Now is the season when various applications for fellowships, grants residencies and the like are either coming due or are just past due. There is naturally a certain amount of self-reflection that takes place when you have to, for the nth-time, describe yourself and your artistic agenda to some random committee in New York. You’d expect after a while that one might get used to it and have certain pat answers ready for that copy-paste key, but I’m often compelled to write something that is at least partially unique. I think for me the most difficult part of this process is tearing away the time to put together cogent and compelling applications while dealing with my various jobs and obligations, which is ironic considering several of the grants and fellowships I’m currently writing are designed to alleviate this very issue of lack of time. So I’m in a way stealing time to buy time.
Here’s an image I took from First Friday a few weeks back of work I made in 2011
One of the odd things about the art world is how it determines eligibility in certain ranks of artists. There is your emerging artist, a title that seems to suggest young but actually means undiscovered. And then on the opposite side, there’s your mature artist, where this maturity begins no one seems to know. How one leaps from the lowly yet exciting emerging category to the stayed and proven mature category is anyone guess as well. One thing seems clear to me and that is that the quality of work is rare to most significant determining factors when assessing the maturity of an artist. There is an x-factor, and this mysterious x-factor I believe lay in artists’ charisma more than anything else. And, unfortunately for many, it’s not something that’s taught in school or passed along amongst colleagues.
One of the things I talk a lot about in therapy, and that I think relates to this time of year where so many things come due, is the idea of rescue or rescue events that will usher in a much needed period of calm and relief. It’s a common theme in most people’s lives and I’ve mentioned it here before. I’m continually surprised at the power of this fantasy. What I work on through constant vigilance is for little periods of rest from stress – particularly from my job which causes me mostly lost-time-related stress. And for the courage and opportunity to be my own rescue, again the reason for constantly applying for fellowship and new jobs and grants and shows, etc.
The challenge for me, and I think most people, is the recognition that comes with age that the fight for rest is constant and there’s no promise that you might reach your goal whatever shape that might take. I just put together a Gottlieb Fellowship and am in the middle of finishing a Krasner-Pollock, both of which are long shop applications and it’s extremely sobering to look back over decades of work and know that it still might not measure up. I’d like to think that most people are not so silly as artists are to have their self worth so constantly and ruthlessly reduced and assessed.
Here some beautiful images of a sunset at a friend’s place last week that I’m thinking of turning into pieces next year.
I’ve been all over the place with my music lately, listening to a lot of late 90’s Radiohead and this band my buddy Tyrone turned me onto called Skinshape. Usually lately when I come into my studio I’ve been wanting to turn on anything that was not impeachment related to the radio. That’s usually meant something jazzy or something in the instrumental hip-hop area. So here’s a little of both. Heres Brad Mehldau’s “Say Goodbye” and J Dilla’s posthumously recorded “King”
I hope to be well into my Venus painting over the next few weeks, I built the frame for it a couple days ago. Additionally, I hope to finally complete my Higg(ins) Bosons pieces that I’ve been avoiding for weeks. My plans are to do a studio blog and a year in review piece over the next few weeks to wrap up 2019. Until then do be well.