Hedgehogs and Foxes
David Hockney said “They don’t teach drawing in art schools anymore,” “It’s criminal. Teaching drawing teaches people to look”, and that means not at their iPhones. If I made an exhibition asking the artists of today for pencil or charcoal drawings I have a feeling 10 artists would show up and that is optimistic. And you can tell if an artist can draw or not. No matter how famous and popular they are – your eye can tell you that they simply cannot draw much less paint. Ah conceptual art the way out. Of course talent comes into the picture. That innate magical gift that few artists are blessed with. But I must stop this rant and turn your attention to an ancient Greek poet, Archilochus, who came up with the adage that is remembered, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”. We can apply that to the world artists. Hedgehogs, (with their single-mindedness) would be Brahms, Proust, Lucien Freud, Ibsen, Francis Bacon and Modigliani; Foxes would be Leonardo da Vinci, Gerhard Richter, Shakespeare, Picasso and David Hockney. Who is your fox or hedgehog?
Call for Artists
There is a legitimate way to expose an artist’s work to the larger world of curators, museums collectors, and galleries scattered around the world – it is, “Call for Artists”. It is widely used in America, Japan, Italy, France and Portugal. It is not commonly used in the rest of the world, mainly I think, because they simply don’t know about it. Museums and public institutions use this, Call for Artists, all the time. There is even a Call for Artists to redesign the American currency. There are general “Calls” with no theme and juried exhibitions. Some offer prize money. Local colleges that want to see new work from their communities, also have “Call for Artists” for residences. They are often in lovely places. Italy has some wonderful Palazzos that have room for visiting artists. How greatd is that! These “Calls” are all online. I would say many museums and colleges process the applications themselves. They create their own software and send out their own “Calls”. One very good one is CaFE Management. They put out the “Calls” and when you sign up with them you become a member and receive all the “Calls” from the international and museum community. The price for applications is from no cost to apply to $60.00 (at the top end). I am presently in the midst of a “Call for Artists”. I have chosen a theme “Cosmic Connections” and the winning artists after being judged by myself and two other curators will be shown during Art Basel Week at the Concept Fair at the booth of www.contemporaryartprojectsusa.com. Prizes will be given. The deadline for submission is Oct 31, 2014. To help you along I will give you some pointers.
The negative points are:
1. Some artists do not like the subject
2. Some are lazy (well I am not going to be chosen so why bother)
3. Shipping costs and price of application
4. Filling in the form and downloading files
5. Some artists don’t understand what a “Call” is
6. They don’t know who the other artists are
7. Some artists don’t want to create a work and perhaps not win
The positive points are:
1. Artists have the chance to try something new
2. They can build their resume by being accepted by museums, galleries, and large public exhibitions
3. Artists have the chance to work and enlarge their network – new countries, new collectors
4. They have more media coverage about themselves
I might add that some artists have done very well using this entry to the art world. I hope this helps you to start thinking about this way to reach new artists.
The Art of Borrowing on Art
Facts: Lending art to a gallery or museum can boost its value significantly and there are in the world some banks who will lend you very large sums of money at very good interest rates if you offer art as your collateral. Some of the banks that do this are Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Stonehage. For these banks, it is another service to offer their top clients. Of course for the lenders they need the right artwork with the right provenance for the banks – they must do their homework. They must see the works at the client’s home or in storage, check purchase details, exhibition history, condition of the work etc. There are too many fakes out in the market. Owners are also advised to have their works displayed in their primary residence, for security reasons. So start with your own bank. You might be surprised. They might have this service.