"De Botton’s approach to art may not be to everyone’s taste. So be it.
Fortunately, in this day and age it becomes increasingly easy for
museums to offer alternative ways of looking at their collections. It
is simply a matter of providing an app and letting visitors choose
their own perspective. Visitors can focus on the historical facts when
looking at The Battle of Gibraltar – ‘this is how they took a crap’ –
or on the technical details – ‘note how the idea of triumph is
rendered’ – or on the aspect of self-help: ‘stop avoiding conflicts’.
Or they can make their own mix (personally, I wouldn’t want to miss
the official texts provided by the Rijksmuseum): new technology makes
it all possible.”
New images from my installation at North Bank Artists Gallery in Vancouver, Washington. The show is up until June 28, 2014. Go check it out!
Topolier. 2014. 8x14x8 feet. Glass, twine, steel, dye, cheesecloth, burlap, paper, cardboard, and wood.
Artwork and photography ©2014. Danielle Foushée
"But the elevation of the amateur over the professional trivializes artistic accomplishment and helps to undermine the already precarious living standards that artists have been able to enjoy."
The economic bifurcation which is currently eviscerating the middle class is also chewing through the art world:
"The middle — that place where professionals do their work in conditions that are neither lavish nor improvised, for a reasonable living wage — is especially vulnerable to collapse because its existence has rarely been recognized in the first place. Nobody would argue against the idea that art has a social value, and yet almost nobody will assert that society therefore has an obligation to protect that value by acknowledging, and compensating, the labor of the people who produce it."
Could artists figuring out how to preserve this professional middle become an example for the rest of the economy?
"If the supposedly self-involved members of the creative class can organize to assert some control over what they make — the magical stuff now routinely referred to as “content” — then maybe other residents of the beleaguered middle might be inspired by their examples.
Inexpensive goods carry hidden costs, and those costs are frequently borne by exploited, underpaid workers. This is true of our clothes and our food, and it is no less true of those products we turn to for meaning, pleasure and diversion. We will no doubt continue to indulge all kinds of romantic conceits about artists: myths about the singularity of genius or the equal distribution of talent; clichés about flaky, privileged weirdos; inspiring tales of dreamers who persevered. But we also need to remember, with all the political consequences that this understanding entails, that they are just doing their jobs.”
(Speaking of art and commerce, when I read the article, an ad for Sotheby’s loaded in the sidebar which featured the same series of Warhol paintings shown at the top of what is (ostensibly) the editorial portion of the article. Coincidence?)
"What struck me with special force, however, was the authority of time over that space. Leaning down to place a palm on the asphalt that morning, feeling its cool and the bite of its grit, I touched that single surface—and yet its remotest parts remained absolutely alienated from me by sheer walls of time. I can’t get there from here—not without time’s transforming consent.” ~ Matthew Battles
"Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes."
[Don’t miss the excerpt from the Dickens letter at the bottom.]
"My own problem is it’s hard for me to say no. Despite years of therapy I still have the demented idea that I should be a nice guy. This is crazy. It’s a character flaw for anyone who is trying to accomplish something." ~ Steven Pressfield