Saturday, February 23, 2008

Izenmania Asks a Question....More about Steve

The reason Steve was able to do what he did is because of his day job. I have not met anyone else in Tacoma, besides me & Mark, that would open their walls to almost any art that cared to be with us, no commission. They always are worried about Upsetting the Man In Dockers and as you can guess, If it doesn't offend someone , it ain't art!!

Now I have seen some gallery owners who have put on FABULOUS events...but, money was always a consideration, when IT doesn't have to be.....I call it the Russell Effect. Somehow, Tacoma now believes there has to be a profit motive.

Sure Steve coulda made Bank off the gallery.....(thanks to Kelly, Mark & Tressie..it got to happen) but he spent his money on it.....to have fun.....to draw people to that end of the street.......and to feed his art machine..........

A few friends of mine are always trying to put something together, we are always thwarted by money. But for Riley, no one, no other Landlord has done anything outta the goodness of their hearts.......

Don't hold your breath....will someone who has money step up as a service to the art community?
Mark and I our art-funky friends don't have money...but we have art hanging here for a no-commission.....and we do have folks come in for a look see....and buy.
And I closed the shop .....so I could concentrate on making art and collecting materials....a huge hit to my personal bank account...small anony art grant... not withstanding.

And remember ....avant garde and outsider art and guerrilla art and weird quirky art isn't understood in Tacoma....not much not yet. Look at how much crap di Nino got for the Heads Rolling.......And this is Tacoma.....I'm still pissed about the Dome committee rejecting Andy F'n Warhol......oh and now.....Steve is our Andy....yeah, Now...you claim him!

yes I will continue to talk about Steve for a long time...I have a lot to say.
and as I predicted, NOW, "friends" are coming out of the woodwork. I can count on one hand and half those people who befriended him....and it isn't who you might think it is. That is pissing me off. And I'm sure it is irritating some of the small voyeurs of this esteemed blog.

Especially one person in particular. And see, this is an ART Project right here, baby!! Did you get it? Don't worry, I often don't either. But I still show up, I still stare, I still think.....

Hey Aaron, thanks for jumping on the challenge....I called bs on bs....and I always will.
Because Art Saves Lives.....Art is Worth Dying For.

4 comments:

Scout said...

Warning: This is an art rant:

Regarding art you say "but, money was always a consideration, when it doesn't have to be....."

You then proceed to spend nearly all of your comments talking about money:

"...but he spent his money on it..."

"...A few friends of mine are always trying to put something together, we are always thwarted by money..."

"...will someone who has money step up as a service to the art community?"

"...a huge hit to my personal bank account...small anony art grant... not withstanding..."


I am artist and have been involved on the fringes of the Tacoma "art scene" for seven years.

My take on Tacoma’s art scene

1. It’s non-existent unless it involves something free or drinking, preferably both.


Drinking is fun; free stuff is cool. Art and artists are fun and cool but that is where the connection ends. And If I am serious about my art I typically am not drinking in relation to it unless I am celebrating the completion of a body of work or that someone bought a significant piece of mine.

My art is not free and it should not be. It is already free for others to look at and enjoy - that is a gift in itself. The idea that my artwork should be given away for free perpetuates the worn out image of the starving artist, which dishonors all artists.

2. Art should not cost anything to make and should cost little, preferably nothing, to acquire.

The reality is art costs money to produce - it requires materials - paint, canvas, clay, film, dance shoes, etc.

3. Art is not affordable (code for you are a capitalist pig if you wish to be compensated for or make a living on your art or in a gallery). Art should be created out of love - love for strangers who are more than willing to pay good money for mass-produced things, just not your art. And there should never, ever be a profit for anyone from art – not the gallery, which is a business, not the artist, who wishes to make a living in a capitalist economy.

Art has always been affordable. I have sold original art in my gallery for as little as $35. People pay thousands of dollars for mass-produced items - cars, clothes, and jewelry - yet artists are expected to give their work away for free - that is an insult.

4. All art is good especially if it is crappy and made with "weird" things, the more irrelevant the better because then you can call it "edgy."

Though subjective, all art is not good and trying to make it so devalues it. There are tangible concepts upon which to judge art, e.g. composition. If all art were judged equally there would be no juried shows, no awards etc.

Making all art equal so that everyone feels good is a disservice to professional artists. The general public creating art is a separate experience that can and should be enjoyed by anyone for little to no cost. This simple, joyful experience can be done anywhere, anytime, using any materials. Eliminating expectations of what the experience is or isn't or what the outcome will or won't be is the key.

Just because weird materials are used in a piece of work does not make the art good, edgy, or even interesting. Context and structural integrity in relationship to the context of the subject matter are critical to a piece as well as how successfully it is executed.

5. When possible art should offend you whether it is relevant or not.

The notion that "If it doesn't offend someone, it ain't art!!" is juvenile. Sometimes good art is offensive, however it is not a prerequisite.

6. If you are young you have inherent value; if you are a young, starving artist, you are golden.

Youth is indeed wasted on the young. I would not trade my life and what I know now for a return to my twenties for anything. Youth is a universal condition that everyone passes through as they earn the wrinkles on the face of their life. It is those rich wrinkles that comprise the essence of who you are and the launching point for what will always be your best and most original artwork.

7. Any and all things should be sacrificed in the name of art - "Art is Worth Dying For."

Nothing is worth dying for because then you are gone forever. What would be the point of that? The one exception I would make is my child. I would die for my child but only if absolutely necessary.

propriatrix said...

Thank you kindly scout for taking the time to leave your succinct and nuanced retort. We here at funkomavintage, live and die for your attention and patronage.
a) That's, like your opinion, man. (kudos to the Big Lebowski)

c) I appreciate your participation in performance art. You are now an artist or a victim of art. I can never tell the difference.
ps. I feel the same way when I go to The Helm.

c)I always attach price tags to nearly everything I do or make. Gallery owners that have the "coin" have a moral responsibility to offer space and effort to small, lesser-known and struggling artists. This not only is a cool thing to do, but it will pay off handsomely for the art community in the future.
(Capitalism = Investment)
Case In Point: Chihuly was Weird Man , I mean weird with that eye patch and those painted shoes,(and a RampArt Shopper!)
But Thank God or Whomever, people built an industry around his weird "art".
All I am asking is that the same energy, foresight and money go into the other side of art...and not just promote that which will immediately make money.
Money. Money is important. Like EMILY...Early Money Is Like Yeast. And those who have it should spend it on something other than $9.00 stuffed mushrooms at The Sea Grill.
And that, dear Scout, is what Steve Craig did.
And if you are doing it, Keep on Keeping On.

Scout said...

Thanks for reading my rant and I appreciate your response.

propriatrix said...

we are artists...hear us roar. Big Hug.....coming right for ya!!