In other news--God bless Peter Schjeldahl.
...Ryman stays fresh and taut. Even out of date, his conscientious integrity ought to abash today’s hordes of careering youngsters, whose idea of the future of civilization reaches little beyond the next art fair. But to be shameable, under present conditions, may be an unaffordable moral luxury.About a year after I graduated from art school, I realized that I could either follow art fads, and hang out on the Scene, and critique and discuss and schmooze and opinionate--or I could try to make some art with integrity. I could not do both. At the time I thought that this was a temporary state of affairs; I figured I'd work for a few years, produce a solid body of work, get grounded in who I was and what I had to say, and then re-enter the Scene.
...Two other artists contribute negligible works with arbitrary political associations.
Is all of this a mite thin and forced? It is, along with almost everything else of recent vintage in an art world where frenetic production has outrun any substantial supply line of ideas. Nearly a century of experiments in abstraction have become a fund of handy tropes. What’s lost—while being barely preserved, with monkish zeal, by the likes of Ryman—is a sense of risk at the frontiers of convention.
Come to find out, I think my Scene-aversion may be permanent. I don't just love Art because it's Art. I love really great art, and am supremely indifferent to the rest of it. Moreover, having to address the rest of it produces so much brain-chatter that I can't be still and listen to my inner voice, which is the one that makes the paintings.
However, I am very pleased to report that my bodywork practice is doing so well that I can now afford to be shameable, at least through the end of April. I raised my prices at the beginning of the year, and now I note that I am getting a lot more calls from Google hits to my website. It seems that people are more inclined to trust a person who charges more. I knew this was true in theory, but I was still gun-shy after experiencing a precipitate drop in business the last time I raised prices, when I was working in Williamsburg. That, I see now, was probably just due to the fact that artists are cheap.