Passion for interest
in the arts
Of the subjects I have been passionate about in my first two letters the following one has come to pass on a national level.
It seems the the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) made a puzzle version of Jasper John's Flag (1954-55), without first asking permission of the artist.
The artist was "disturbed" and insisted that the museum store take the remaining puzzles off their shelves and incinerate them!
The museum did just that but it is obvious that the director of marketing and sales needs to eat art for a change and stop trying to corrupt it.
Eating Art has sent a letter to MoMA, suggesting the the director of sales and marketing Louise Chin attend artist sensitivity classes where perhaps she will understand the concept of eating one's art.
The deputy director of S&M at MoMA, Elizabeth Addison said, "we made a mistake." However it appears that she remains detached from understanding artists because she asserted reproducing art as merchandise "helps the artist become better known and more accessible."
Let MoMa know what you think!
Commercialization of art is out of hand. The public won't know what came first, the canvas or the puzzle.
It is difficult times for museums and artists.
I believe that museums and artists are thinking too much of business. Who wants to starve thought? And who wants the other museum to swallow up all the good collections.
The competition between museums is at a feverish pace and caught up in the race for money and art are the aesthetic values that created museums and art in the first place.
I'm sorry but I find something very wrong with a museum that feels it can reproduce the work it has endlessly and onto every imaginable object.
It's hard for me to talk about museums without having the experience of having to run one, I'd rather tell you of my ideas for the artist and craftsperson
Allow me to fantasize about a world more conducive to creating art.
In this world the business of being an artist and craftsperson wouldn't be a business. One wouldn't have to keep "books".
Government would have recognized the peoples right to create unhindered by modern society. Of course we would need to have a definition of artist and craftsperson, and it surely would not be "crafty" as you saw my definition of that word in an earlier Eating Art.
What would be the direction towards achieving this perfect world for the arts? How can we begin the creation of an arts economy? To some degree there is a lot of economy related to the arts in selling the products used to create the arts. What I would like to see is more of an economy based on the actual purchase of the arts.
Now, how can we encourage and work towards this end?
Every chance we get we need to speak up - be bold!
With budget cuts and art education being eliminated around the nation we could be raising a generation that will not be appreciative of the arts. They won't realize that the original canvas came before the marketers puzzle.
They will be more familiar with the life histories of mutant ninja turtles, than of the artists they are named after and the effect that these artists have had on the humanity of the world.
Our society and its children are consuming media and they believe that's what's expected of them, it is what they do. It is a nation's communal condition, our collective ether.
Our arts councils have been doing their part, now we need individual artists to work with them.
We also need local governments from the town to the county level more receptive to the arts. We need to have the arts visible on a regular basis for all to see. There needs to be sculpture on the lawns of county and town offices and art on their walls.
I know, I know we already have some, we need more!
We need artists giving talks on what they do.
We need to reach out to the communities and get people interested who were never interested before.
The more educated the public, the more appreciative of the arts they we be.
There needs to be adult art education presentations for free, sponsored by the councils with time given by the artists.
We have to create our audience - our market.
Don't wait for it to come to you, be bold and search your audience out. For every person you can influence, the audience for all of us increases.
It's time to explain your ideas and techniques. It's time to argue the merits of art and beauty. It's time to change someone's life.
We need to get to the point where people turn off those T.V.'s, refuse the inane movies and get to the real art and craft galleries and shows in droves.
We need to be pockets of resistance amidst a land increasingly devoted to creating a community of homogenous glop.
Every year I look forward to finding a copy of the Summer Arts Directory that is accumulated, developed and published by the Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks.
What a resource for me!
I circle everything that looks good to me, gallery openings, plays and concerts. Many times I overlap several of them and many times I find they are separated by fifty miles or more.
I've yet to feel annoyed at having to drive fifty miles to a gallery opening. Driving across the mountains and by the lakes is in itself an unpublished resource as we make our way to the work made by us.
I can schedule my whole summer around this directory. I know that many tourists and summer residents look for this guide as soon as they reach the mountains.
This is such a valuable resource that whole vacations could be planned if this publication was available to people from outside the Adirondacks.
In conjunction with other materiel this arts directory could be a part of a destination vacation.
If there was some way to distribute this information to tourists before they planned their vacations, we might find more and more vacations being planned around the arts.
All of the Adirondacks should be promoted as an arts community. We have summer schools, workshops, countless concerts, plays, Art Organizations, art shows and craft shows.
We should be a park known for its beauty and its arts.
The council should urge the state legislators to designate the Adirondack Park as a "Park for the Arts".
Our State legislators should fund the councils within the blue line more than other councils. There should be more money available so local organizations can do more art related projects within their communities.
After all when the State took away the land use rights of some of the Adirondack people it hurt the regions economy. This would be a way of giving back some of the regions lost economy.
When I travel as I recently did, I like to buy local crafts and art or at least look at such.
I find more and more that our society is becoming homogenous. You used to find regional crafts, each region being influenced by the world around them. Now when I travel I can find the same crafts and art prints in many places around the country.
At what point does the work of a craftsperson or artist become production and leave the realm of craft and art?
Is this necessarily bad?
Will it eventually hurt the nature of hand crafted work and original art?
Will the buying public get confused as to what is hand crafted and that which is production crafted.
Now for my argument.
I think a single person can only make so much and then if one needs to hire other people to make the popular work then the work becomes production.
I look for and try to support the small studios I can find, where the individual artists and craftspeople are making their work every day. Such individualism inspires unparalleled creativity.
The individual is free to choose what they make. They aren't force by over burdening orders.
The individuals creativity is the driving force behind their existence and the life of their work. They give the work the life of individualism, and it can only be found in limited quantities. The limits set by the one person who creates the work.
Once the choice is made (and it can be a very hard choice in one's life) to hire and mass produce then that person has left the realm of individualist and enters into the production zone.
I'm not arguing that anything is inherently wrong with this, I'm just saying that they have left the individual mark on their work behind. It is the individuals mark on their work that I look for and enjoy.
It is the individuals mark I want to eat.
I want to pass through the regions of our land and find their art on their table ready for my consumption.
I want to see the aesthetic growth of the individual become more important than the dollar.
I want to stir the pot.
I want the distinctive mark
I want to eat some art.
Eating Art has a post office box. I would like to get some feedback from you if you have the time or even care to.
Do you want to continue getting the observation letter or know of someone who would like to get on the mailing list?
We are mailing out to 48 people now.
Our next letter will have guest essays.
Oliver Day Night