Thursday, December 27, 2007


HA! What a joke. Poor Benny Bhutto didn't live to see 2008. Blown up by a suicide bomber in Pakistan, it's no surprize , but nonetheless a sad state of affairs in the world at large. I know my half dozen readers come to this blog for a little distraction and a flash of ankle in an otherwise depressing landscape of war, famine, and celeb crotch shots. But, lacking the soothing sched. of up before dawn and in the woods until dark, even I can get caught up in current affairs. Forgive me.
Last night a good artist friend of mine called to chat and catch up. She told me of a holiday party she attended at photog Cindy Sherman's penthouse apt. over the holidays. She took her husband and kids, and after the shindig, on the way down in the elevator, her little boy asked his father what the host did? He explained that Cindy was a "successful" artist. The kid mulled this over for a bit, obviously impressed by all the opulence and tray carrying help. Then he poked his mom, confused that Cindy and she could be in the same business, wondering why THEY didn't have a penthouse and butler? Well Tiny Tim, let ME field that one.
Just like you wouldn't think a giant 300 lb. 12 point Kansas whitetail would be of the same species as an 80 lb. spike found here in Sullivan Co., it's like that in the artworld. They are both deer....but barely. There are many layers to this onion we call "art", and the practioners of art are as varied as their so-called product. As in most things in western culture, we measure success in monetary terms and gathered accolades. $ is good, but throw a Macgrant in the pot and you're doing even better. So the artist$ who don't work a day job, show around the world, get written up by critics and have butlers and documentaries made about them, are called successful aritsts. The rest of us (like your mom) are just called artists. I can see TT is still confused. Jesus, this harder than I thought.
Now, let me step back a little farther. In the grand scheme of things, art affects the world very little. In fact a Jasper John's flag painting nor a Damien Hirst diamond encrusted human skull (both valued at millions of euros) does absolutely nothing to bring about a better world. The artworld is a disgusting, vapid, self-absorbed place. I can't believe i once wanted so badly to be a part of it. Yet, I (like Tiny Tim's mom) both call ourselves artists. Maybe it's time we come up with a better term to label ourselves and end the confusion. Christ, it's either that or start making a buck and get a penthouse and a couple of butlers. Tiny Tim looks up at me with those big Keene eyes and smiles. "God bless us, everyone." Can I show you my slides?


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