit return as historically art always seems to do…and a change that not only effects art…but everyone within the blast zone…galleries…collectors…and most importantly artists themselves…

can you name the last couple of art movements…Minimalism…Pop Art…..what’s happened since then…a host of attempts that have barely left visible scratches on the inside of the coffin lid…

art movements were at one time like waves on the ocean…another following another one which in turn followed another one…often these movements were in contrast to the previous movement…finding that by disavowing the previous movement the current new movement was more of what was happening…exactly where the pulse was….

so why is it there is no art movement…these days…no pulse…no collective that is driving the art world…the reason…in my opinion is very much just like poor breeding…lack of skill…a fantastic sense of self…saturated with kalopsia…a fundamental belief that mediocrity is excellence…oh and of course many like minded “artists” that perpetuate the cardboard conversation ….and finally art has been dumbed down to a point that habitus is veil thin and seems the outcome is  irreversible…art pursuits no longer require expertise…longevity… experience…study…or really anything that other traditional pursuits do….what matters most is desire…and the ability to claim title….nothing more…

all of these elements are the result of what it once was…altered by a process of formation and growth..(evolution)…realize…formation/growth can also define a cancer….tumor…disease…etc…the art world…much as we’d all like to see it void of disease…is not….

galleries are dying on the vine these days…call it revolt in a silent sense…blame the economy…but the why is unimportant…it is the what can be done that matters…and so a few galleries close their doors….that’s part of the evolutionary process…what to do next….many gallery owners are changing their mode of operation…altering what they do and how they do it…adapting to the current conditions…in hopes better will return…just with a different face…

artists…have a greater ability now than any other time in history…sure…first it was explaining the ether on cave walls….then painting for the church….finally secular art took hold…and from that moment forward the pattern has been the same….not anymore….artists now have more possibilities…greater ability to show their work…and take charge of where it goes and what it does…who sees it…who doesn’t….etc…more artists are working in small collectives…have galleries within their studios that represent just their work…show their work in spaces that are transitory…and mobile….work with other artists who have the same ideas….not the traditional ideas….

maybe the new art movement might never take place….and was never designed to…and just maybe we’re past all of that….

“It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” – Winston Churchill

494. February 18th…“What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself.”…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Utsukushiki ayamchi” 2011

“What we call reality is an agreement that people have arrived at to make life more livable.” – Louise Nevelson

I recall he went through the windshield at around 40mph…cut his throat from ear to ear…he survived…and returned to school that year….although his head hung down a bit…his chin was stitched to his upper chest…when he played ball with us…we all had to put our chins on our chests….to play…I remember I thought…he wasn’t much of a bully….anymore…

an art gallery is an incredible entity…in theory…we have the opportunity to see some great examples of the art world…neatly meeting those with the money to perpetuate the art world…a sort of bird in the hippo’s mouth or the hippo type symbiosis…we as artists need them as buyers to continue the process…so we as artists can continually create art….and that’s about where the relationship should end…with the exception of art and money exchanging hands…and a common place to do it in…if art and money exchanging hands is part of your deal….

galleries were once nothing more than a consulting firm  for rich people to help spread their money out and collect art…and the up and coming artists…of course based on the hype created about those who were hyping the up and coming artists…and making them collectible…

there are a myriad of “Galleries”…as well as a myriad of reasons to open a gallery…individualized as those who take on the endeavor each gallery has its “Golden Brick”….when I say gallery in this sense…I mean those who have been trained in curatorial arts/museum studies/art history…legitametly know that everything that is not landscape or figurative is….not called…”Abstract”…galleries are like psychiatrists or lawyers…there are a million choices…but if you want the best service…well…you go to the best guy doing the work….I mean we all want the person who graduated #1 in their class cutting our head open and doing the exploratory surgery….right????…..I know I do….and I also want to work with a gallery that sells fine art…and doesn’t having drawing classes on Saturday for the owners son’s soccer team….or doesn’t sell ear wax candles from a couple living off of the grid..(but they’re helping them out is all)…or buy at “gift shows”….or sell postcards or clothes…or hats…or coffee some rodent in Indonesia…passed through his digestive system….just art…art and art…and art

Galleries and artists are unique in that these 2 professions are the only self-proclaimed professions on the planet…anyone can rent a building…pay for a sign…hang some art work…have a few bottles of wine and 3 varieties of cheese…some fruit…wear mostly black…and open on the first Friday of every month…from 6-8…and show what they consider to be art….based on their ability to discern art from…non-art….whatever that might mean…

I was recently invited to a seminar from a “prominent” gallery owner on how to be successful as an artist…he had been a “Gallerist”…(that is what he called himself)…for a few decades and felt he needed to share his knowledge to the art world…I opted against attending…as I quickly saw for as fickle and uncertain as artists… and hairdressers are….many “Gallerists” have the fickle gene as well…for a mere $150.00….I could learn how to get into his gallery…and what HE was looking for in artists…the candle quickly burned right out….

the face of galleries in this economy has changed…now artists must rely on themselves more and less on those who are going to “Help” them get where they want to be…traditional galleries are closing faster than paint can dry….and that should certainly be an indication of what the provincial mentality has done not only to the art world but to the artists as well…there is no denying art has been dumbed down to a point…that….spit…on canvas….is called art…too bad…

I met Elaine Horwitz…in the mid 1970’s she was doing well …representing Fritz Scholder…among others in her gallery in Santa Fe…she said something about galleries and their intention that I always remembered…a gallery will do one of two things sell your work or sell you and your career….

I am reluctant to show in galleries right now….and when I am ready to approach them again…I have developed criteria they must meet…after all…we are kind of getting married….at least for a while….

“I never can pass by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York without thinking of it not as a gallery of living portraits but as a cemetery of tax-deductible wealth.” – Lewis H. Lapham