Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kids' Shows and Art Shows

I know I said I wouldn't post about parenting, and I'll have you know this post doesn't count because I've been watching Yo Gabba Gabba since before I was even pregnant. It's cool. It's got a regular segment featuring Biz Markie beat boxing. Mos Def was a guest star. Bands like The Roots and The Shins play on it. That counts as cool.

A while back, I watched an episode where the gang put on an art show. At the end, they all went around unveiling art as they sang about each other's pieces with lyrics something like, "Ooh! Ahh! Muno, that's awesome! You made such a great sculpture! Way to go, good job!" But then, at the end, they unveil poor Tutti's art, and it is a disaster. It actually begins to collapse under its own weight, and nobody can even tell what it is. If this were the real art world, it would be dubbed ephemeral and abstract and, subsequently, sold for a few million dollars. Unfortunately, the Gabba crew have a really pedestrian take on art and don't appreciate it for what it is. But, ever positive, they continue to sing. "Ooh! Ahh! Tutti, that's fantastical. You tried really hard! Way to go, good job!" And everybody's happy because, even though Tutti's art was horrendous, she did her best and that's what matters.

Quite unfortunately for a beginning artist like me, that's not how it really works. When you are starting out, people look at your crappy paintings and use appropriate words to describe them. Then, as you get better, so do the reviews. And the critiques match your rising skill level up to a point, and then you start doing weird stuff like performance art and people still speak well of you somehow. But I'm at the first stage, so that's where we'll focus.

People don't like ugly paintings. And because of that, I am a bit shy about trying to sell my work. In fact, I'm a little shy talking about art and, more specifically, myself as an artist. It just sounds weird and pretentious, since I'm still a student and all. I usually go with, "I'm taking some art classes." I have a few really nice friends and some generous relatives who have helped me stay in canvas and brushes by taking a painting off my hands, but I've only ever made one sale to a stranger, and that one doesn't even count because it was The Ugliest Painting You've Ever Seen. I'm convinced it only sold because I priced it for what it was worth.

Today was the second student art show/sale in which I've entered some work, and I sold a whole four paintings! And, as far as I know, I don't know the folks that bought them! I can say I moved up in the art world, if only by a few tiny baby steps. I wouldn't say I'm a "working artist" just yet, but this definitely beats taking online surveys.


No comments:

Post a Comment