Tag Archives: artists

On Artists

You are not your job. You are not your relationships. You are not your art either. As much as some artists like to sell their persona as part of their art, it is all bullshit. Only a few people can pull this off. You’re not Warhol. You’re not Dali. Stop it.

너는 너의 직업이 아니요. 너는 너의 관계들이 아니요.너는 너의 예술도 아니요. 일부 예술가는 자신의 페르소나를 예술의 일부로 판매하는 것을 좋아하지만 모두 헛소리요. 소수의 사람만 이것은 할수 있어요. 너는 살바도르 달리가 아니면 멈춰.

Buying a piece of art is not the same as buying a person. A person might be buying a piece of work, but the work should be able to stand on its own, without the artist. Again, I’m talking about artists who are relatively unknown, but I think it’s a mistake to intermingle the personal aspect of social media too much with art. I notice this particularly on Instagram. I think it’s fine to have an art page and have some of your personal life and even development process in your page, but I notice some artists get way too much into themselves and it stops being about the art and more about selling the artist, to which I say, calm down and think first if you really want to do that to yourself. It’s really doing a disservice to your own art and your growth, and probably contributes to perpetuating the image of artists being self-centered attention hounds.

예술품을 사는 것은 사람을 사는 것과는 다라요. 어떤 사람이 예술을 구매할 수도 있지만, 이 예술이 예술가없이 스스로 설 수 있어야해요. 저는 상대적으로 알려지지 않은 예술가들에 대해 이야기하고 있지만 SNS의 개인적인 측면을 예술과 너무 많이 섞는 것은 실수라고 생각해요. 특히 Instagram에서 이것을 발견해요. 아트 페이지를 가지고 있고 너의 개인적인 삶의 일부와 심지어 너의 페이지에 개발 과정을 갖는 것은 괜찮다고 생각해요. 하지만 몇몇 예술가들은 자신에게 너무 깊이 빠져들고 그것이 예술에 관한 것이 아니라 예술가를 판매하는 것에 대해 생각해요. 진정해요. 자신에게 그렇게하고 싶다면 먼저 생각해요. 그것은 정말 너의 예술과 성장에 해를 끼치고 있고 예술가들이 자기 중심적인 이미지를 영속시키는 데 기여할 거요.

One telltale sign of this phenomenon are pictures showing the scale or artworks. Of course this is all just my opinion, but if you want to show the scale of a piece of art and put yourself in the picture, and you take up more real estate than the piece, then maybe the picture on the Instagram page is not about the art at all.

이 현상의 한 가지 분명한 징후는 규모 또는 예술 작품을 보여주는 시진들이에요.물론 이것은 모두 제 의견이요, 하지만 예술의 규모를 보여주고 자신을 그림에 넣고 싶고 예술보다 더 많은 공간을 차지한다면 Instagram 페이지의 그림은 예술에 관한 것이 전혀 아닐 수도 있어요.

The second red flag for me is when I the viewer is constantly informed of the artist’s life and more effort seems to be put on creating the artist’s persona than the art itself. One infamous “artist” in Korea who is no longer in media used to be on TV selling herself as an artist but seems to be more focused on portraying a quirky persona, a dumb and lazy stereotype given to artists. And if one looks up her works, they’re really nothing to write home about. Thankfully, she’s now no longer showing up on television and is so forgotten that her name escapes me.

저에게 두 번째 위험 신호는 시청자가 예술가의 삶에 대해 지속적으로 알리고 예술 자체보다 예술가의 페르소나를 만드는 데 더 많은 노력을 기울이는 거에요. 더 이상 미디어에 출연하지 않는 한국의 한 악명 높은“아티스트”는 예전에는 자신을 아티스트로 판매하는 TV에 출연했지만 아티스트들에게 주어진 멍청하고 게으른 고정 관념 인 기발한 인물을 묘사하는 데 더 초점을 맞춘 것 같아요. 그리고 그녀의 예술을 보면 너는 실망할거에요. 고맙게도 그녀는 이제 더 이상 TV에 나오지 않고 너무 잊혀져 서 그녀의 이름이 기억이 않 와요.

On a similar note, if viewers kept getting reminded of the artist’s condition, be it depression, physical disabilities, or ailments, then I start getting tired, if not irritated. Van Gogh had a very well-established mental condition, but he developed his own style and grew as a post-Impressionist, selling (and at the time failing to sell) his works solely for their merit and not as a byproduct of his illness. Right now, the works stand on their own. We do not need to know he was mentally ill. The same goes with Munch, Goya, and O’Keefe. And while we’re at it, Picasso, Rodin, Michelangelo, Degas, and many others were assholes. But we do not need to know of their assholery to admire their works. The works stand on their own.

마찬가지로, 예술가이 자신의 상태, 우울증, 신체 장애, 질병 등을 계속 시청자에께 상기 시키면 저는 짜증이 나지 않더라도 피곤해지기 시작해요. Van Gogh는 매우 잘 정립 된 정신 상태를 가지고 있었지만 자신의 post-Impressionist 스타일을 개발여 그들의 예술품을 병의 부산물이 아니라 자신의 장점을 위해서만 판매 (하지만 판매하지 못함)했어요. 지금은 그 예술품들이 독자적으로 서 있어요. 그가 정신적으로 아팠다는 것을 알 필요는 없어요. Munch, Goya, O’Keefe도 마찬가지에요. 그리고 우리가 거기에있는 동안 Picasso, Rodin, Michelangelo, Degas 등 많은 사람들이 즘 나빴어요. 그러나 우리는 그들의 예술품에 감탄하기 위해 그들의 나쁜 성격을 알 필요가 없어요. 예술품들이 자체로 서 있어요.

And since we’re talking about asshole artists, I think there’s a difference between enjoying a dead artist’s genius and giving money to a current, living asshole. I think it’s perfectly fine to enjoy the works of dead artists who might have been assholes in the past. It’s the same way one can admire great ancient structures in Europe while completely ignoring about how Europe plundered so much wealth out of so many countries. It’s another thing however to pay for a movie directed by Bryan Singer, Roman Polanski, or Woody Allen. I do love watching the pirated version of “Rosemary’s Baby” however.

그리고 우리는 나쁜 예술가에 대해 이야기하고 있기 때문에, 죽은 예술가의 천재성을 즐기는 것과 현재 살아있는 나쁜 예술가 에게 돈을주는 것에는 차이가 있다고 생각해요. 과거에 나쁜 였을지도 죽은 예술가들의 예술품을 즐기는 것도 괜찮은 것 같아요. 유럽의 위대한 고대 건축물에 감탄할 수있는 것고유럽이 여러 나라에서 얼마나 많은 부를 약탈했는지 완전히 무시하면서. 같은 방식예요. 그러나 Bryan Singer, Roman Polanski 또는 Woody Allen이 감독 한 영화에 대한 비용을 지불하는 것은 또 다른 일이예요. 하지만 “Rosemary’s Baby” 해적판 보는 걸 좋아해요.

The third red flag is something I mentioned in passing. The works simply don’t stand on their own. Taken without the artist in mind, will anyone take notice of it? Does it look amateurish or plain? Not to be insulting here, but elephants can be tortured to paint canvasses. They are very primitive swaths of color, almost like a random accident. But because they are made by tortured elephants, they become something else. Does an artist’s work look average? Is it elevated by the artist’s “story”? Then maybe it’s not about the artwork at all. Now, I love Dada and the idea of found objects and readymades, but their “stories” are concepts which are itself art. I don’t think the everyday life of an artist and their struggles with whatever ails them compares with Dada.

세 번째 신호는 이미 이야기했어요. 그 예술품들은 그 자체로 서 있지 않아요. 예술가 없으면 누가 알아 차 릴까요? 아마추어 같거나 평범 해 보입니까? 여기에서는 모욕적이지 않지만 코끼리는 캔버스를 그리기 위해 고문을 당할 수 있어요. 그들은 거의 우연한 사고처럼 매우 원시적 인 색채요. 그러나 고문당하는 코끼리에 의해 만들어 졌기 때문에 그들은 다른 무언가가되요. 예술가의 예술품이 평균적으로 보입니까? 예술가의 “이야기”로 개선 되었나요? 그렇다면 예술품에 관한 것이 아닐 수도 있어요. Dada와 found objects과 readymades에 대한 아이디어를 좋아하지만 그들의 “이야기”는 그 자체가 예술인 개념에요. 예술가의 일상 생활과 그들이 어떤 병때 투쟁을 Dada와 비교할 수없어요.

So why do I care? Why do I write these things? Because I want you to grow. I want you to look at your work and really evaluate it. If a stranger saw it somewhere, would it be compelling for them or would it be ignored? For what reason should they be staring? Give your audience a reason to stare. Make it about the art and not about yourself. This is why I tend to distrust actors or singers who decide to become artists. Their work can be mediocre but it is immediately elevated by their celebrity, totally separate from any artistic merit of the artwork itself. The only reason people will look at a dumb shoe “made” by Kanye West is that he said he designed it. Forget that they all look dumb compared to other shoes in the market.

그래서 내가 왜 신경을 써야합니까? 왜 이런 것들을 쓰나요? 나는 너를 성장하기를 바라요. 나는 너를 너의 예술품을보고 정말로 평가하기를 바라요. 낯선 사람이 그것을 어딘가에서 본다면, 그것은 그들에게 매력적일까요 아니면 무시 될까요? 그들은 어떤 이유로 쳐다보아야합니까? 청중에게 쳐다보아야할 이유를 제공하세요. 자신에 대한 것이 아니라 예술에 대해 이야기하세요. 예술가되기로 결정한 배우 나 가수를 불신하는 경향이 있어요. 그들의 예술품은 평범 할 수 있지만 예술품 자체의 예술적 장점과는 완전히 별개로 유명인에 의해 즉시 향상되요. 사람들이 Kanye West가 “만든” 멍청한 신발을 보는 유일한 이유는 그가 디자인했다고 말했기 때문에요. 다른 신발에 비해 모두 멍청 해 보인다는 사실을 잊어요.

I think artists need to decide whether they’re selling themselves or their art. Maybe they can be successful at both. It can happen! But often I see people calling themselves artists but are too busy with the art persona and not the art. So yeah, if you’re an artist, start with showing more art and less of your dumb artist face.

에술가들은는 자신의 에술품을 판매하게 아니면 자신의 페르소나를 판매하게 결정해야헤요. 둘 다 성공할 수도 있어요. 그것은 할수 있어요! 그러나 종종 사람들이 스스로를 예술가라고 부르지 만 예술이 아닌 예술가의 인물에 너무 바쁘다는 것을 보에요. 예, 너는 예술가라면 너의 멍청한 예술가 얼굴을 대신에 더 많은 예술을 보여주고 시작하세요.

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#ImpeachTrudeau is a bot fairy tale.

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The day after I posted about voting for Justin Trudeau, news started showing up about the prime minister wearing brown face and black face. Now, Canada doesn’t have much of a history regarding black face, and brown face wasn’t historically used to dehumanize brown minorities, but it’s not a stretch to see that in both instances, they were both done in the spirit of humor mixed with some mockery. However, they were all done over ten years ago, and the prime minister now doesn’t demonstrate any racial animosity against colored minorities. Some of the government’s policies might still ignore the plight of minorities, particularly the First Nations, but there’s been no racial or bigoted aggression towards minorities, much like what we see in the United States. I mean, you don’t see the Trudeau government calling Mexicans rapists or banning Muslims and refugees.

It is quite obvious that whoever planted the stories sought to damage the Liberal’s election campaign by having them out now so close to the election. They to spread the Liberal votes to other parties and increase the Conservative lead in a very, VERY close elections. They hope for people not to vote for Trudeau due to his past racism, and in doing so open the window for actual currently bigoted politicians like Scheer to take power. And it’s annoying that it just might work.

What’s fascinating is how the whole thing was getting promoted in the media, specifically Twitter. Usual culprits like @TheHill kept on tweeting and retweeting the same story to generate outrage and retweets. What I noticed however is that as I was commenting and interacting with people online, especially via the New York Times and the Washington Post, most of my detractors were two-week-old accounts with names followed by long strings of numbers. Ex: Lisa_Lamplight10098723k21.

It’s amazing how many of the anti-Trudeau interactions I had came from what I assume are bots. The responses were very lifelike, probably taking cues from people’s responses. The script used is quite extensive, even taking into account accusations that they’re bots. Now, before I get accused of labeling people as bots when they are not. One big tell for bots is if their responses or hashtags don’t even make sense at all. For example, one hashtag I noticed was #impeachTrudeau. Now, I haven’t seen any news in Canada regarding impeaching Trudeau and yet it was being pushed by some people on Twitter. Looking into the accounts, most have no followers and are also retweeting alt-right and MAGA-related posts. Does the Russian propaganda machine smell something in the water?

It is good however that Canadians by and large seem to be unaffected by the scandal. Perhaps we have seen what happened with our neighbors and are more hip to the scam. Or perhaps at this stage of the game, voters have already made up their mind who to vote for. This is not the case with me, however. I was planning to vote for a more progressive candidate, but after this attempt to sabotage Trudeau’s campaign, I’m more inclined to vote for Trudeau, just to make up for the small losses. My friends can vote the other candidates. I know that’s not how one should vote, but I also recognize when malicious forces are trying to subvert our electoral process.

As for the offense of wearing black face or brown face… why do people keep doing this? And not just white people, Asians do it as well. And it’s most often in the spirit of mocking or making a cartoon of the other race. It might not always be intentionally malicious, but it is immature, hurtful, and demonstrates ignorance. The reason why Trudeau’s actions are forgivable is because he actually apologizes for them and the accusation that he is a virulent racist right now is completely inaccurate in its face. Also, Trudeau doesn’t get a complete pass as some of his detractors might claim. The fact that people are actually having a debate over this and he has lost some support is proof that he is not getting a full pass for his actions. This will still haunt him in the long run.

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The Beauty of Studio Galleries

Moose_funny

My good friend, Jordan Miller, just aired her woes regarding running a studio gallery. I want to reply with my two cents.

First off, for the holidays, I doubt if many people buy art, especially in a city like Winnipeg in this economy. People do love looking at art… they love looking, but not just Winnipeg in particular, but the whole world in general. For someone to actually buy art, they often have to be invested in the piece or the artist already. That or they just have money to throw around at that moment. So yeah, either you have a fan or you’re lucky enough to come across someone truly compelled to buy your work.

And really this holiday, galleries and all other shops are competing against Amazon and Walmart when it comes to shopping for presents. When it comes to compelling imagery, they’re competing against the whole Internet and the world’s ADHD culture. It’s an uphill battle, and it’s a small miracle and badge on the artist every time someone buys art.

This is where I think a studio gallery has to utilize the artists it has. I think many new artists are under the assumption that once they’re in a gallery, it’s the gallery owner or curator’s responsibility to shepherd new audiences to them. To some extent, this is true. Being in a gallery brings about art enthusiasts as well as other gallery owners. But in a generally static market like Winnipeg, artists cannot expect their audience to grow if they keep on showing their stuff at the same studio gallery. To grow an audience, each artist in a collective should be introducing their friends to other artists in the collective, and thus, growing their community and their audiences. So let’s say there’s an open house, each artist in a studio gallery should at least try to invite friends to come over and see their works as well as the other artists’. “Studio artists tell me they want new people in, not just the people they know.” True. So each artist should bring the people they know and maybe they’ll buy their neighbor’s work and vice versa.

Another way to solve the “new people in, not just the people they know” dilemma is for gallery owners and artists to be sharing information regarding calls for submissions. I was once a part of an art collective in South Korea, and one thing I liked about the community is that people were sharing information and leads regarding opportunities. The organizer would encourage members to take part in shows. This encourages artists to be more productive and be part of the community. It also gives them more experience and hopefully leads them to a much better portfolio. Artists don’t have to be limited to their local community. It’s what the Internet is for. And with several eyeballs scouring the Internet for opportunities and sharing them, that should make the world of artists in a studio gallery a little bit bigger.

My friend mentioned that some artists make deals with buyers and sell work to them privately instead of going through the gallery and losing a commission. Now, there really is no way to work around this unless galleries start forcing artists to sign exclusivity contracts. But really, I think this comes down to the artists themselves. Personally, I feel grateful if a gallery hung my work and happened to find a buyer for me. That’s one person who may have never run into my work and I owe it to the gallery for making the connection. I believe artists should do the right thing and make sales through galleries rather than wait for their work to come down. Buyers wouldn’t normally care if the artist loses on commission or not. And artists, despite finances and all, should really be willing to support galleries who gave them a chance in the first place.

Now, with the two things considered: artists wondering why my gallery owner friend is not shepherding in new audiences for them and artists making private sales, I would assume this comes to either selfishness (and laziness) in the artists’ part or a fundamental opportunity missed by everyone. Perhaps the economy is bad that artists cannot afford to be generous to galleries in return, or perhaps the artists don’t realize how a small studio gallery in a city like Winnipeg could work for them.

So there you have it. If you’re an artist in a studio gallery, take advantage of your community and share resources and opportunities. Be more proactive, if not in your local arts community, then at least over the Internet. Maybe I’m biased because Jordan, the gallery owner, is my best friend, but don’t leave everything to the gallery owner or curator. There’s only so much they can do to help you.

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Opportunity for Artists!!!

Stampede

Been getting the occasional offers to submit my works to a show, enter contests, or be included in some magazine. Most of them would ask me to submit my works for a fee. I try to ignore a lot of these things, but one in a while I’ll respond just to see where it goes or if my initial impressions that it’s not worth it is incorrect.

It’s really sad how a lot of these operations prey on artists. With a mass-mailer asking for $50 per submission, a few artists are bound to respond. And for what? For a magazine that many art buyers don’t really read? A show in New York that goes unnoticed? A one-night event where a person’s art is barely seen? Good artists end up wasting their time and money participating in such ventures, while other artists just end up applying for things for no other reason than to basically get scammed.

Now I understand that some contests or call for submissions would require some small fees in order to cover gallery costs, but a lot of times, the gallery or magazines’ history is too dodgy to justify the cost. It’s not just applications, it’s also time wasted and sometimes cost of framing and shipping. And if you do the math, if a contest awards a winner $1000 in a contest that requires $50 per entry, then the gallery just needs 20 entries to start making it worth their while. That is, if a real winner is awarded a prize to begin with. And the thing is outfits like World Art Media and NY Arts magazine would charge artists upwards of $500! It’s like phishing for ambitious, naïve artists.

Can we stop taking advantage or artists who just want to put their work out there? Artists are already paying a heavy price for dreaming. It’s just depressing to see cynical reality teach artists a cruel lesson.

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Hidden Artists

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A co-worker quit last week. I believe she was with us for three to four years. We never really had much conversation since I don’t really talk much to the women at work. I think the women here at work are scared of me. (Well, at least one of them was. She left me a note saying she was scared of me right before she left. ) Anyway, this co-worker who left, I really didn’t know much about her other than her being a strict vegetarian. So it was a bit of a surprise that on her last day I find out that she’s also an artist (http://bbkjy.blog.me ). She even has a show on the night of her last day.

Instead of worrying about the wave of downsizing going on in our company, I kept on wondering how I could’ve missed this. How did I not know this person was not an artist as well? Shouldn’t we all sense each other’s presence like the immortals in Highlander? She sure dressed like one.

Do people in the office even know I make art? Would they be just as surprised? Anyway, it was a missed opportunity to get to know an artist. I guess the blame is on me. I should’ve been nicer to the people I work with.

Maybe I’m just a bitter person with a dark hole where my heart should be, but looking at her works, they are a tad saccharine for my taste. But I really do admire her tenacity for drawing and her commitment to a style. She knows what she likes, studies it, and keeps at it. Under the right conditions, her works could be extremely marketable. You’re probably not reading this, Jiyoung, but here’s to your success.

 

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Mountains

Mountains

I’ve just been included in a local artist group, http://www.pank.kr/index.html. There’s barely any details aside from a name and a few images (not even a link to my site). I’m just glad it mentions I’m a Canadian artist and not a Korean (not that I would ever be mistaken for one). Artist groups are good. It saves you a bit of time from hustling and finding galleries on your own. It’s also a good way to network and meet other artists and gallery owners.

I remember starting a local artist group years ago. I set up a show and everything. I ended up doing most of the work. Now I didn’t mind it at all, as long as the works I was given to display were decent. The problem is, they weren’t. And I ended up feeling  like I was selling work for others, amateur works that could never be sold. Laziness and lack of participation can be forgiven. Lack of talent, not so much. Not to toot my own horn, but I was tempted to show just my works and another artist’s. Leave everyone else out. But that wouldn’t be fair; after all, the other artists were bringing some of their friends in for the opening. That ended up being the first and last show I had with the group. I didn’t want to associate my name with them anymore… not that my name really means anything. I guess what I learned is that if you’re going to join a group, make sure you respect at least half of the other members’ works in it. And if you’re going to start a group, don’t just take everyone who calls themselves an “artist.”

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