International Pop the new exhibition at Walker Art Center brought back a lot of memories for me of my days in art school in Chicago when Pop Art first popped unto the cultural radar. Andy Warhol was a role model for a few of us as to how the art world worked and how things are never precisely as they seem. First we were fans because Pop Art was really driving the older teachers bananas as it was so commercial in outlook and it was moving away from the entrenched modernism (abstract expressionism in particular).
When I started writing blogs I thought it would be like a letter , at one time I kept up an active correspondence with several different people in different places. Indeed sometimes I think I wrote way too many letters. I think I supposed that this networking would create some aesthetic and practical results. I could say Artpolice Comics was a correspondence project or deeply involved in periodic expression. An old friend recently wrote What ever happened to our correspondence? For a while we wrote and kept up with each other's art.
If you can't get a book deal write a blog. Some intense emails recently and other thoughts at bed time that vanish into sleep. When I was a child in the summer it seemed as if death and dying were so far away that they could be put out of mind, filed under later much later. Now though at the age of 3 score and 10 I feel death lurks near bye in the wings just off stage a constant reminder of one's impending vanishing. Another aspect of this issue is the degree of misunderstanding that persists about my art working and my art works themselves. I was talking with old friend who lives in N.Y.
Laying in bed drifting in and out of sleep and dreams it came to me that the one thing we are sure about is the lack of structure in our experience. How often are rational structures sought to explain things that happen? How much of history is trying to make sense of things that are beyond understanding . Our minds resist incoherence as a negative influence we want our experiences to make sense but sometimes all the sense in the world can't make sense of what happens. Fine art is an example of how the meaning comes after the facts .
I was talking to Walter Hopps on the telephone not sure when maybe when I was bailing out of my First Avenue Studio where I had been for many years. 2nd divorce in progress , Hopps is trying to help me get out of Minneapolis worried I will get bored to death. He was a legend by then . I had no resources except my art which I had in great quantity it was like selling snowballs to eskimoes here a real cold fish capital nice but disengaged from everything intense or fetishistic.
I was reading a Facebook post where a friend was complaining about a jury turning her away for a third time. I recalled the cry of the French artists in the 19th century French artists against the academy "No Juries No Prizes". I didn't comment since I've had my share of awful reactions to jury rejections. Indeed if possible I avoid juries because it does seem very capricious and reactionary as a means to discern quality or provide opportunities for artists.
In the mid 1980's when I started my portraits I thought I might make some money selling them. I did sell them some of them but it was hardly a living though the critical response was very positive. I felt like a band that got good reviews but couldn't sell many records. I understood of course that though the portraits were less intense than my other works they were still an outside the pail style and intensity wise here in the midwest. Indeed my considerable inventory of portraits is a reality of the lack of a market here for them.