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Performance Art Magic…with No Secrets to Hide

Performance artist Kerry Kistler shares some of the ways you can enthral a live audience with your art and a little showmanship.

Who can forget the Masked Magician? Back in the late 90s he appeared in four TV specials on the Fox Network exposing many trade secrets behind dozens of magic illusions – many of which were still being used on stages across America. During my days as a touring variety performer, it was not uncommon for some smirking spoiler to corner me after a show and make a snarky comment about the Masked Magician and triumphantly proclaim with a wink that they knew how our illusions worked. They were usually wrong.

But, there is one routine in my bag of tricks that never fails to enchant and mesmerize the audience, and no one ever says “I know how you did that.” It isn’t exactly self-working, but at least I’ll never have to worry about exposure by the Masked Magician, or tough angles, or difficult sleights, or exposing methods, or dropping gimmicks…although I do sometimes drop sticks of chalk.

That’s right. People actually view my performance at the chalk art easel as the REAL magic show. One day I figured out that my magic routines were the appetizer, and my chalk art was the main course – complete with loud gasps and standing ovations. And I’m not even that good. Seriously, I am not being modest, humble or ridiculous. If I HAD to hide one big secret about chalk art, it is this: you don’t have to be a virtuoso artist to “chalk and amaze” an audience.

This truth was proven to me again recently while watching “speed painter” D. Westry on YouTube. Speed painters and chalk artists are considered kissing cousins, because the main difference is the medium we throw on the canvas – their pigments are wet paint and ours are dry oversized pastels (from EternityArts.com). And more than a few performers have mastered both mediums. True, speed painters don’t have the element of surprise that chalkers enjoy with UV black light and hidden pictures. But many of them employ a secret weapon that works just as well. Curious?

I was watching D. Westry’s act in a talent contest on a TV talk show. In 90 seconds he created a large, sketchy painting that looked like a deformed vegetable. I’m not taking anything away from D. Westry – he’s a very talented performer. But even the main host later quipped, “I gotta say, I thought [the painting] was a weird potato…I think that’s amazing!” What amazed the host?

At the last second, Westry turned the painting upside down, and a portrait of the talk show host was clearly recognized. It took only a beat to sink in, and then the audience burst into a thirty-second standing ovation. Magical?? You be the judge, but I can’t remember ever seeing a magician get that kind of response with a $10,000 stage illusion!

Oh, and Westry even won the Grand Prize trip to Costa Rica with that simple potato-portrait. Astonishing, if not magical. Now, try to imagine the power chalk art can have when sharing your message.

To repeat: You don’t have to be a virtuoso artist to “chalk and amaze” an audience. If you have a solid grasp of stage craft and showmanship, I invite you to give it a try, even if it means doing a little pre-show work like tracing faint guidelines to follow. And please don’t howl, “That’s cheating!” A few spectators will always assume there is some “trick” to it. I’ve actually had a few teens come up to me after a show and ask if I use a special high-def, smart board technology that simulates live drawing – as if there MUST be some sort of digital “iChalk” magic behind it all since actual, live drawing seems impossibly hand-crank. I ask these doubting Thomases to reach out and touch the chalky surface of the drawing with their own fingers. Then I watch their expressions change, assured they will never yell out, “I know how you did that!”

Seriously, how is that NOT magical?

Kerry Kistler lives in Springfield, Missouri where he publishes Chalk Illustrated, a FREE quarterly magazine for performing chalk artists. Contact Kerry at chalkillustrated@gmail.com or subscribe today at www.ChalkIllustrated.com.

 

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Reader’s Showcase | Nadees Prabou | Stunning Colours of India

Watercolour artist Nadees Prabou lives in Pondicherry India, where he captures the beautiful drama and colour of Indian Street life…

“My work represent the daily life activities of the people on the way in my life.

Mostly I captured the changing monsoon whether its summer or winter or heavy rainy in the busy streets of India. It’s beautiful.”

 

nadees prabou

Visit Nadees’s website nadeeswatercolours.blogspot.com for many more images of his beautiful and stunning work.

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Selling Art Online with Instagram {5 top tips + more}

Over the last few months you have probably noticed more and more images being shared across Facebook and other social networks. These photos often have an arty quality to them and retro style image frames around them. These images are originating from the smartphone app Instagram.

Instagram is an app that you use on your iPhone, iPad or Android based device. It allows you to shoot a photo and then process it in app to add a variety of filters and frames. However, the magic is then that Instagram allows you to share that photo across a variety of social media sites with one click of the button.

Like all social media sites or apps, Instagram has it’s fair share of brain sucking rubbish to wade through. This is mostly comprised of young girls taking photos of their hair and what they are eating [usually cupcakes].  However, used carefully and intelligently, the visual nature of Instagram is brilliant for artists. Its a great way of showing your work to the world and finding new fans for what you do.

One of the great things about Instagram is that it allows you to publish your images to other social media sites too therefore making your life easier in one fell swoop. Whenever you post an image you can also share it with Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and via Email. One good picture of your work can go a long way with very little effort {always good where time sucking social media is concerned}

So how can Instagram help you grow your work, brand and visibility as an artist? Where do you start? I have put together a 5 tips below to help you get to grips with ways to use Instagram to help you sell art online…

 

1 What images should I post on Instagram?

Use Instagram to introduce people to your work. Therefore show them what you do, photographing your work and process, tools you use, places you visit, inspiration and things you like. Aim to use the app to give people a little glimpse into your art, ideas and life as an artist.

2 Keep it local

I have found the best success by using Instagram to find potential local fans and customers. By using this method I have developed a new relationship with a lovely local art gallery and found several new local customers for my work with very little effort.

My method is to search within the app for the hashtag of my local town {ie #London, #NewYork or wherever you live} Then comment on images by local people and start up a conversation. In this way I have grown my followers and made some great local connections who now see my work every time they check Instagram. If I were to hold an exhibition or local event I could easily use Instagram to help with publicity towards it. I intend to do this in the future.

It’s also a great idea to search for and follow local artists too to bring you local connections and networking opportunities that can help grow your work.

3 The secret is in the hashtags.

Post a picture alone onto Instagram and chances are you wont get much attention. However, the secret is to tag your picture correctly with the right hashtags. That way, people searching for the subject of your image can find your work.

So, for example, if you paint watercolour landscapes of New England you may want to use the hashtags #landscapepainting #NewEngland #watercolour #art #drawing or similar. A little bit of research using the hashtag search facility in the app will help you know which hashtags to use. Hashtags are definitely the key when it comes to using Instagram well and you can add many different ones to each image.

4 Can I sell my art directly through Instagram?

Instagram does not have a way to allow you to sell art directly through the app. I see it more as a way of creating or finding an audience for your work and spreading the word about what you do, leading people back to your main site or shop. However, I have seen popular artists with many followers release images of work for sale on Instagram along with a direct paypal address for payment and sell out their editions so it can definitely be done.

5 Can I use Instagram to promote my shop or sale?

Once you have an audience on Instagram you can promote items on your website or shop site. You can’t create a direct link in Instagram but I have seen people use an image very successfully to flag up sales and promotions on their site or Etsy shop. Simply prepare a nice image with the relevant information and then post to Instagram.

You can use apps like PhotoCollage, InstaCollage, PicFrame and InstaEffects or similar to create a nice promotional image for your sale.

 

But don’t Instagram want to steal all my images?

Instagram has recently come in for a lot of criticism for rewriting its terms and conditions in a way which gave them far too much legal access to users images, being able to use them for advertising. Users left in droves and the repercussions echoed around the social media sphere. Instagram was forced to look again into it’s policies and back down somewhat.

However, as with all Social Media sites it’s well to treat it with some caution as you never know what direction they will take in the future. Don’t post any clear images of work you want to fully control. Teaser images only.

 

Instagram Do’s and Dont’s

DO

  • Watermark your image – PhotoMarkr is just one app which can do this. Watermark with your website address so that wherever your image ends up people can find out who you are.
  • Follow artists you love. Then any time you log on to Instagram you have a ready stream of inspiration to look at.
  • Make every image count – don’t just post photos of cups of coffee and your new hairstyle. Post only one or two really great images a day. Quality over quantity definitely works on Instagram.
  • Link Instagram to your Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts and use it to feed them with content. You don’t even need to spend any time on them. It’s a good way to get your work seen.
  • As always, try and lead people back to your main website with an offer or other enticement. Try and get them to sign up to your mailing list.

DON’T

  • Post easily steal-able nice straight on usable images of your work. Instagram images seem particularly prone to being ripped off by unscrupulous copyright ignoring trolls. Therefore, use Instagram images as a “tease” to interest people in your work. Post photos of your work shot at a strange angle, a small part of the whole image, or blur out some of the image {you can do this in the Instagram app} The idea is to lead people back to your main content elsewhere and raise your profile.
  • Release any image that you want to keep control over. Instagram images have a life of their own. Once you have set them free you have to just let them go.

 

So give Instagram a go. Its fun, inspirational [if you follow the right people] and doesn’t take up much time. Post your instagram profile address below so we can all look at your photos. Happy snapping.

 

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The Circle of Life – Mandala Wisdom For Artists

I have recently discovered the beauty and mystery of Mandalas and become just a little bit obsessed with them {as is my way}.

A mandala is a concentric pattern which has spiritual and ritual significance in Buddhism and Hinduism. These beautiful images are meditative and restful to contemplate and are used as a way to enter deeper levels of the unconscious. They can appear in a dazzlingly wide array of forms and you may find them painted on silk, created out of sand by Buddhist monks with infinite patience and even tattooed on skin in delicate dotwork.

Tibetan monks making a temporary “Sand-Mandala”

The circle of the seasons

Maṇḍala (मण्डल) is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle.” and mandalas symbolize the circle of life.

As winter draws in and the nights become darker I find this a particularly relevant and comforting thing to contemplate. Everything is cyclical in life. Winter will come with it’s cold and darkness but we know that somewhere along the line, Spring will come around with it’s new shoots of growth and warmth and light. In fact, when I dashed through the garden yesterday in a rush to get indoors out of the freezing rain, I noticed the green tips of bulbs starting to poke through the soil already with their promise of warmer lighter days ahead. There are always signs that a change is coming if you look hard enough.

Thomas Hooper - Decalomania

Thomas Hooper – Decalomania Mandala Study 2

The circle of being

This is heartening to realise if you are going through a period of difficulty, albeit financial, personal or in your work. When things are difficult in life I like to remind myself of the ancient Eastern proverb “This too shall pass” meaning that all life is cyclical and all material conditions, positive or negative are transitory. It may be bad now but as with the seasons, change is coming if you look for it.

The circle of creativity

As with all things, creativity has it’s cycles too. In her book  The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron talks about working with the cycles of creative energy that ebb and flow through your life.

You may go through a period when your creative energy is low and blocked. When nothing much gets created and you aren’t happy with the things you do do. However, if you keep the faith that creativity is cyclical you can ride these rough patches with confidence, safe in the knowledge that your creative life force will gain strength again and you will enter another period of energy.

You just need to keep the faith that it WILL come around again and not panic when you are in a low period.

Or to put it in a much less spiritual and much more bluff way – in the down to earth words of Winston Churchill.

“If you are going through hell – keep going.”

Are you aware of the cycles in your life and creativity? How do you ride out the storms and troughs? Share with us in the comments.
Images - Buddhist Monks by HenryArt Mandala Image by Kosigrim

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Reader’s Showcase | Casper Johansson | Rubber Stamp Artwork

Untitled

 

I am a full time artist from Sweden working in Burma since 2007. My works are all made in ink using rubber stamps. A technique that I have been working with for 2 years.

A vandal had written ´Destroy Power, Not People´ on the electric transmission building. In 1988 or -89, when my perception of power was limited to a source of energy I went home from school and started to scribble down my first piece on paper, attaching a yellow circle with the symbol of radioactive radiation. The style of the letters had already been introduced from the stickers inside Danish bubblegum packages. Two decades later, the power remains but my interpretation has changed, so has the style, today I use it as confrontation which intends to open up dialogue, a dyslexic language targeting the alleged veracity using unpressured paint as the core in my artistic expression.

Nutritionfact Kryptonite 2012

 

Contradictions, pronounced colouring and sharp outlines, using the urban landscape as a point of departure I want my art to stir up questions with the audience. The range of colours, shapes and style are rooted in graffiti which blends with everyday testimonies of feelings, beliefs and experiences. The result is a visual debate, a sphere between private and public, assumed truth and the untold, processed and enCAPsulated in the magnetism of art.

Because I am worth it

 

As art is a necessity and a common good, whether legal or illegal, my work is not strictly limited to canvas bounded by defined frames for an advantaged audience. Consequently your investment is my playground and I’m coming live in 5, 4, 3, 2…….

See more of Cap’s intriguing work on his site – http://capism.se or follow him on Twitter @duelling_banjos

 

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Artists and Energy Vampires {How To Protect Yourself and Your Art} Halloween Special

Appropriately for Halloween I have started thinking about Vampires…

Bizarre as it may sound, Vampires are not necessarily the mythical creatures from films and stories. There ARE real life Vampires operating all around us feeding on our life energy and nowhere do these predators operate more successfully than in the art world.

Do Vampires really exist?

Sounds like a bunch of daft mumbo jumbo right? Have I been drinking too much Halloween punch?

Think about it. Most of us know people who we dread being around. After being on the phone to them for ten minutes we feel exhausted and in need of a lie down. If they pop round to visit we feel depressed, knackered and possibly even ill after they leave. We try and make excuses to avoid them but they always seem to know when we feel low and call just at the time we least feel we have the energy to deal with them.

These people are what I would class as Energy Vampires. They emit negativity and suck all the joy and happiness from a room. They leave greyness in their wake. They feed on the life energy of others in order to make themselves feel better or more powerful. They are draining, exhausting and damaging to be around.

How to spot an Energy Vampire
Energy Vampires are easily recognisable from some common characteristics.

  • They like to criticise and complain and bring down positive people by destroying their confidence with subtle undermining comments.
  • They are jealous of people who achieve things in their life and consequently do all they can to sabotage them in order to make themselves feel more powerful.
  • They suck the lifeforce out of everyone around them.
  • They are the passive aggressive killers of dreams and generally never have much positive comment to make.
  • Life is never good for them, something is always wrong, be it the weather, their job or their spouse.

You come across them every day in all areas of life. They might be a friend, an aquaintance or someone you meet through your artistic practice. In defense of the Energy Vampire they often don’t realise what they are doing and have unhappy and damaged backgrounds so a little understanding is called for.

Artists are easy prey for the Energy Vampire

Unfortunately, artists and creative people are particularly easy prey for an Energy Vampire. The very act of creating some kind of Art – Sculpture, Painting, Photograph, Music or Print is a baring of your soul.

Standing in my first exhibition after all the work had gone up, I was shocked at how vulnerable I felt. My inner thoughts were out there for everyone to see. This act of translating your soul out through your art makes the Artist sensitive and open to negative people who seek to drain their power for their own ends. Its easy to trash someone’s confidence when they have put their entire being, thoughts and energy into a piece of work. There are also people who are jealous that you are doing something you enjoy, or are good at a particular artistic skill, as its something they feel they can’t do well themselves. Consequently they might rubbish your output in order to feel better about their own work.

How do Energy Vampires attack?

The attack generally comes in two equally damaging forms: Destructive criticism and the Destruction of Dreams. Lets just look a little closer at these two.

Negative or destructive criticism of your work: 
Constructive criticism of your work can help you flourish and develop as an artist but destructive criticism destroys, undermines, damages confidence and is one of the biggest reasons Artists stop creating. The tragedy is that some Artists will just stop creating work for the rest of their lives, believing that their Art has no value. No one appreciated the work of Van Gogh during his lifetime  but what a tragedy if he had just given up because someone told him his work sucked and he listened!

Destroying your dreams:
Being told “no one ever makes a living as an Artist” “You need to live in the real world” “You’ll never make it” and variations on the above can make working and living as an artist seem like an impossible dream. Energy Vampires are often very unhappy in their own lives and like to make sure everyone else is similarly unhappy by dashing their hopes and dreams.

How to defend against Energy Vampires

So, what can you do to thwart the energy vampires from draining you of your creative lifeforce?

  • Recognition
    The Best defence against energy vampires is wonderfully simple – recognition. Once you can spot a Vampire at work it’s easier to stay strong in the face of their negativity and realise that it’s their issues at work, not yours. Recognising what they say or do for what it is, invalid and undermining, will allow you to avoid being dragged down and to shake off any criticism.
  • Nourish your protective confidence
    Build confidence in your work. A healthy confidence in your own work will give you great protection. Develop your work and skills in positive ways and become involved with positive organisations for mutual support. Some people will love your art. Some won’t and won’t understand it. That’s OK. The main thing is that YOU love your work and are happy that it’s the best you can produce.
  • Avoidance.
    Simply stop hanging around with people you know bring you down and are bad for your psyche. Make sure you surround yourself with people who create positive energy and support your dreams.

So keep strong. Keep Painting, Sculpting, Photographing, Printing, Designing, Drawing, Playing and Making. Keep your dreams alive and hang onto your creative energy.

 

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly be that kind of a friend for your friends.” ― Mark Twain

Do you have experience with Energy Vampires? How did you deal with them? Share with us and have a spooky Halloween…

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Reader’s Showcase | Zhenlian | Meditative Paintings

Evening Romance

 

My name is Zhenlian. I am an artist from China. I  graduated from Teachers Training College in Hong Kong as a qualified art teacher.  I have worked as art teacher in both Primary and Secondary schools in China.    I have retired from my work since 2002, since then I have devoted myself to painting.

Dragonfly Attractions

 

I like to experiment with new medias which I have not had much experience before, such as acrylic and Chinese paintings. I am fired with inspiration in whatever I paint, in fact, I am more inspired now than when I was young.

Fairyland Tales

 

I am often inspired by nature, flowers,waters,trees,fruits etc, I don’t paint what I see but express what I feel, I often see the theme of a subject before me, and I choose to express it in colors and forms. My paintings are meditative and poetic.

Bornfree

 

I enjoy painting animals too, especially cats, I usually add a humorous touch to my animal themes. Most of my paintings are conceptual realistic in style, that is to say my paintings appear very realistic but there are always some imaginative elements in the composition of my works. I think I would rather call this Conceptual Romanticism. My paintings are integrations of the real and the imaginative.

You can see more of Zhenlian’s beautiful work here.

 

 

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The Artonomy Top 5 {stuff we love}

The Top 5 art and art marketing related items we have found on the web recently {AKA our roundup of stuff we like}

Thomas Heatherwick ~ Just Awesome

Heatherwick designed the Olympic cauldron featured in the Olympic opening ceremony in London. A major solo exhibition of his work showcases his career to date. Via BBC

Creativity and the Fear of “Putting Yourself Out There” Seven ways to overcome fear and be more creative

Susan Cain is the author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

I discovered her work a few months back and its extremely interesting to me to discover that I am a natural introvert and exactly what that means about how I work. Far from being a negative trait, introversion can be very powerful. However, it can often impact on artists abilities to put their work out for all to see and Susan discusses this in this very interesting article via psychology today.

Susan Caine’s TED talk

Following on, Susan Caine delivered a great TED talk about the power of introversion and creativity. Well worth watching. {if the video doesn’t show below please click here}

Case study: How a 22-year old made $28,139 on Etsy

Ben Kafton sells architectural drawing silkscreen prints on Etsy. This in depth study analyses in depth his cross selling strategies to maximise his income. See exactly how he did it. Via I will teach you to be rich.

How I Made $50,000 Selling Art on Facebook

Along the same lines, Natasha Wescoat is an extremely successful artist, selling and licensing her work online. Here she shares her Facebook strategy which enabled her to sell $50,ooo dollars of art through Facebook. Extremely useful. Via The Abundant Artist

 

image: LOCOG / olympic opening ceremony tumblr

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Reader’s Showcase | Harriete Estel Berman | Intriguing Post Consumer Recycled Art

Harriete Estel Berman uses post consumer, recycled materials to construct artwork ranging from jewelry and teacups to entire lawns and sculpture with social commentary.

Sculptures include domestic appliances remarking on the roles of women, the influence of advertising and commentary about our consumer society. Recent work includes a bell curve 15′ feet tall and 28′ feet as a commentary about the impact of standardized testing.

Judaica by Harriete focus on the concept of Tikkum Olam “repair the world” with the use of recycled tin cans.

This Seder plate was designed for the invitational exhibition titled Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art and Jewish Thought, The Dorothy Saxe Invitational at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. San Francisco, CA

Berman’s work has shown throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. Her work has been acquired for the permanent collections of 13 museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Detroit Institute of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Harriete says…

All of my work uses  post consumer recycled materials for the past 24 years (starting way before the current rage for recycled materials.) At the time I started it was actually embarrassing to be working with trash. Now this movement has considerable momentum.”

“My primary material is recycled tin cans to make jewelry, sculpture, installations and Judaica. 

The Recycle Fushia Bracelet above is from a premium quality shampoo that came in a brilliant colored plastic bottle. The black is take out trays.

“Recently I have been expanding into using pencils and post consumer plastic waste.   

Pick UP Your Pencils, Begin is a gigantic bell curve 28' wide and 15' tall about the impact of standardized testing on our educational system.

Womanizer, Kitchen Queen 1982 - Blender body and lid are a painted copper construction. Carefully constructed using sheet metal these appliances are not found objects. Ballerina inside the transparent plastic blender container pirouettes in conjunction with the music by wind-up mechanism.

You can find out more about Harriete and her work on her website: http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info

A Flickr Set detailing the design and fabrication of Harriete’s amazing Seder Plate

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The one in which I confess I LIKE Thomas Kinkade…

Thomas Kinkade, one of the most prolific and successful artist in modern history is dead and right now I would like to stand up and confess that I like his work…

I think somehow it reminds me of the Christmas cards of my childhood featuring cosily lit victorian coaching inns generously sprinkled with silver glitter, a prancing coach and four pulling up outside bringing laughing travellers home for the holidays. The light eminating from inside the Inn beckoning you in to curl up by the fireside with a large dog and a hearty Pickwickian Christmas dinner. A glimpse of a warm friendly interior. A safely comforting feel.

No doubt millions of others got the same sense of cosy safety in an increasingly insane world. An idealised and beautiful landscape where nothing went wrong. Kinkade managed to hit the perfect emotional spot with millions of people, an estimated 1 in 20 American homes owning one of his images. If Kinkade’s work makes people feel a spot of calm or happiness where is the harm in that? He knew his audience perfectly and knew what made them feel good.

But I shouldnt need to “confess” to this should I ?. What is so terrible about liking the work of a popular artist? Why do I neel nervous about typing this?

Who says which art I should like ?

Art dictatorship and the taste police.

I also confess I have a softspot for artists who get up the nose of the art establishment… Despite his immense popularity in the eyes of his millions of fans Kinkade attracted an enormous amount of vitriol from the “taste police” in the art world.

The sheer hatred unleashed on him {and other “not-proper-artists”} by art critics is shocking to read. It reminds me of school kids bitching about and bullying the unpopular kid behind the bike sheds. Many of those same critics are now writing articles praising Kinkades understanding of art marketing and subtly reversing away from their previous nastiness in the light of his death.

Kincade appeared to be able to laugh off the criticisms but it seems sad that his brother believes his losing battle with alcohol was probably precipitated by the constant attacks by the art establishment on him and his work which he took more to heart than he showed.

Scottish artist Jack Vettriano attracts similar criticism. Here he is described in The Guardian newspaper.

“Vettriano is not even an artist. He just happens to be popular, with “ordinary people” who buy reproductions of his pseudo-1930s scenes of high-heeled women and monkey-suited men, and celebrities who fork out for the originals of these toneless, textureless, brainless slick corpses of paintings. “

I don’t personally love Vettrianos work enough to want to own it. However, I will defend to the death the right of anyone to be able to buy it without being made to feel like a brain dead idiot with the style and taste of a wombat.

Can the internet democratise art?

The art establishment has had everything it’s own way for a long long time. This has created a dictatorship where people are afraid to be seen to like the “wrong” art. Fledgling interest in collecting art can be paralyzed by the fear of making a “mistake”. Art galleries become intimidating “no-go” areas for fear of being made to look ignorant.

This increases the perception of art as being something “not for us” by many people and this can’t be a good thing for the majority of artists when more people need to be encouraged to buy art. The massive majority of potential new art buyers are outside the New York art scene and even the gallery system itself.

However, the good news is that with the increasing prevelance of art on the internet, collectors can find the kind of art that they like and the falsely dictated notions of “good” or “bad” taste in art are becoming fast outmoded.

There is a movement towards a democratisation of the art world. People can look online and find the kind of art that appeals to them rather than what they are told they CAN like by a sneering critic. They can then safely buy the art online without being judged or made to feel uncomfortable.

Viva la Revolución!

So it is time to be proud of the art you like… no matter if it is “critic approved” or not. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t like…

So… Just for the record I LOVE LOVE LOVE the work of Vladimir Tretchikoff, famous for his popular prints of exotic beauties which graced every UK front room in the 1960s and 70’s. – dismissed with scorn in his time and now viewed as modern classics.

Wayne Hemingway, in his book Just Above The Mantelpiece says of Tretchikoff  “He achieved everything that Andy Warhol stated he wanted to do but could never achieve because of his coolness.” The line between the two artists is very fine.

I also have a soft spot for Bob Ross and his fabulous “happy little clouds” and Norman Rockwell – once described as Kitsch – now viewed as classic American art.

The Last Word

The last word should go to art critic Louis Leroy describing a painting of a sunrise over water…

“A preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern is more highly finished than this seascape,”

The artist he was pouring scorn on was one Claude Monet

Hmmm…

 

Which artists do you like that you “aren’t supposed to” ? Stand proud and share with us in the comments.

 

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