As I am working on my series of Homeric portraits, I am reading a book I found (that’s quite awful) titled, Picasso and His Women. The title suggests that the book is solely about Picasso’s love affairs but I’m sure the title was just an attempt to draw readers in its year of publication (1969) because its really simply a pretty straight forward biography.
Still, it’s a decent read and as I am going through it I am realizing there are things Picasso had as a growing artist that I either wish I did or I think is necessary in order to further my practice.
Exposure: in the beginning Picasso could only practically give his drawings and paintings away to small dealers (which were pretty much dealt out of Knick knack shops) but when these pieces got into the hands of the right people—the Steins for example—Picasso was set. There was a culture in Paris at the time of collecting prints and drawings for their aesthetic value, however, that I don’t think exists today anywhere. The internet, it seems, is where most aspiring artists put up their work. I was told by someone in the business that any attempts these days to get ones art in a gallery is simply not worth the time because galleries are closing down around NYC at such a rate that they will only look at any art that is guaranteed to make a profit; it is in their economic interest to only give space to established artists. The internet, however, as a space to showcase and sell art, seems cold and I wish that we lived in a time that was still hot for art in such a way that it was sold out of small curiosity shops which were explored by art aficionados.
Community: Picasso in his developmental stages was surrounded by other artists, poets, and writers. They critiqued each other and fed each other inspiration. And while I do have a rolodex of friends from many walks of life (transgendered performers, singers, writers) the internet, again, has created a different mode of socializing that breaks being friends down to likes and status updates (where years ago we used to all be in bars and clubs and each other’s homes). Also, we were younger then and I am developing this artist in me at a late stage. My artistic friends are settled and I myself am so busy with school, work and my partner that there seems little time to wax brilliant about art at a corner cafe with an of my artistic friends.
Going forward my plan is to continue inquiring about galleries and spaces to showcase my work; I think it’s important that I put it out there instead of leaving it all stacked against my studio walls. I am also going to continue staying in as close touch as possible with my artistic friends and attempt to arrange in-face coffees or gatherings when I can. Because if I ever did get a show somewhere, I’ll need support by way of these people who have inspired me over many years.