Sunday, May 16, 2010

Some Unsolicited Advice for the General Art Buying Public

While at the Paradise City - Philadelphia show a couple of weeks ago I came to the conclusion that the general public is in need of some unsolicited advice about buying art. I have noticed that on occasion, people will get hung up on the colors in a work of art and they become concerned about how art will "go" with the colors in the room they envision it -- the rug, the curtains, the couch, etc. I realize that my advice will sound self-serving but, in being as objective as I can be, please believe me when I say:


Art does not have to "go" with your carpet, curtains, etc, unless you really aren't interested in looking at the art. If you want it to "match" you are creating a situation in which the work of art will just blend into the background and not be seen.

At the show, I, perhaps undiplomatically, mentioned to a neighboring artist, Jorge Caligiuri (an excellent contemporary fresco artist whose work you should check-out) my theory that interior designers sometimes impart these kind of ideas in order to confuse clients and make them dependent on their services, to which he told me that he was an interior designer and that he would never do that, but that he agreed with me on both points. In fact he said it was "crazy" to try and "match" your art with your room's decor. So there you have it, a certifiable interior designer also agrees, if you have any doubts please contact Jorge for his advice and services.

The bottom line is that people just confuse themselves in trying to envision what colors are in a room and whether they "go" with the art they are looking at and make their art buying decisions much harder than they need to be, and lord knows selling art is already hard enough without having to deal with misinformation and confused customers.

In reality, when you look at art, you aren't looking at the rest of the decor in a room. And further, if you are looking at a room as a whole from a distance, a work of art that doesn't match the rest of a room will stand out and be seen. Do you really want to buy art that you will never see or appreciate?

So when buying art, buy what you like, not what matches your decor. Just thought I needed to clarify this point. Hope it helps. Please let me know your thoughts and experiences on the subject.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Call for the End of Punditry!!!

This is not a political blog, and my work isn't political, however, there is occasional overlap and this morning I noticed the Washington Post had recently asked twelve people what the world should get rid of as part of Spring cleaning. Much to my surprise and delight, Donna Brazile suggested an end to punditry! As she says:

Get rid of the left-vs.-right commentators who are just out scoring points for their team. This sort of opinion-mongering is not only boring and predictable, it is destructive of the truth. If your only credentials are "GOP shill" or "Democratic hack," you've no business cluttering up the airwaves or the op-ed pages.

Coincidentally, this is precisely the purpose of my State of the Union flag proposal! Yes, let us all stand back, take a deep breath, and look at art instead.

Thank you, Donna, for stating one of the very few sensible things I have ever read in an editorial page!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

ArtPrize Proposal

This is my ArtPrize proposal. I submitted it last week but might not know until July if a venue is willing to display it. If you click on it you can see a larger version to make reading the text easier. I call it the State of the Union flag because I plan to propose that it be used as the backdrop behind the President during the State of the Union address, in the hopes that commentators will talk about the art behind the President rather than their interpretations of what was said.
I went to the lumber mill/yard last week to select the wood. Although the proposal says bird's-eye maple for the blue/navy/purple stripes, they didn't have any that would work. Instead, they had some blistered maple, which I decided would actually be better because it would be more visible from a distance. I also selected two large boards of curly maple for the white stripes but, unfortunately, because of the way one of the boards was warped, the white stripes would have only been about 3 inches wide instead of the 4 that I'm planning. So I need to go back sometime and look again. For the red stripes I found some yellow curly maple that is more figured, and more fabric-like, than what I had previously selected. Although the other lumber was good, I couldn't honestly say that it was $250,000 good. One way I could tell that the new curly yellow birch was better than what I had previously selected was that in rough cutting and milling it, it was binding around the bandsaw and tearing out terribly while flattening it with the jointer. The earlier lumber didn't give me any of those problems.

Because of the success of ArtPrize last year, all indications are that it will be a much larger event this year. The competition just to get in is going to be huge, let alone into one of the prime venues and having a chance of winning. Regardless of whether the work is selected, I'm still committed to building it. One of the best things about the event is the inspiration to make something that has a chance to win, which alone could be enough to launch an art career.