well...this is my first blog. Actually my second. I lost the first!
My first question is: Why am I assuming another responsibility when I am already loaded with work?
Because there is more to do.
Race is a big topic these days because of the presidential election in the USA. For black people in general and black artists, in particular, race is always a major topic. Why? Because black artists believe they are rarely thought of until someone does a show in February. We even joke about it. If you can't get a show in Jan-Feb during Black History Month you are really lame.
But really. Unless black artists are angry drug addicts who die young or homeless outsider artists who make art from garbage (I love making art from trash) we are rarely taken seriously.
There are some major artists who have broken through.
Martin Puryear, Kara Walker , Kerry James Marshall, Fred Wilson, to name a few. But we go to the international art fairs and museums and we see the work by the "masters" and we wonder, what about us who are alive and hard working and exhibit talent?
Nowadays women are better represented, but still not as well as the men. African Americans and Latinos are in the mix, but not like the European artists. But my concern is that African American artists seem to remain in a specialty niche at galleries who concentrate on African American art. And too many of those artists, who struggled during their lifetimes, are already dead and not reaping the benefits of that representation.
I will ask lots of questions. I will try to get answers about what artists need to do to make a living. I will question artists who will do anything to get seen. How far is too far to go for one's art? I will emphasize that art is a business for the artists.
I will see if we can get some ideas and answers about quality as it applies to art making. I am not sure that there is really any such thing as art criticism any more.
I want to reveal who the deciders are when it comes to who goes to the Venice Bienale or the Whitney, and who gets a MacArthur Genius Award and who gets a museum show versus who does art fairs and studio sales.
Is there honor in exhibiting in a boutique or beauty shop?
I have lots of questions and lots of theories. Please indulge me as I try to help you and myself understand the mysteries of being an artist in the 21st Century, and especially a minority artist, black, Latino, female, and so on...if you feel left out, share your pain. If you have some answers, I beg you, please share!
Are the questions infinite when it comes to art?
You tell me.
*painting above,"Eve's Power Trip"
acrylic and collage on canvas
By Joyce Owens (click to go to my website)