Citizenship, Research, Sights, Values

Answers: we all need them.

“In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime, an area surrounding a black hole, beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. Light emitted from inside the horizon can never reach the observer, and anything that passes through the horizon from the observer’s side is never seen again.”

The phrase “the art world” suggests that art is like a foreign entity with rules of its own making.

I blog to increase transparency about art and artists and bust the myths about artists and art making that are so pervasive and persistent: That a person “can” or “can’t draw.” That you don’t get famous until you’re dead. That modern art is a sham. That meaningless rhetoric turns a tampon in a teacup into art. That artists are stereotypes: the starving artist, the egocentric artist, the flamboyant, condescending artist. The anti-social artist. They’re like a list of Smurfs, where everyone’s boiled down to one outstanding characteristic designed for easy, non-threatening identification.

When you’re in a community of artists, it’s easy to feel human — whole, sane, remarkable for the breadth of our modest experiences. But it’s different in the World at Large, where one is reminded that the general public thinks of art as synonymous with paintings, that the point of art is beauty or expression (but the point of being an artist is to be famous), and that hostility towards contemporary art is a completely acceptable means of anti-elitist individuation.

Brushing up against that world can leave me feeling like my work is both less productive or valuable to society, and paradoxically, my work makes me special: I’m more tireless, more gifted (rather than skilled or disciplined), more remarkable for my Other-ness for having a creative pursuit at the center of my life.

So can you blame an artist for feeling like she navigates two worlds? For wishing to see more observers outside of the event horizon to get sucked into the World of Art?

I mean, people participate in multiple worlds all the time. For example, I skirt the edges of the macho World of fight sports. Going to a boxing match for the first time was new and scary, but I got over it. On the other hand, some people find the prospect of attending a gallery opening too intimidating or too unrewarding to try.

Fundamentally, if people think they either “can” or “can’t” draw as children, as adults they might think that they either “get” modern or contemporary art, or they don’t. That if a Matisse portrait with a green nose doesn’t stir something in you, that you’re somehow not smart enough to intuit the significance, so you shouldn’t even bother figuring out why the Donald Judd shelves are art. But how to look at a Judd, or understand the historical conditions that led to Modernism, is something that can be learned, very easily (An art history class: You sit in a dark room and keep your eyes open while someone talks and shows slides).

As an artist, it’s in my best interests for more people to engage with art, to take art history classes, to feel like art is a desirable, rewarding part of one’s life. In other words, it’s not in my best interest to be egocentric or condescending, or to be secretive about art and art making. I believe most secure artists like to encourage other artists and help the public engage art.

Earlier, I visited Yahoo Answer‘s Visual Arts forum. Most questions were about appraising antiques, materials recommendations, or requests for critiques by amateur manga artists, nature photographers and still-life painters, with a few how-to questions. I posted a few answers about techniques and materials, and more urgently, safety suggestions (melting plastic in one’s oven = not a good idea). I also responded to the heartbreaking post from a 14-year-old girl whose dad said her drawings wouldn’t be good enough for her to study art in college.

At the risk of sound like an intellectual snob, or maybe someone just someone with a sense of cynical irony, here’s a list of questions that made me want to laugh, cry, or both:

What is the significance of clowns in Chicano Art? What do they mean? Can anyone tell me?

If you sick a metal rod, (lightning rod) in sand and its struck in a storm will this make glass figures?

I want to forge my own sword. I’m in chicago, does anybody knows where do I go?

Can someone give me a list of COOL graffiti names?

Where can I register as an Artist (Oil Painter)?

What do you think of the name federico?

I need a pict of a toryilla chip next to apair of red headphones on the shoulder of a man in a bannana suit?

I have over the past few years started painting abstracts. How do I get my work into gallerys?

Is blue a real color?

How do I find an artist willing to submit to my every whim?

Can anyone tell me of a symbol that represents “being true to yourself”?

A good Logo design idea for a design and Print broker?

Why do my photos from my Sears Portrait CD come out all odd?

What kind of pictures would be funny/interesting if they were unfinished or half-drawn?

How much does it cost to order/purchase a bronze statue of a man, actual size?

IS there such website?
That allows you to see what you will look like at a certian age such at if you are 16 and you want to see what you might look like at 32 or something like that

I cant think of anything to shoot!!!

To any graffiti lovers in the ny/nj area?

If the world discovered a new color, what would it look like and what would it look like?

Im not creative do you have any ideas?


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