bringing back from NYC
I love going to New York. Each time I get a little distance from the rest of my life to submerge myself completely in Art. I work on projects (which so far is why I go), I go to museums and galleries. I visit other artists, discuss my work with all sorts of people… and on the subway and trains I make a point of reading about art and the art world (if I’m not sketching or making something). I love that level of immersion and it kicks my mind into high-gear for art.
This trip began with dropping my painting off at the Chelsea Art Museum- an encouraging start. I was able to meet with Annysa Ng (who has worked with me on two of my collaborative projects now). She took me through the Chelsea art galleries and to her studio in Chelsea. Fantastic. I love her work. She and I are so well linked conceptually. We see each other’s connections between ideas instantly, and make leaps together effortlessly. We would like to do another collaborative work together working on the same piece, and the ideas have started. I just wish we could work together in person more- it’s very stimulating. I didn’t get to visit with Lina Puerta this time, but I hope to collaborate again with her as well. The three of us make a very good team.
On Sunday I got to see my Primary Text installation post-participation and take photos. I wish I could have seen it in action but I was glad to see the rest of the show and to get to take the pictures myself.
Mostly what I came away from this trip was the feeling that I’m ready for the next step- putting every aspect of being a professional artist up a notch- work, seeing work, the business end- everything. I have been wary of galleries, thinking that I might have to limit my work or keep it too much the same if I went that route, but I am coming to think that if I found the right match it could be a very good thing for the work. I work much more intensively when I know the piece will have a place to be seen and the support of the right gallery would do that and more. I found Art/Work an excellent resource for getting more perspective on Gallerists (and more appreciation for them!) and for learning more about the unwritten rules in the business part of the art world.
Seeing what was in the Chelsea art galleries was encouraging and inspiring. I found I was most struck with very minimal pieces and it made me realize that I didn’t value my more minimal works as I should have (most of them aren’t even on my website, some just left unfinished). What the galleries can handle in terms of large-scale work was impressive too- it let me see with my own eyes that I didn’t have to be in a museum to do such large scale work.
So… it brought me to thinking that I can start looking for a good match. Maybe in New York, Maybe in San Francisco, but knowing that it will probably take a year or two of really getting to know the spaces before I even know if I would want to be in that space (or if they would want my work). The metaphor of getting married is often used. It’s about taking one’s time to find a good match.
The other thing that became clear over the week is that I need to completely redo my website. I have coherent bodies of work and relationships throughout my work that are not showing well on the present page, so I’ve drawn out all the connections and now the challenge is putting them into a clear, clean online format.
Besides Chelsea and Annysa’s studio I got to the MET with the goal of getting more Madonna and child/pieta images and ideas for the current painting. I also saw the incredible Savage Beauty exhibition there. Wow. The clothing was incredible, but the curation equally so. The curator was acting more like an installation artist, creating whole environments complete with sound and video for the different lines of work. I can feel more clothing and fashion creeping into my work, and I will be seeing Pulp Fashion and Balenciaga and Spain here before they close to further feed whatever is budding there.
A trip to MOMA yielded an idea for a new technique that I might use for a series and a reminder of painting techniques that I should bring in more.
In the meantime another potential project has come up over the last few days in a very unique space here in SF. It would be a new interactive installation specifically for a show around a topic that I’ve been interested in for some time and fits perfectly into that body of work. The space is unique and I’m excited by the prospect.
This trip has also convinced me to look harder for opportunities in the Bay Area. As much as I love New York, this is my home and there is a reason for that, and my art should have a real connection to this place. I feel as though I’ve hit the ground running again, and it is invigorating.