I LIKE YOUR WORK

15 Feb

(ART AND ETIQUETTE)

While going through my books and trying to find some background information for a looming proposal deadline, I naturally encountered numerous opportunities for displacement activities, dithering and procrastination. One of these distractions was a slim book called ‘I like your work: art and etiquette’, which was published in 2009 by New York’s Paper Monument, who seem like fairly decent coves. The book itself was given to me by somebody (thanks, Ruth!) who said it reminded her of my book.

Like pretty much anything that comes out of New York, it’s sometimes New York-centric to the point of absurdity, but both publications definitely have in common a distinct exasperation and frustration that arty people so often act like complete tools. And there’s no art world tool like a New York art world tool.

Anyway, it’s worth buying and checking out in full- support indie artists and small publishers, etc.- but I thought I’d pull a few gems out from it, if only as a way of putting off the actual work I’m supposed to be doing right now.

“If you’re a skinny artist, be clean and neat. If you’re a fat artist, be crazy looking and dishevelled. Not sure why, but this seems to work best. Negative comments about an artist’s work at their opening is the equivalent of taking a shit on someone’s birthday cake at their fortieth birthday party. The proper thing to do is to save your negative comments as an anonymous blog post!” Ryan Steadman.

“Outlandish activity is excused in some artists that would permanently mar the careers of others; often, such acts would certainly be unacceptable outside of the art world… If an artist’s MO is bragging about his own strength, he is expected to do so in any appearance: it authenticates performances delivered in designated art spaces and satisfies stakeholders of his total commitment to his practice.” Steffani Jemison.

Q: What customs or mannerisms are particular to the art world? “The custom of standing in a crowded room where you can’t see anyone or anything, for no other purpose than to be there.” Dan Nadel.

“I know a dealer who seriously believed he was punishing an established curator (who had interfered in a sale) by removing him from the gallery’s email list.” Anonymous.

“In Berlin, the rule is don’t be a jerk; in New York, you’re supposed to be a jerk, but politely.” David Levine.

“Artists are not only permitted but are in fact required to be underdressed at formal institutional functions. But egregious slovenliness without regard to context is a childish ploy, easily seen through. An artist may dress like a member of the proletariat, but shouldn’t imagine he’s fooling anyone. The affluent artist may make a gesture of class solidarity by dressing poorly. She is advised to keep in mind that, at an art opening, the best way to spot an heiress is to look for a destitute schizophrenic.” Roger White.

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2 Responses to “I LIKE YOUR WORK”

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  1. April 14 – Ethics for Artists « Le Art Studio - 14/04/2012

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  2. “SILK TROUSERS £575″ | CAREER SUICIDE - 15/04/2014

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