Archive for: April 2007

April 18, 2007

On Being an Artist

Filed under: About Artists,Marketing,publishing — mas @ 4:56 pm

I recently read a blog post by a photographer who had just returned from one of those big time review sessions. In the post he says, “Here is what I learned about my work…” I found something about that simple statement unsettling.

This man has been a photographer for, I’m guessing, 35 years. He shoots commercially, and he has had at least three long term art projects going since I met him about 15 years ago. While I can understand learning something new about your own work, hopefully on a daily basis, it seems somehow sad that an artist in his position repeatedly pays thousands of dollars a year to have experts dictate the level of acceptance of his work.

It may be that I, myself, am scared of putting myself into a position like that (although I have), but intellectually, there are things that bother me about the process. Artists are supposed to develop their own body of work as individuals, not try to conform to the dictates of magazine and book editors. When editors treat art and artists as commodities to be ordered as you would order a sofa, something is terribly wrong in the world. It seems to me that the art world would be better served if editors spent more energy on educating their public than on educating the artists.

This, of course, brings to bear the reality of magazine and book publishers needing to stay in business. It is sad that National Geographic has had to resort to sensationalism,(Compare recent covers to covers over 4 years old.) and Aperture concentrating on photographs of and by political and entertainment industry celebrities to sell magazines. I am certainly not denying the positive aspects of showing work to other people to get feedback; that’s a necessity, but it seems as if art is getting lost to the world of commercialization.

April 9, 2007

Paris Prints

Filed under: publishing — mas @ 4:54 pm

My work from Paris has been on exhibit at the Open Shutter Gallery in Durango Colorado since mid February and will be done in two days. There was an article about the show in the Durango Herald. None of the pieces have sold, and I am starting to think that photography doesn’t sell particularly well in galleries.

I’m going to start making some POD (print on demand) books, both hardcover and softcover. The first book will be the Paris pieces, and I’ll be sending some of the books down to Durango. Books are alot less expensive than prints, and people like them for coffee tables. Who knows, maybe it will work.

I’m planning on using Viovio, unless I hear something to change my mind in the meantime. Some of the work from the book and exhibit is posted here.

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