Monday, March 22, 2010


In the past couple of days I have read two vastly different takes on the art world. The first is this article, concerning power struggles in the overinflated world of high-end art branding. The other is the blog of artist and friend Paula, who is simply struggling to exist. Both are fascinating reading.

As an artist who uses photography as both a tool and for its own rewards, I have two contrasting photographic interests: cityscapes and wildlife. I'm fortunate to have easy access to both kinds of environments. On Friday I was thrilled to see a Chestnut-backed Chickadee amongst the common-as-dirt Black-capped Chickadees around here. I'm struggling to find a metaphor there to tie this post up neatly but I got nothin'. Suggestions anyone?


Blogger paula said...

i'm waiting minutes and minutes.. that article wont load. can you send me a link or something? hmmmm
i like your bird photo. sure makes everything seem like a lot of chatter in comparison to the simplicity of just sitting on a branch and singing an [annoying] song. maybe that is what making art is, claiming your space and singing however it is you choose.

22/3/10 10:39 a.m.  
Blogger Ellen said...

I remember being an arty farty high school student reading a Vanity Fair issue focusing on the crazy star system and big money flowing freely in the NYC art scene during those years (the 80's). There was an excerpt from Julian Schnabel's autobiography in one article. He wrote about his genious 'aha' moment when he was browsing at the Salvation army or some similar place when he spotted a box of old plates and thus his famous, broken plate portraits were born. I wanted to barf then, I want to still barf now. The ego maniacal self importance that exist in that world is comical.
I love Paula's comment about the bird.

I'm all for clarity too right now. I have no interest in the pretentious cleverness that makes you look, but leaves you empty.
Wait, i'm having deja vu. I think I've already told the same story before in a comment on your blog before. I think I'm especially craving clarity and simplicity right now because I'm going senile.

22/3/10 11:05 a.m.  
Blogger Angela Recada said...

No need to try tie it up neatly, since the title says it all perfectly - contrasts.

While I didn't study art, I did graduate with a double major (lah-di-dah!) in German and English literature. The looking-down-their-noses elitist attitude that exists in the visual arts exists in the world of writing, too. It's tremendously tiring and such a waste of everyone's time.

Love both photos, by the way. I've been finding that I have a real appreciation for gritty urban scenes, too.

Cute bird. I don't think we have the Chestnut-backed Chickadees here.

22/3/10 11:46 a.m.  
Blogger Lorenzo at the Alchemist's Pillow said...

Nature needs no metaphor I reckon and I certainly have not been able to come up with one for the lovely photo.

To my puerile mind, a chickadee actually summons up W.C. Fields. One funny line from his film My Little Chickadee was the harrowing experience he recounted "Once ... in the wilds of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were forced to live on nothing but food and water for days."

22/3/10 12:11 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Paula: That reminds me of soemthing from my childhood -- no idea where it's from: "Sometimes I sits and thinks. Sometimes I just sits."

Ellen: Haven't we all had those genius "aha!" moments. I have them everyday. So why aren't I a Julian Schnabel? I don't know a lot about the guy though I've seen a couple of films. I do, however, remember seeing one of his figurative paintings in an art history class in the early '80s and being repulsed by it. It was at that moment that I knew art was not about beauty. BTW I don't remember your comment before -- probably because I'm even more senile than you. Besides, I can't come up with gems like "the pretentious cleverness that makes you look, but leaves you empty." You must patent it.

Angela: ...and in music and theatre. It's annoying but I guess it comes with the territory, doesn't it? As a person who is passionate about the arts I've always had more than a little trouble with those who actually produce it. My uncle's theatre parties were always the biggest yawn because no one wanted to talk about anything except themselves (and in the most glowing terms, I might add).

Lorenzo: Ha! Speaking of the puerile mind, that reminds me of my post on the creative personality! :) Thanks for the chuckle. Sounds like something Oscar Wilde would say.

22/3/10 3:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

感謝分享 功德無量........................................

23/3/10 2:04 a.m.  
Blogger donn w2Nz said...

"These birds are called "chickadees" in North America, and just "tits" in the rest of the English-speaking world." Wiki

Here is my metaphor...
your friends, associates, and any other honest artisans perched with integrity are my little chicadees,
and the bigshot megalomaniac millionaires are real tits.

23/3/10 7:46 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Donn: A+.

23/3/10 11:02 a.m.  

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