Strictly entre nous, I paint and draw, and I post my work here.  In some circles, however, that would not be enough.  In certain fancy art circles, drawing and painting is not what makes one an artist.  And it is so unfair that one has to defend oneself this way.  I can do conceptual art if I so desire.  It’s just rarely that I desire.

In fact, I posted pictures of my parents’ refrigerator once at another site and offered it for sale.  The price was very reasonable.  Unfortunately, before I could get the marketing thing really rolling, the refrigerator broke and had to be replaced.  The heavy art object had to be turned over to someone who wasn’t even a collector — certainly he was no connoisseur.

Thus alas, the deal fell apart before ArtNews ever even got wind of it.  Well, sometimes we have to suffer for art.  But on the upside, at least my parents have cold milk and vegetables again.

I may yet sell the refrigerator in my apartment.  It doesn’t belong to me, but that’s merely a minor detail.  In art lingo, we call that “appropriation.”  I hear Jeff Koons does it all the time.

If after reading this, you find your heart set upon owning one of these works, contact me.  I’m sure I can work something out.  After all, I’m an artist.  We’re “creative.”

[Top of the post:  Conceptual Refrigerator Art, by Aletha Kuschan]

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4 thoughts on “I’m an Artist

  1. What makes one an artist in those circles then? Is conceptual art a requirement? Why would you care about those requirements and “defend” yourself?

  2. This is a compelling set of questions. Hmmmm. How is one granted admission to the “famous” artists crowd (famous in quotes since they are actually mostly unknown to the general public). I don’t know how they get there, perhaps connections and intense self-promotion plus luck perhaps? Is conceptual art a requirement, probably not. Some label is required, but the labels change with the trends. However, whatever the trend is, one is supposed to exemplify it. Why would I care. Actually I chiefly don’t, though it’s annoying to encounter so many people — and I do encounter many such people — who are unwilling to question the emperor’s clothes and who are also very unwilling to rely upon their own sensibilities when it comes to judging art, i.e. they seem to think they must take the “expert’s” word for what has meaning in our time and circumstances.

    As to why I wrote about this in the way I did, I was being funny. (Did you see the price of the refrigerator? Gives new meaning to the expression “sticker shock”….) But if someone wanted to buy the refrigerator I’d be happy to sell one, and the sale would be no more ridiculous than many of the art transactions that take place in the realm of modern art. Modern art is a legalized form of junk bond. It’s really about money.

    How did I do? In my response?? I’m feeling insecure!!

  3. You did great! 🙂

    I don’t like such “famous” artists crowds and their trends. Let the work speak for itself. Remember how that woman reacted to one of your koi paintings? That was a sign of high quality, a sign that you captured the essence in that painting.

  4. You were very perceptive in asking an earnest question about this post which was a kind of parody because behind the parody there are serious meanings. I have loved art from my earliest recollection, and when I was young — say, high school age, I began to want to be an artist. The much ballyhooed famous artists of that moment didn’t interest me, and somehow my personal feelings about art were strong enough (despite the enormous weakness of my own gawky, newbie art) that I didn’t much care what various authorities (including my high school teachers) told me on those occasions when their comments ran counter to my sensibilities.

    Of course, there’s no harm in having an open mind either. As my acquaintance with art has widened and deeped my tastes have grown. I’ve mellowed a lot, yet I still reserve the label “old master” (or new one) for very special artists.

    The woman who cried upon seeing my painting, however: that was something I was completely unprepared for. I don’t think it indicates I’m a “master” or that it provides evidence either one way or the other as to the question of merits for which the jury is still out. But doesn’t it say something about how art touches some people who are very sensitive? Her reaction taught me a bunch. Art — the role art plays in life — is huge. It’s something artists should ponder — that what they make is not just their own property.

    Now, back to folks like Jeff Koons. He is okay. I could perhaps like some of his productions, but he is a poseur au fond, I think. And why does that bother me??? I guess the real reason is that his mega-success hurts the quiet cause of better things.

    I told you I was “proofed” against certain P.T.Barnum elements of contemporary art by chance, by Nature’s kind hand in giving me an essentially optimistic personality (thank you, Mother Nature!), but not everyone is so constituted. I have a dear friend I’ve known for years, a woman of really marvelous talent, who for whatever reason takes the Jeff Koonses of the world quite seriously. This of itself is none of my business. But what bugs me is that she does so to the detriment of her own work. His success undermines her confidence in her art — which is a gazillion times superior, by the way.
    It is as the reception of Gerome in late 19th century France, which hindered the reception of Van Gogh. And I just hate to see that.

    Strong personalities will survive come what may, but many really wonderfully talented artists wilt before they’ve run their race because the more subtle and serious things they produce are lost amid the glizt. And then we are all much poorer for it. You, me, and the sensitive lady who cries because koi (and paintings of koi) are beautiful.

    Inside comedy lies serious ideas! Ah, ha! You caught me!

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