I can paint but the art world around me tells me its not good enough or in vain with(for) the current aesthetic.
I have hard time right now dealing with people in the art world as my BS meter is getting more acute as I get older.
Welcome to the club.
This weekend, an artist friend and I did some halfhearted opening-hopping in Williamsburg. Critical velocity was not achieved. Quote from friend, "I don't want to stand around Pierogi waiting to get invited upstairs."
I, being the art world innocent that I am, didn't even know Pierogi had an upstairs. I will never be part of the 'in' crowd at Pierogi, since Pierogi only shows artwork that looks like lichen. I like lichen, but I don't paint like lichen. What is, is.
Then we wandered across to B & W. In B & W was a life-size white machette of a bathroom, made out of plastic, foam-core and Mylar. In the back room were some respirators painted white. In the courtyard was a white model house, set on white Styrofoam beams, surrounded by a forest of aluminum poles.
We decided that it must be one of those exhibitions where you have to read the text to understand what is going on, except that we didn't care enough to read the text. I glancingly noticed that one of my ex-boyfriend's friends was there; the ex-boyfriend of my ex-best-friend, in fact. We didn't acknowledge one another. He's a vacant, philandering twerp.
Then we went to that gallery that's in a garage; the one that made a name for itself by showing the sculpture of Britney Spears giving birth. The bad one. I forget the name. The garage gallery was showing about six paintings on plywood; they were round, they were silly, they looked like fake surrealistic clocks for your child's bedroom.
As we walked away, I told my friend, "I feel better about my own rate of productivity, now." I could have filled up that gallery three times in six weeks, at that rate.
Sunday the two of us went by P.S. 1. There were hundreds of people schmoozing on the patio, and dozens of people looking at the art. My favorite part of the art was the John Lurie exhibition; the paintings looked like bad five-year-old art at first, until you looked at the captions. My favorite was "Three dentists thinking about the same squirrel." It is not easy to precisely evoke the mentality of being five years old.
On the first floor and in the basement was a panoramic retrospective of 'body art.' I am sensitive; I skimmed a great deal of it. My friend declared, "I'd seen most of those actual pieces before." Both of us lived for extended periods of time in the Bay Area; "over it" does not quite cover how we feel about 'body art,' particularly the 'shocking' photos of people doing boring retro things like bondage, cutting and fisting. 'Body art' bores us silly. It precisely captures the mentality of being two years old, and focused with great fascination upon one's own ejecti. Living in the Bay Area, you get people doing 'body art' on your back patio, when you happen to live above Folsom Street.
Let's just say it doesn't speak to us. Or that it's speaking: it's going 'blah blah blah blah blah. Blah.'
For quite awhile now, I have had an inchoate sense that the 'art world' is not about art; it is about high school. Or rather, there are tiers of the 'art world' which precisely resemble high school, and that's fine for them. Not only do I not wish to engage with these tiers, I can't. We're not speaking the same language.
But then, I've never run into Anselm Kieffer at an 'art world scene' opening, so I don't feel too bad about it. Lee Bontecou fled the 'art world' several decades ago, and one piece of hers inspires me more than a whole museum full of tinned shit. My uber-hero, Isamu Noguchi, spent half of his later years in a quarry in rural Japan, and the other half in a courtyard in Queens.
People, friends, real artists all--the 'art world' has nothing to do with being an artist. Nothing. Let us tell ourselves this every morning until we truly understand it.
Now, who would like to come to Serena's apartment for dinner, weekend after next? Anyone with the taste and discrimination to read this blog is invited. We 'art world' outies must nourish and encourage one another.