Constance Smith’s Art Marketing 101 is now in its 4th edition (just released in March). The book is structured like a workbook, walking the beginning artist through “Business Basics,” “Legal Issues,” “Strategies,” “Networking,” “Exposure,” and “Strategic Planning,” with spaces for the reader’s responses to specific questions and to broader planning suggestions. It leads directly to the same publisher’s Advanced Strategies for Marketing Art, dealing with the subject in more concrete terms, such as where to market. Continue reading
Public art commissions always require justification—and that should tell us something. If traditional systems of representation are bankrupt and common values suspect, if committee-driven compromises can only dole out watered-down abstract “spaces” carefully formulated to offend no one and convey nothing, why do we bother? What is the purpose of public art? We say that it’s something we should have, but no one can convincingly explain why it’s necessary. “Uplift” and other vague intangibles get trotted out, but it’s hard to connect these “benefits” to projects that end in entertainment and strive for nothing loftier than increased tourist revenues. Until we can say that we need public art, nothing is going to change; and we won’t need it until it succeeds in touching and improving people’s lives in tangible ways. Continue reading
Michael Petry’s The Art of Not Making: The New Artist/Artisan Relationship explores the issue of authorship through works in various media not technically “made” by their nominal creators.Petry, director of MOCA London, suggests that there is a “new” artist/artisan relationship, precipitated by a growing taste for highly crafted, spectacular works and an increased emphasis on technical ambition. This relationship most notably characterizes the atelier systems of Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, and Takashi Murakami, who are notorious for employing hundreds of assistants. In their model of artistic production, the artist has the vision and the artisan brings it to life, placing the divide between artist and artisan in the space between conception and production, between artistic genius and technical know-how. Continue reading
Stuart Horodner’s new book, The Art Life, is not exactly an art book, not exactly career advice, not exactly a guide to creativity, and not exactly a dictionary of quotations: but it’s a combination of all those things. In 12 chapters and an introduction, Horodner’s preface lays out the trajectory of his own career (he’s now the Artistic Director of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center), and in the introduction, he says that the “various opinions revealed within these pages might serve as a compass for orienting yourself as you deal with the practical and philosophical matters that shape every art life.” That is, not just artists but everyone involved in the various branches of the art world. He also states explicitly that this is not “a guide to professional practices. It will not tell you if or how to approach galleries or where to apply for funding.”
In 2009, the European Commission began a two-year-long research program exploring the practices, outcomes, and influence of artist and curatorial residencies and assessing how such programs contribute to “artistic mobility.” The ultimate goal of the RE-tooling RESIDENCIES project was to compile an in-depth resource for artists and organizations involved—or thinking about getting involved—in the world of residencies, with a close eye cast specifically on Eastern Europe. The project culminated in a conference that brought together artists, curators, activists, managers, and theoreticians for a larger discussion of approaches to residencies. RE-tooling RESIDENCIES: A Closer Look at the Mobility of Art Professionals is a product of the project and conference.
The late Sally Hersh was a stone sculptor originally know for portrait heads but later for other forms of sculpture and for her teaching career in France and the U.K. Her book, finished shortly before her death, was her reaction to seeing many “how to” books on sculpture that left large gaps in the processes of carving and modeling.