I am not one for picking fights but this bullshit needs to be called out.
Attended an art event recently. I have been to these events numerous times over the years. Won gallery space, shows and hard cash monies. So I am familiar, The people are familiar. I have made friends. More or less I know what to expect from the people and the Art. What I did not expect was to attend this event and sit through, and participate with a guest speaker that was devoid of all Ethics. Having sat through this speaker for the third time, I reflect on my other experiences with this individual. First engagement I distinctly remember coming away thinking "What an idiot." The Second I tried hard to put forth a fresh perspective prior to the presentation. On the account of all my art aquatints having major hard-ons for said individual. Hoping I might find what I was clearly missing. Once again left unimpressed to say the least. This third and final time it was evidently clear, I was being to generous with my previous assumptions about this Artist. Prick would be a perfect pet name for an individually displaying such an unapealing ego.
I'll be honest I wouldn't call myself invested in these events, at least not the way I once was. Why would I be? My Career is not in the same place it was 4 years ago. However, my sweet Daughter loves these events. The Art, The People, The Vote, The Suspense, The Food. She love it because we can share our love for Art, just her and I. This aspect has kept me, us coming back. I am sure we will go again. After all the event doesn't have me in a tizzy the speaker does.
Last month I won. So it made sense to take her this month. Not only to get my piece that had been hanging in the gallery for the last month but to have some mother daughter time. We shuffled about looking at art as we always do. She gorged herself on cookies and rice-crispy treats with the occasional carrot. We voted. Something she particularly loves. The ability to choose. And yes if I'm showing she votes for me, Not because I ask her too (because i don't) but because she loves me. Obviously. We sat down in front. She loves to be in the action and so do I. I am a participatory kinda person so when asked for participants. Yes, gladly. Our evening had been quite lovely up to this point.
Now lets call the person of interest DB for Douche-bag (call em' like you see em") After a list of announcements DB enters. In his typical, I don't give a fuck about any of you swagger, While a walk can't really be framed unethical it was rather douchey. I won't torture you with DB presentation verbatim. I will give you the juicy highlights. First he asked "Us" (a group of willing volunteer artist) "What is success to you as an Artist". Many gave fluffy feel good answers coated in altruistic fear (I speak from experience, I was one of them once). Like.... for my art to touch people.... To be able to freely do what I love and so on. My answer Money and recognition. Okay I thought I can see where DB is going success is more than feel good feelings and I agree with that.
Then somewhere lost in his ego he went off. Asking people how they price their work. Let it be known pricing artwork is deeply personal and deeply emotional, Criticizing someones price point is to criticize someones worth. I will say I don't agree with emerging artist trying to sell their practice. Doodles, rambling, thoughts and so on. If you are going to criticize an art and money scenario it should be along those lines. As an Artist you run a business. I don't know any successful business trying to make a living off products and services that are not finely tuned. I believe Ethics come into play here. Treat your work with the utmost respect. Show your mistakes, doodles and whatnot, sure, yes. But don't sell them.
Back on point. In front of crowd not only did he say that we needed to price our work to make a living. Yes I agree. But then proceeded to insult my personal pricing. Turning to "Three's Company". Still hanging behind his head and said "I think they printed your pricing wrong. There are 4 digits here, There are supposed to be 3. $500......" All nonchalantly like what he was saying was perfectly acceptable. “What?!” is all that managed to roll through my brain.
I wasn't the only person DB insulted that night. Although I wonder if a collective following kept them from realizing it. He insulted realistic painters, impressionism, someone who hired him and every artist in the room when he said,... Without any knowledge of their portfolios or work practices, that they will never make it because they aren't committed and that none of them work enough. DB is a grade A Prick. He gave nothing of value, and clearly had no real desire to be there. So why was he?
It is Unethical to Insult someone who gave you money for a product or service. Note: You are not exempt from this just because your client lives in another state.
It is Unethical to criticize entire genres of art and preach to emerging artist that pursuing one of those genres means you will never be successful. Note: I can point you in the direction of numerous realistic and impressionistic painters who are quite successful.
It is Unethical and just plain Ass-hatish to criticize someone on their price point. While simultaneously preaching about a living wage. Note: Who the fuck are you? No seriously? You aren't relevant even though your ego is duping you into believing so.
DB you stood up there voicing your distaste for "boring art" The funny thing is is that your art is quite boring. you are the Thomas Kinkade (not in pocketbook I am sure) of the hipster world. The Lisa Frank of Salt Lake (though not as popular). After further thought those comparisons are being too generous with you. What am I trying to say you are predictable. Boring, A few more years and your art will be nothing but kitsch. You possess no growth and clearly after seeing you speak for not one, not two, but three times, you don't have the ability for growth.
All those Artist. The ones you insulted in that room will change, grow and blossom. You DB are done. You hold no more surprises. Yes, you insulted me and Artist who I advocate for. Yet I pity you. Your narrow view on what is and isn't an acceptable life, wage, practice, style and mindset of an artist. These views of yours, keep you in your box. That box is the reason why you will never be anything more than what you are.
Please enjoy "Old Nut" that won the night of your regrettable speech. Feel free to enjoy it for the next month in the gallery where it will be hanging.
What do you think?
May your heart be light, your hands never idle and your mind inspired