Archive | February, 2011

When is an image no longer art?

23 Feb

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I thought I had my answer. But alas, what drives art acquisition? Emotion and connection to an image. And price. I am, admittedly, a stickler for supporting the mission of living artists who create original art. Perhaps its because I am accustomed to collecting contemporary fine art (and have become familiar with the pricing – recognizing that many living artists accept nominal and variable pay checks for the greater mission of creating art), or perhaps because I come from a lineage of collectors who have valued art above other material possessions? Regardless, it is fascinating to ponder (and observe) when original art collides with reproduction and note how, and why, collectors chose what to acquire. No answer to this question, but rather a very stimulating topic to consider.
Again, when is an image no longer art?

Here are some opening night photos taken by Julia Benton for BrightestYoungThings. The photos give a wonderful feel for the exhibition installation atmosphere as well as for the artwork used as an example. Enjoy!

Gallery Tip for Scuffed Walls

15 Feb

I dread touch-up painting the walls of the gallery before a big exhibition (a theme on my mind today as Rosemary Feit Covey’s show, “Death of the Fine Art Print” opens this Friday).  There are too many variables! For example, the paint doesn’t quite match anymore due to being stacked on the backroom shelf a little too long, or the paint is relatively new but comes out dry because the can wasn’t properly sealed last time touch-up painting was tackled.

Again, since this theme is fresh on my mind, I thought I would share a gallery short-cut to try before diving into a full scale painting project:   the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!  This wonderful product buffs out nearly any scuff or scrape on the walls, including oil paint, pencil, and hanging hardware marks.

Although I did do some minor painting today, the Magic Eraser solved most of my wall scars. Give it a try!

To buy or not to buy from an online art fair?

9 Feb

…An interesting question to consider since artwork acquisition seems to be most comfortable when a piece is viewed in person.   Scale, palette, texture and that invisible connection between collector and artwork…can this be accurately conveyed virtually? (And remember, for all of you collectors who reside outside of the DC area, this is precisely why MFA ships artwork on approval so you can view it prior to acquisition).

VIP Art Fair – the first virtual art fair featuring a number of blue chip international galleries – launched an interesting concept but had mixed reviews after closing last week.

Here is a link to the fair website as well as a few interesting articles:

Rosemary Feit Covey on 6 Things She Thought She Would Never Do (and the inspiration for “Death of the Fine Art Print”) :

2 Feb

Covey's "Fish", hand & machine printed wood engraving w acrylic paint & ink on japanese paper

Covey's "Fish", hand & machine printed wood engraving w acrylic paint & ink on japanese paper (one of a kind)


The answers you get

depend on the questions you ask—Thomas Kuhn

Six things I thought I would never do:

1) Appropriation

2) Xerox

3) Multimedia

4) Conceptual pieces

5) Deconstruction

6) Archival Ink Jets

As a classically trained printmaker here are six things I thought I would never do. But now I find myself doing all of them in my new projects.  I have accepted the fact that my work as an artist must be driven by my relationship with my subject matter followed by finding the tools best able to express the content of the work, not the reverse.

Each of my major projects in the last few years—0, Strip, Peep Show, Brain Tumor and now Death of the Fine Art Print (rats)—has generated its own means to best express its concept. The use of forms and media I might previously have rejected but now find serve my content. This has led me on a journey where all my old art prejudices have been called into question and turned on their heads.

I think my job as an artist is to build on what I have done before and never get too comfortable…never let hard-earned craftsmanship thwart finding fresh approaches…always be willing to push my assumptions as I move from one work or project to the next.

Have I lost contact with my past as a printmaker? No, I still use engraving as a starting point when it is relevant. The better question is: How can I best explore the subjects that intrigue me right now?

Covey's "Strip", wood engraving

Covey's "Strip", wood engraving (edition of 80)

Covey's "Strip", archival ink jet print

Covey's "Strip", archival ink jet print, (open edition)