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Inspiration

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Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:26 pm

The conversations we've had on this before indicates that the answer seems to be, keep moving on, keep growing, keep evolving your work. I do this anyway. My work, while the essence remains the same, continues to evolve and change with every piece.

The problem that I can't quite figure out the solution for though is what to do when you only put out 20 or 25 pieces a year? I spend a great deal of time on each of my pieces, every single one is individual, I know the name of each piece I have ever made and what I was thinking when I made it. So if some complimentary soul can make 300 pieces in that time frame and spread them all over, how does the originator ever get anywhere?

Any ideas?

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:32 pm

Lani McGregor wrote:
Jackie Beckman wrote:What about when you're NOT a "Master"? I have to say, personally - I adore compliments, but I have yet to develop a taste for this particular sort.



Then I guess, like Bert says, you just need to run like hell and stay ahead of the pack.

(from one who works for a company with shin splints)


Ha - I guess we were thinking the same thought there Lani - I just came up with a similar answer. And what Bert says is very true - the cream rises to the top. Very wise Bert - although sometimes the cream spoils in the fridge while everyone is drinking the skim milk . . . :wink:

Brock
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Postby Brock » Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:43 pm

And just to roil the waters a little more . . .

What about when the CRAFT is the ART?

The work of Jeff Koons comes to mind, huge puppies made of flowers, wood carvings of him and his porn star ex-wife rutting . . . all made by other craftspeople. The most egregious example of Koons work is a sculpture, made by craftspeople, of a photograph of a couple holding 6 or 7 puppies. Koons didn't do any carving, and he didn't take the photograph. In fact, he was later sued, succesfully, by the owner of the image. There are many other examples, where an artist has a concept, and craftspeople execute it. Why . . . I think there might be one in glassblowing also.

We seem to accept this. Why? Brock
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:44 pm

OK - I'm going back out to do more coldworking. I had a "why bother" moment and came in for a break, but I'm over it, thanks to Lani and Bert and a few other wise souls hanging around here today. Besides, it's 89 degrees and the sky is blue, blue blue and the air is filled with the aroma of orange blossoms! Ahhhh - nice.

But, none the less, if anyone comes up with some sage advise, I'd love to read it when I come back in.

Phil Hoppes
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Postby Phil Hoppes » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:21 pm

Your COLDWORKING Jackie :shock:

I'm here in Overgaard, but I'll be right down to help you.........assuming of course you are dressed as in the calendar :twisted:

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:38 pm

Phil Hoppes wrote:Your COLDWORKING Jackie :shock:

I'm here in Overgaard, but I'll be right down to help you.........assuming of course you are dressed as in the calendar :twisted:


I am cracking up so hard, ahh Phil, what a riot! I'm having a quicky lunch, but I'll be back out there momentarily - better hurry. :lol:

Cynthia

Postby Cynthia » Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:09 pm

Brock wrote:And just to roil the waters a little more . . .

What about when the CRAFT is the ART?

The work of Jeff Koons comes to mind, huge puppies made of flowers, wood carvings of him and his porn star ex-wife rutting . . . all made by other craftspeople. The most egregious example of Koons work is a sculpture, made by craftspeople, of a photograph of a couple holding 6 or 7 puppies. Koons didn't do any carving, and he didn't take the photograph. In fact, he was later sued, succesfully, by the owner of the image. There are many other examples, where an artist has a concept, and craftspeople execute it. Why . . . I think there might be one in glassblowing also.

We seem to accept this. Why? Brock


To respond specifically about Koons' work I'll simply state what it is about...Appropriation.

The point of Appropriation is to create new work through borrowing a pre-existing image from another context and combining it with new ones and is utilized as a vehicle for stating viewpoints on current culture by gleening from other works or traditions. Goes hand in glove with Conceptual Art, where the concept/idea is more significant than the object.

My answer then is that we accept this because the work is about concept and not about materials.

My favorite Koons is the porcelain of Michael Jackson with his chimpanzee. It's done in a white glaze with gold luster buttons and adornments. It looks just like those porcelain figurines with the wigs and lacey trimed Elizabethan attired courtly men and women (fans and wigs and prissy buckle shoes). The only other colors are that his lips are red, his eyes are lined and his hair is black.
Last edited by Cynthia on Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bert Weiss
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Postby Bert Weiss » Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:17 pm

Jackie Beckman wrote:The conversations we've had on this before indicates that the answer seems to be, keep moving on, keep growing, keep evolving your work. I do this anyway. My work, while the essence remains the same, continues to evolve and change with every piece.

The problem that I can't quite figure out the solution for though is what to do when you only put out 20 or 25 pieces a year? I spend a great deal of time on each of my pieces, every single one is individual, I know the name of each piece I have ever made and what I was thinking when I made it. So if some complimentary soul can make 300 pieces in that time frame and spread them all over, how does the originator ever get anywhere?

Any ideas?


This is where you need a spin machine. The spinner explains to the "collector" that the artist only makes 20 pieces a year and uses the finest and most expensive materials available. These pieces are a bargain at only $10,000 each... until they get the price up to closer to $30,000.

The catch here is that there are only a handful of "spinners" read gallery owners, who have this capability and they only choose very few artists to do this with. I am on Heller Gallery's mailing list and the roster has barely budged, with only a few exceptions, for the last 15 - 20 years.
Bert

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PDXBarbara
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Postby PDXBarbara » Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:40 am

Cynthia wrote:
Brock wrote: The point of Appropriation is to create new work through borrowing a pre-existing image from another context and combining it with new ones and is utilized as a vehicle for stating viewpoints on current culture by gleening from other works or traditions. Goes hand in glove with Conceptual Art, where the concept/idea is more significant than the object.

My answer then is that we accept this because the work is about concept and not about materials.

Well-said, Cynthia. Is Koons also the guy who made his own "art" money and went around using it in regular commerce ?
barbara
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Paul Tarlow
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Postby Paul Tarlow » Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:30 am

Jackie Beckman wrote:The problem that I can't quite figure out the solution for though is what to do when you only put out 20 or 25 pieces a year?


This begs the question - why do you create art?

Someone who creates art because it fills a need somewhere deep in their psyche might be fine with 20-25 pieces a year. They may be fine with one piece a year if it fills that need.

Someone who creates art as a means for putting bread on the table might not have the luxury of only making 20-25 pieces a year.

Anyone who does it for both reasons -- where the requirement is to make a living off a very limited output -- is really counting on joining a elite minority of "celebrity" artists -- where the name of the artist has signficant value. That is, imo, a high-risk (albeit enviable) career path.

Doesn't mean its a bad career path -- just one with a very uncertain future.

- Paul

PDXBarbara
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Postby PDXBarbara » Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:12 am

Jackie Beckman wrote: I have to say, personally - I adore compliments, but I have yet to develop a taste for this particular sort.

[/quote]
Hi Jackie... sounds like you've had a bad experience.
Barbara
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Don Burt
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Postby Don Burt » Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:04 am

Brock wrote:And just to roil the waters a little more . . .

What about when the CRAFT is the ART?

The work of Jeff Koons comes to mind, huge puppies made of flowers, wood carvings of him and his porn star ex-wife rutting . . . all made by other craftspeople. The most egregious example of Koons work is a sculpture, made by craftspeople, of a photograph of a couple holding 6 or 7 puppies. Koons didn't do any carving, and he didn't take the photograph. In fact, he was later sued, succesfully, by the owner of the image. There are many other examples, where an artist has a concept, and craftspeople execute it. Why . . . I think there might be one in glassblowing also.

We seem to accept this. Why? Brock


I don't accept it as being anything more significant than entertainment. It irritates me that the institution of 'the art world' ascribes a high value to it, but if I'm true to my own beliefs, then I should not care what that relatively minor industry does. The real art of our time is on the cinema and television screens, in books and graphic arts, and music. The crafts (painting included, especially painting) are anachronisms. I regard them in a historical context. Collectors will collect their work from galleries, crafters will add superfluous content and statements to their work to get it into the galleries, and academics will continue to try to validate it. But in the end it doesn't mean much alongside the real art of our times.

Don Burt
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Postby Don Burt » Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:08 am

Don Burt wrote:
Brock wrote:clip
We seem to accept this. Why? Brock
clip

clip
I don't accept it as being anything more significant than entertainment.
clip


You're not talking about what Brock's talking about Don. Brock's talking about others doing the actual work, you're talking about non-formal content. Pay attention.

Phil Brown

Postby Phil Brown » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:29 am

And just to roil the waters a little more . . .

What about when the CRAFT is the ART?

The work of Jeff Koons comes to mind, huge puppies made of flowers, wood carvings of him and his porn star ex-wife rutting . . . all made by other craftspeople. The most egregious example of Koons work is a sculpture, made by craftspeople, of a photograph of a couple holding 6 or 7 puppies. Koons didn't do any carving, and he didn't take the photograph. In fact, he was later sued, succesfully, by the owner of the image. There are many other examples, where an artist has a concept, and craftspeople execute it. Why . . . I think there might be one in glassblowing also.

We seem to accept this. Why? Brock


I have asked this question too. I have a design, maybe even a vision. I draw it out and have assistants to help me (this all hypothetical). They cut out the glass, lay it up, maybe even execute the entire piece. Hmm, can I sign my name to it?? I don't think so; maybe a company name but not my name. But what about having someone build a custom metal stand of your design, though? An intereting artistic/practical question.

In classical music, the composition may have been written long ago and yet performed now by musicians. So if I'm the composer, but am not performing, or even conducting my own piece, still both the performance of the musicians AND the composition are considered 'art'. On the other hand a guy in a bar singing Dylan songs is considered by most to be "just doing cover material" and not usually looked on as legitimate in an artistic sense.

I'm sure smart folks like us can figure all this out with just a few more posts!
Phil

Tim Swann
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Postby Tim Swann » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:36 am

Jackie Beckman wrote:The conversations we've had on this before indicates that the answer seems to be, keep moving on, keep growing, keep evolving your work. I do this anyway. My work, while the essence remains the same, continues to evolve and change with every piece.

The problem that I can't quite figure out the solution for though is what to do when you only put out 20 or 25 pieces a year? I spend a great deal of time on each of my pieces, every single one is individual, I know the name of each piece I have ever made and what I was thinking when I made it. So if some complimentary soul can make 300 pieces in that time frame and spread them all over, how does the originator ever get anywhere?

Any ideas?


Jackie,

Keep doing only the 20 to 25 pieces a year. The time you invest in the work is were the true artistic value comes into play. A person can easily take a limited addition piece and have it knocked off in China, like so many other things today, but the Chinese factory will not put the same number of hours into its creation as you would. The quality of the piece will be substandard and will not be purchased by the knowledgeable collector. Keep the quality high and incorporate difficult features in your work to keep people from knocking it off.

Tim

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:42 am

Paul Tarlow wrote:
Jackie Beckman wrote:The problem that I can't quite figure out the solution for though is what to do when you only put out 20 or 25 pieces a year?


This begs the question - why do you create art?

Someone who creates art because it fills a need somewhere deep in their psyche might be fine with 20-25 pieces a year. They may be fine with one piece a year if it fills that need.

Someone who creates art as a means for putting bread on the table might not have the luxury of only making 20-25 pieces a year.

Anyone who does it for both reasons -- where the requirement is to make a living off a very limited output -- is really counting on joining a elite minority of "celebrity" artists -- where the name of the artist has signficant value. That is, imo, a high-risk (albeit enviable) career path.

Doesn't mean its a bad career path -- just one with a very uncertain future.

- Paul



Good questions Paul. I've always been involved making some sort of art - I've painted, I love pencil sketching, I have done a fair amount of fiber related art, etc. - and I'm not bad at any of those, really. I just have a need to create stuff - period. But when I started doing glass, for me, it was the only medium that existed anymore. And I'd still do it, even if I couldn't sell the work - but thankfully, I can. In fact, I don't even own one piece of my own work. (Well, not true - I own a tryptic because there are chips on the back) The fact that a stranger who's never met me is actually happy about spending a bunch of money to have something I've made enrich their lives somehow each day by simply looking at it - well, there is nothing so validating and thrilling and flattering. It almost moves me to tears - and not because I get some of that money for it - that has nothing to do with it.

And you're correct, not everyone has the luxury of making just 20 pieces a year. I'm fortunate that this is my situation and it allows me to have a sort of love affair with every piece I make. They really are extensions of me, each one of them. In fact Brock and I had a discussion once where I said if I finished a piece and someone was right there with the cash in their hand to buy it, but told me as soon as they bought it, they were going to break it, I couldn't sell it to them. It's not about me getting the money for it, it's about someone wanting it and loving it enough to spend their money for it.

Now, that being said, I'm also not independantly wealthy, so making a little money while fulfilling the need inside to create my work is important. This becomes difficult if there are 300 pieces out there that look like mine - it takes some of that "magic" away from what I create. Maybe someone suddenly isn't so happy to part with a bunch of money to own a piece of my work that they can derive pleasure from each day. So this doesn't just take money out of my pocket, it takes away that fulfillment I feel in my soul every time someone is actually delighted to buy something I've made.

And yes, it's a risky career path - but no more so than a kid thinking they are going to be an actor, an NFL player, a ballerina, a singer, Tiger Woods, etc. Is it likely? Not really, but someone is doing it. I can't sing - not a note. So if I thought I was going to be Ella Fitzgerald, I'd naturally be fooling myself. But . . . I can make really good glass. I don't think the "leap" is that unattainable.

Jackie

Jody Walker
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Postby Jody Walker » Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:45 pm

I'm just sittin here reading these issues and as a painter and glass artist, I am just wondering what all the hub bub is about. Take oil painters, for example, what tools, techniques do they have? Oil paint, "x" number of colors to mix, brushes, palette knives and a canvas. They can silk screen or airbrush as well, but combine just those few ingredients and add a few hundred years. Look what has been produced - masterpieces and schlock, sold and unsold, by millions of people.

Now take all the different possible permutations, of glass elements: glass - frit, powders, micas, enamels, silk-screening, airbrushing, then, lampworking, kiln-forming (combing, high fires, pot melts, you name it!) Then you can heat and pull them, you can melt them into a mold, only to mention a few methods that glass artists have at their disposal and, finally, add the Warm Glass Board. Phew! We really shouldn't complain. In the end, maybe we are just worried that someone will be "inspired" by some thing or technique we have done and then do it better! Yup, they will, and some will do it worse. But ultimately, once the tools and techniques are in place, the playing ground is leveled and then, the rules of composition, color and design are what will separate good work from bad and the best pieces of any type will always rise to the top. So just enjoy what you do and keep working!

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Postby PaulS » Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:25 pm

How beautifully put Jody

I share your philosophy and you said everything I feel, wish I were so eloquent
It ain't where you're from, it's where you're at!

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Postby charlie » Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:38 pm

Phil Brown wrote:I have asked this question too. I have a design, maybe even a vision. I draw it out and have assistants to help me (this all hypothetical). They cut out the glass, lay it up, maybe even execute the entire piece. Hmm, can I sign my name to it?? I don't think so; maybe a company name but not my name. But what about having someone build a custom metal stand of your design, though? An intereting artistic/practical question.


that's the process chihuly uses, as he doesn't (now) produce anything he designs.

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Postby Brad Walker » Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:42 pm

charlie wrote:
Phil Brown wrote:I have asked this question too. I have a design, maybe even a vision. I draw it out and have assistants to help me (this all hypothetical). They cut out the glass, lay it up, maybe even execute the entire piece. Hmm, can I sign my name to it?? I don't think so; maybe a company name but not my name. But what about having someone build a custom metal stand of your design, though? An intereting artistic/practical question.


that's the process chihuly uses, as he doesn't (now) produce anything he designs.


In the same vein, I was amazed to visit Jon Kuhn's workshop and learn from his "production manager" that not only does Kuhn not produce things he designs, he sometimes doesn't even design things that get produced by his assistants.

But he does make sure he's around to sign the work.


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