Art is simple and complicated but its such an alluring and wonderful thing. Yet, let’s face it, money is an issue for any parent hearing their kid plead for an art education (trust me, I know, I begged my Mom when I was in high school). Studying and participating in art is not exactly welcome in a Filipino household, I’ll tell you that much. Yet, it’s important to understand why and I wish I caught onto the Bohemia of Finances series by art and culture writer, Brandon Brown (who writes critically about hip hop/rap – swoon!) sooner. I need to back track as soon as possible but I paid particularly close attention to Part 6 of the series because he conducted an interview with Patricia Maloney, Editor and Founder of Art Practical (double sigh, one of my art heroes). In any case, it’s an interview filled with great questions and amazing answers that touch upon an artist’s practice, pecuniary matters in the art world, and art theory/criticism and how they all intersect. Ms. Maloney’s answers to Mr. Brown’s questions certainly bring up some salient points about how the varying levels of education affect contemporary art and how art production and consumption affect an artist’s practice as well as the market. Definitely worth reading because it’s filled with a lot of great information and insight!!
On the heels of reading Christine Wong Yap’s Art Practical feature, I figured it was time to create a new page on my blog – Shotgun Reviews Archive! Shotgun Reviews via Art Practical has been an incredible way for me to interact with the Bay Area Arts Community and take part in the conversation. My hope is to bring more people into the Art Scene and World and engage all types of individuals in the dialogue because art is everywhere and it speaks to so many universal concepts and ideas but, sometimes, the conversation, to people outside of the art world, seems to be within a close knit esoteric circle. Not true. Not true at all.
Here’s hoping you engage with me and feel free to offer up comments and/or constructive criticism.
All the best,
E/IC Art Writer
“Most of us deep down believe that a person who is creative will prevail regardless of the environment,” Csikszentmihalyi wrote. “But the reality appears to be different…. No matter how gifted a person is, he or she has no chance to achieve anything creative unless the right conditions are provided by the field.” Csikszentmihalyi identifies “seven major elements in the social milieu that help make creative contributions possible: training, expectations, resources, recognition, hope, opportunity, and reward. Some of these are direct responsibilities of the field, others depend on the broader social system.”
In the latest issue of Art Practical, Christine Wong Yap, artist and regular contributor to the online art magazine wrote a feature titled Should I Stay or Should I go? I know, I know. If you’re into The Clash (yes, I am), you probably have the song stuck in your head right about now but how aptly related to the topic at hand. Her piece addresses the physical moves Bay Area artists (San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley) have made to advance their art practices and career (to places such as New York and Prague). She provides the reader a greater understanding when it comes to the transient nature of the artist. Trust me, the majority of artists love travel and experiencing different places but it’s safe to assume that there’s a desire for stability in such a fast paced, evolving, and globalized economy. However, as clearly stated by the artists interviewed for Ms. Wong Yap’s piece, they must move where the opportunities are present.
Being a San Francisco native, I was particularly interested in reading about artists who have such a profound connection and foundation in the Bay Area. Their thoughts on making it in the art world as well as their particular reasons to move away from a place they call home forces me to explore my own aspirations. As much as I don’t want to label myself, I am an outsider when it comes to the art world. An independent scholar. I’m fervently dedicated to personal studies in Art and it goes without saying, being in San Francisco, the community is quite nurturing for the endeavors I hope to take in the next year or two (i.e., graduate studies) but I can’t help but think some opportunity in the future is somewhere else, which scares me a bit. Overall, the feature certainly has me thinking much more optimistically but realisitically about the Bay Area Art scene.
I know, wherever I find myself in the future, I would take San Francisco with me. It would be pretty impossible to leave it behind.
If you enjoy this topic, you may also be interested in Michael Zheng’s work, The Profession Project.
Oh, and, well, I couldn’t resist!